If you haven’t been to York for the Ebor Festival you must find the time to do it at least once in your life.
It’s great racing and a great social week in a great city. If you are going then you might like to consider the following as our idea of horses that could run well and hopefully see you with a few extra quid at the end of what is always a great days racing.
It’s never easy at York and like all good days racing your success and failure hinges around one or two results. This one is no different – so here we go!!
1.55 Symphony Group Stakes Class 2 Hcp 5 furlongs
Great to kick off with a top quality sprint handicap and whilst we have some proven York performers I just get the feeling that this race is just a little off the quality of years before, particularly with the defection of the two Robert Cowell runners, Free Zone and Goldream, the latter having won for us recently on Shergar Cup day at Ascot.
Our first idea of the winner is somewhat unoriginal in that we fancy the favourite Robot Boy to put a moderate last run behind him and continue his upward spiral for David Barron and Graham Gibbons and at 9/1 he represents a good each way bet. The other we will put up in this race are Kimberella for David and Adrian Nichols, who after finishing fourth in the Great St Wilfred comes here at the top of his game in a race that on paper looked tougher than this one. At 16/1 we will get on side with Dandy’s sprinter who looks a bit of value.
Always a good race with a strong crop of 2 years old’s competing over this longer trip. Only 3 favourites have won this race in the last 10 years but no horse has been bigger than 11/1 in the same period. So fancied horses run well in this race.
Jamaica for Aiden and Joseph O’Brien will be popular after his emphatic win at Galway as will Richard Hannons, Basateen after hacking up at Doncaster but both are priced accordingly at 11/4 and 9/4 so a chance is taken with Prince Gagarin who was a good winner in his last outing showing a turn of foot that we might not have expected from one whose pedigree appears stamina laden. I think he will enjoy a strong end to end gallop and could be over priced at 15/2 with Ed Dunlop being in good form and Ryan Moore in the plate – simply the best!
3.05 The Neptune Investment Great Voltigeur Group 2, 12 Furlongs
This is the key part of the day and where we will win or lose today. We will be big on Kingston Hill. He has RPR figures of 112 when running over 8&10F but goes up to a whopping 123 over 12 furlongs. Today is that same trip and whilst I am tempered somewhat by the form of trainer Roger Varian who has had just 1 winner in his last 10 days, by and large his horses are still running well and I think this horse can run 4-5 pounds below his best at this trip and still account for Postponed, Hartnell andGrand Duke of Tuscanny. Its time to stand up and be counted
3.40 Juddmonte International Group 1, 10 Furlongs
Despite the 6 runners its a 3 horse race and after tipping up Australia to win the Derby our heart says we need to be with him. The problem is his trainer Aiden O’Brien said he could be a little underdone for today after having had a break to focus on an Autumn campaign. There is no doubt he is the best horse in the field, however is he able to run below his best and account for the two other contenders over a trip that many believe is his best? I dot know the answer to that and at the likely heavily odds on price we might have to swerve him today.
So we are going to abandon him today and at the forecast 1/2, if he goes in we can cheer loudly as I think our selection will be second if that’s the case. I fancy Mukhadram, who wears his heart on his sleeve when going from the front and is somewhat underrated by most within racing, to carry the race away from the others on a track that suits front runners. The likely strong gallop will help Telescope but I think 12f is his trip and the selection will be too quick for him.
A big field for this two miler and a mixture of form and abilities on offer. It might pay to side with in form Yorkshire trainer Mick Easterby who sends out Itlaaq, a horse who has won off marks 88 and 91 and races today off 85 having been put right with a win at this course and over this distance on 26th July. Confidence is tempered by him getting close to the top of his ability range and as an 8yrd old isn’t improving any more. We will plump for two in this tough handicap, the unexposed Bantam for Ed Dunlop, with Ryan Moore up again who has had just the two improving runs each time in 2014 and looks ready for this trip and class of race and Lady Kashaan for Alan Swinbank who knows what a 2 mile winner looks like and with Ben Curtis on board with his claim looks in a good place to do herself justice.
4.55 The Stanjames.Com Nursery C2 6 furlongs
Not an easy last race of the day but good form should be followed and whilst its unoriginal, in terms of him being the favourite, Felix Leiter is a horse I like for Karl Burke, who is in great form at the moment with any rain later in the day being a bonus for him. Prize Exhibit for the two Jamie’s, Osborne and Spencer, won a Novice at Nottingham by 9 lengths and whilst its hard to work out what he beat it was impressive. The form of Roossey stacks up as well with his trainer William Haggas brandishing Middle Park entries for his colt.
Enjoy your day, I wish it would all come a bit quicker and that the rain doesn’t interfere with the day’s racing. Its looks a Day 1 cracker.