The opening day of arguably the best flat meeting of the summer (albeit a biased verdict..), and there is plenty of top quality action to get stuck into.
The big talking point of the day is the clash between proven Group One horse Al Kazeem, and the young pretender who’s not certain to stay, Toronado.
Al Kazeem is a class-act, and a worthy favourite on all facts and figures we’ve seen so far, however Toronado could just be that something special, and as Hughes comes there swinging two out, we are set to see just how good the apple of his eye, really is.
It’s a race to strictly enjoy, even without any financial interest, and it’s all set to be a cracker.
However, there are plenty of big prices to get involved with on Wednesday, and none more competitive than the opener, for which Above Standard heads the market at 8/1.
He sneaks into the race near the bottom of the weights, after racking up a successful 5f double on the Knavesmire in June, before a close fourth at Glorious Goodwood.
Drawn 18 of 19, the 5yo seems to have everything in place for a big run, and with Mick Easterby’s charge clearly on an upward curve, the course and distance winner looks set to go off shorter than the current 17/2 on Betfair.
The trainer and jockey have a solid strike-rate at York, and should go very close to getting off the mark at the first chance.
Elsewhere on the card, there is an outsider in the penultimate race that has been seemingly overlooked by the bookmakers, despite having solid form at the Yorkshire track.
Martin Chuzzlewit has always been extremely well-regarded by connections, and the 4yo son of Galileo has ran well in handicaps at the venue over the previous two seasons.
He lacks tactical speed which suggests the step up in trip is definitely up his street, and should he manage to curb the seeming regression, he has moer than enough talent to make a serious impact on proceedings.
His last race, he started second favourite behind Montaser, who has since been tried at Group level, and he ran well for much of that contest depsite taking a keen hold early on.
A change of pilot in the shape of William Buick, could well give the horse the boost he needs to regain some of his best form, on which he would surely go close.
The 16/1 available at the minute looks too tempting to resist, and if he manages to settle early on, he should give us a good run for our money.
In the finale, a class two nursery, there is only two horses in single figures which show just how competitive it is on paper.
Ventura Spirit looks a solid favourite given his close third to current Acomb favourite The Grey Gatsby, but we turn to the already proven class act in the race.
Coulsty didn’t really kick on from his explosive debut at Leicester when he hacked up by five lengths, yet he still has the best form in the book at the minute.
He finished down the field behind No Nay Never at Royal Ascot, before finishing second in a conditions stakes at Newmarket, and third behind the highly regarded Bunker in Deauville.
He carries top weight, but with Richard Hughes in the saddle, he is fancied to go very close a cracking each-way price of 10/1.
1 point win: Above Standard @ 8/1 (Various)
1 point win: Martin Chuzzlewit @ 16/1 (Ladbrokes)
1 point win: Coulsty @ 10/1 (William Hill/Ladbrokes)
0.25 e.w patent: Above Standard/Martin Chuzzlewit/Coulsty @ 1682/1 (Ladbrokes)