York Ebor Meeting – Day One Preview

York’s Ebor meeting tops the flat racing calendar for many, with fantastic racing often accompanied by glorious sunshine on the Knavesmire.

It has been my personal favourite UK flat meeting ever since I was fortunate enough to witness incredible Epsom Derby winner, Authorized, taking on future Arc winner, Dylan Thomas, back in 2007. That day changed my views on racing forever, and since then I have been very fortunate with my luck at the Yorkshire track.

This year looks set to be no different and the opening day provides the opportunity to see some fantastic horses, with Derby winner Australia rightfully taking centre stage. He is the best horse in the race, but with Joseph O’Brien pushing himself to unnatural limits to make the 8st 12 to ride him, there would have to be question marks about his physical fitness in a finish, should the horse need to pull out something extra. He should get the better of the field comfortably if carrying on his progression, but there has to be doubts about taking long-odds on.

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The day starts with the Symphony Group Handicap, a typically tough race that will set you up for the day/meeting if you can find the winner. There is plenty of each-way value, and the selection lies with See the Sun. He landed a valuable prize at York back in June and travelled like the winner last time out, when controlling the race from the front before fading late on behind the talented Muthmir. A shorter trip is set to suit Tim Easterby’s charge, and stall 20 is a plum box to get out and dictate. The three-year-old is nicely weighted and on an upward curve, so the current 11/1 represents clear value and he can hopefully kick-start the meeting in the best possible way.

Next up is the Acomb Stakes, which looks a fantastic opportunity to highlight Jamaica’s potential Classic claims for next year. He is currently second-favourite for the Group Three Acomb, behind the highly rated Basateen, but the manner of Jamaica’s victory as-well as the sheer market support that came for him at Galway, suggest he has the potential to be a special animal. He is going to want further rather soon, as his staying-on display last time out suggested, but he still possesses enough speed at the moment to get the better of the field tomorrow. The 3/1 is more than fair, and this looks like has to potential to be a real starting point for a big career should the vibes from Coolmore be anything to go by.

Kingston Hill is expected to take all the beating back in his optimum conditions in the Great Voltigeur Stakes, yet he will face stiff competition from a tough field. Sir Michael Stoute’s, Snow Sky, looked the least likely winner heading down to post at Glorious Goodwood, dripping with sweat and acting up in the preliminaries. This, combined with the three-year-old failing to settle during the early exchanges, meant that many thought he had already put paid to his chances. However thanks to a masterful James Doyle ride, he managed to prevail by a head, and continue his upward curve. He possesses plenty of ability, and 1m4f looks to be his optimum trip, with the ground posing no issues. If he behaves before the race, and settles earlier he will pose a massive threat to the favourite and at 8/1, he looks a fair bet. He is a risky proposition, but his talent is worth taking a punt on, and if the favourite does fail to act, Snow Sky looks the likeliest to benefit.

Eagle Rock is an interesting contender in the penultimate race of the day, with the Tom Tate trained six-year-old currently a fantastic each-way proposition at 20/1. He saves his best runs for the Knavesmire, running consistently in big handicaps, including a course and distance success. It is a very open race as the prices suggest, but he is one of very few that absolutely love big fields and the course, and one of only two in the race who have course-distance success (Itlaaq the other), which swings things in his massively favour at a surprising price. J P Sullivan has never finished out of the first three when on-board the horse and with him in the saddle tomorrow, hopefully he can piece together another solid run and return each-way money at the very least.

 

Selections:

1:55, York: See the Sun @ 11/1

2:30, York: Jamaica @ 3/1

3:05, York: Snow Sky @ 8/1

4:20, York: Eagle Rock @ 20/1

 

 

 

 

York Ebor Festival – Day Three Advice

A sensational day two of the Ebor festival, with none of our selections losing! (albeit two non-runners..)

Day three looks arguably the most competitive day of the week, and there are two selections which look worthy of having significant financial interest rested on their hooves.

The first comes in the feature race of the day, the Nunthorpe Stakes. Favourite Shea Shea looks as solid as they come, coming off the back of two fine efforts on these shores.

Mike de Kock’s charge plied his trade to great effect in South Africa and Meydan, before embarking on a campaign in Britain, starting with two fine efforts, a close second at Royal Ascot, and fourth in the July Cup when ridden from too far off the pace.

He is 5 from 7 at five furlongs, and back at his optimum trip he will take all the beating. Frankie Dettori takes over from Cristophe Soumillon in the saddle, and the flashy Italian looks set to reinvigorate the colt back to Group One success and finally deliver Mike de Kock the big race he deserves on these shores.

The 4/1 looks too big to ignore, and it would be surprise to see the colt go off around the 5/2, 11/4 mark come Friday afternoon.

The other selection on the penultimate day of the Ebor festival is another resting on the shoulders of Mr Dettori, with Ebn Arab in the final race on the card.

Charlie Hills’ colt looked set to be embarking on a big career when running away with a maiden on the Knavesmire last year.

He was sent off second favourite for both the Acomb and the Somerville Tattersall stakes, slightly disappointing in both before landing a conditions stakes at Doncaster at the first time of asking this term.

He was outclassed at Doncaster behind a potential superstar Montiridge, so there is no disgrace in that, and although his last run when sent off 50/1 in the Britannia Stakes, was rather flat, he still comes into the race with plenty of scope for improvement.

This race looks set to take a lot less ability to go close, and if he has maintained his 2yo ability, or even improved slightly, he has the opportunity to make a mockery of his mark and 25/1 looks far too big to ignore.

Advice:

2 points win: Shea Shea @ 4/1 (Betfair)

1 point e.w: Ebn Arab @ 25/1 (Betvictor)

 

 

York Ebor Festival – Day One Advice

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.

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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.

Advice:

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)