The ITV cameras head north on Wednesday for the first day of the four-day Ebor Festival from York.
Racing fans have plenty to look forward to including Bundles the Juddmonte Stakes on Wednesday, plus the Nunthorpe Stakes and Yorkshire Oaks latter in the week while the meeting also plays host to the most valuable flat handicap in Europe the Ebor handicap.
Our racing expert will be taking a look at the fancied runners across the big races and hopefully pointing you in the direction of a winner or two.
A fiercely competitive 5f sprint to kick things off with likely favourite Jawwaal arriving here in seek of a hattrick after recent victories at Doncaster and Ascot. He looked strong at the finish again last time but an 8lb rise will make things tougher despite a middle draw giving his jockey plenty of options.
Arecibo finished third in this race last season off a 4lb higher mark. The David O’Meara trained runner hasn’t really had things go his way in his recent starts being badly hampered in the race Jawwaal won at Ascot on before then staying on too late on his last 2 starts when getting no real pace to run at, though this larger field should set things up nicely and he looks dangerous now down to a mark of 94.
Copper Knight deserves a mention, a regular in these types of events he is now down to a mark of 100 and with four course victories here at York is expected to go well at decent odds.
Trainer Charlie Appleby has a good record with Juveniles here at York and looks to have another strong fancy here with Cloudbridge. The colt was an impressive winner on debut at Leicester and the third from that race has since gone onto victory.
Darvel showed improvement from his debut run to win at Ayr on his next start. The Kevin Ryan trained runner did it well that day and is one of many who could improve once more.
Gear Up was a winner first time up here over CD and that valuable experience could just see him come out on top again today. The form of that race is an unknown but he should have more to offer and once again Silvestre De Sousa takes the mount for the Mark Johnstone team.
Royal Scimitar and Praise Of Shadows are two other winning debutants of note.
Selection: Gear Up
Mogul is expected to confirm the form of the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood in which we had the measure of both Highland Chief and Subjectivist. That looks to be leading form on offer and he holds obvious claims for the O’Brien – Moore partnership.
Darain is unbeaten in his two starts to date, the John Gosden trained runner looks ready for this step up to this level.
Roberto Escobar created a big impression when winning here of 10 furlongs 31 days ago. This is a big step up today but he looked to have some useful types convincingly beaten that day. He is open to stacks of improvement still and this Galileo colt should have no issues with the step up in trip.
Selection: Roberto Escobar (Next Best)
Just the five runners here but an intriguing contest. Ghaiyyath will be tough to beat based on his form this season including when beating enable in the Eclipse recently. He has to give 3lb to Magical but his form overall of the pair just looks that big stronger and the Charlie Appleby trained runner would be preferred.
However with Ghaiyyath and Magical both liking to race prominently we have the potential of them taking each on a little on the front end and if that is the case the race could be set up perfectly for Lord North to pick them off late.
The John Gosden runner has progressed into a group performer this season and was a comfortable winner of the Group 1 Prince Of Wales Stakes at Royal Ascot on his latest start.
He showed a blistering turn of foot that day and if the race is played out as expected it could be used to similar effect this time. Kameko would hold strong claims on his Guineas win but needs to bounce back from 2 below par efforts since and is unproven at 10f.
Selection: Lord North (NAP)
Make My Day was a good winner for this column when winning on handicap debut here recently and will be bidding to give trainer Ralph Beckett another win in this race after winning 2 of the last 3 years.
He should have more to come but the 6lb rise in this stronger race will make things much tougher and is also unproven over this kind of distance with that last victory coming over 6 furlongs shorter.
Just Hubert and Rochester House finished 1-2 in a similar staying handicap at Glorious Goodwood but it’s the fifth horse from that race True Destiny who takes the eye today.
He found himself in an unpromising position on that occasion and had to make plenty of ground up on the wide outside so that effort can be marked up a fair bit.
He is slightly better off with his rivals from that day and on this more conventional course and with Ryan Moore a positive booking (3 from 9, 2 places last year) he should go close. Monsieur Lambrays and Volcanic Sky are 2 other last time out winners to note.
Selection: True Destiny (Each Way)
Leave a comment
Follow StefanFellows84 on Twitter