Horse Racing: Jumpers To Follow author Paul Ferguson has a strong selection for the final day of the Ebor Festival – 4/1 shot Deauville Flyer in the 4.40 at York.
York’s Ebor Meeting – Day Four, Friday
Following yesterday’s disappointments of allowing the impressive Wootton Bassatt to go un-backed in the opener and despairingly watching Sariska plant herself in the stalls ahead of the Yorkshire Oaks, I’m banking on Deauville Flyer to round off the Ebor meeting on a positive note.
Tim Easterby’s four-year-old missed the cut for Wednesday’s big race but, for me, that was a blessing in disguise as he looked in need of a return to 2m when third here last month.
The Dubai Destination gelding, who could well make up in to a nice hurdler later in the year, beat Wednesday’s winner The Fonze over 1m4f here at the Dante meeting in May and he returned to the Knavesmire the following month when he slammed one of today’s opponents, The Last Alzao, over this trip.
On the back of that hugely impressive performance, Deauville Flyer was sent off a warm order for the Northumberland Plate, but not much went his way throughout the ‘Pitmen’s Derby’ and he eventually got going late on to finish fifth to Overturn.
On his last outing in the John Smith’s Silver Cup, the selection ran from 3lb out of the handicap and, while he could finish only third, he got closer to ‘Plate’ runner-up Drunken Sailor.
Back up to 2m, Deauville Flyer can continue his progression through the staying ranks and can land this, despite being burdened with top-weight.
Earlier on the card, the feature event of the day is the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes, but the opening couple of races are of more interest to me.
The Sky Bet Melrose Stakes gets the final day underway and it looks a fiercely competitive renewal. Mark Johnston holds a strong hand courtesy of Bay Willow and Green Lightning who was last seen beating Bahrain Trophy runner-up Harris Tweed at Newmarket in May, while Berling will be more comfortable back on a more conventional track than Goodwood.
John Dunlop’s grey has looked capable of landing a big pot since winning at Newbury in May and the applications of first time blinkers could aid his cause, but this looks extremely wide open.
The Strensall Stakes, also sponsored by SkyBet, is where Michael Jarvis finally unleashes the highly-progressive Rainbow Peak in to Group company.
The Hernando gelding was impressive in winning the Wolferton at Royal Ascot and looks a Group winner in waiting, but today’s trip is slightly short of his best and his sole career defeat came over a mile here in May.
He may well be good enough, partly due to the fact that most of this afternoon’s field look rather regressive, but at such short odds I’d rather be backing him over 1m2f and on a slightly slower surface.
Best of luck for the final day at York and for the remaining weeks of the Flat season – I’ll be back from 1 October in time for the start of the new jumps season.
Deauville Flyer 4.40 York 4/1 Paddy Power
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Last year’s selections included:
Hurricane Fly: 3/1 winner of the G1 Rabobank Champion Hurdle
Copper Bleu: 12/1 winner of the Jewson at Cheltenham
Great Endeavour: 12/1 winner of the Festival Plate
Tranguil Sea: 11/2 winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup
Sizing Europe: 6/1 winner of the Arkle
Weapon’s Amnesty: 10/1 winner of the RSA Chase