Horse Racing: Live On Ch4 & Racing UK: Tue 13:45
Jumpers To Follow author Paul Ferguson makes his betrescue debut this week and marks your card on day one of the Ebor Festival
York’s Ebor Meeting – Day One, Tuesday
York’s four-day Ebor meeting gets under way today and, while the race of the day is undoubtedly the Juddmonte International Stakes, the clash between the top two in the betting for the St Leger in the Great Voltigeur Stakes (2.50 pm) is equally exciting.
The bookies are struggling to split Rewilding 9/4 (Stan James and William Hill) and Midas Touch (5/2 Betfred and 888Sport) for both today’s contest and for the final Classic of the season and I have the contest between the pair.
The selection finished 4 lengths in front of subsequent Irish Derby second Midas Touch when third to Workforce in the Derby and that was just his second start for Godolphin.
On his debut for the Boys In Blue the Tiger Hill colt ran away with the Listed Cocked Hat Stakes at Goodwood and he gives the impression that he will be suited by the Knavesmire’s long straight.
The one slight concern is that he has been off since Epsom and Mahmood Al Zarooni will probably have left a bit to work on ahead of Doncaster, but he receives 3lbs from Midas Touch (who also promises to be suited by the track) and that could be telling.
Rewilding won on good ground at Goodwood and has plenty of form on softer going in France, so any further rain won’t inconvenience him at all.
The feature of day one at 3.25 looks an absolute cracker on paper, with Rip Van Winkle (9/4 Hills) bidding to score for the first time at four.
On the pick of his form, he is the most likely winner, but the most interesting runner in the race, is Dick Turpin (6/1 Ladbrokes) who represents this year’s Classic generation.
His form is rock solid, but the trip is a big issue.
The ground is likely to be perfect for the Prix Jean Prat winner and it isn’t hard to imagine him arriving on the scene traveling sweetly for Richard Hughes.
He will then be heading into unknown territory and, as neither breeding or running style suggest he is crying out for the extra two furlongs, I’d rather watch the contest tomorrow than back him.
The other Group race of the day is the Acomb Stakes (2:15) in which Dream Ahead was bidding to maintain his 100% record before being withdrawn on Monday evening paving the way for recent Naas winner Lake Ontario (2/1 Coral).
The second bet of the day comes in the closing handicap and in the shape of Sweet Lightning (4:40) who is worth a small each-way interest.
Michael Dods’ five-year-old was a winner at Chester earlier in the year and he went on to finish runner-up, when sent off favourite, in the Zetland Gold Cup at Redcar.
The Fantastic Light gelding then finished fifth in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot and he returned to this trip, when sent off 12/1 for the John Smith’s Cup here last month.
He travelled really well throughout the contest, before failing to find as much as expected off the bridle, and he has a couple of questions to answer now.
But, available at a best 14/1 with Skybet.com, in what looks a much weaker race than the John Smith’s Cup and over his ideal trip, he is worth taking a chance on.
The ground should not pose him any problems, as both turf successes have come on good ground, and he has been handed a single-figure draw, which can be important around here.
It could be said that he has failed to shine on three starts at the track in the past, but this looks the worst of four races that he has contested at York and I expect him to run well.
Paul Ferguson’s Jumpers To Follow 2010-11 is available hot off the press from the 1st October for just £9.99
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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