Horse Racing: Paul Ferguson made a sensational start for betrescue punters on day 1 of the Ebor Festival, tipping Rewilding at 9/4 at Sweet Lighting at 14s. Today he has another juicy selection
York’s Ebor Meeting – Day Two, Wednesday
The Totesport Ebor is the highlight on the Knavesmire this afternoon and the feature event of York’s four-day meeting looks well up to standard.
A case can be made for any number of the 20 runners that go to post, but I’m siding with Martyr (3:25) who arrives here at the top of his game and in search of the hat-trick.
After finishing third in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot, Richard Hannon stepped his son of Cape Cross up to 2m back at the Berkshire venue in July and he got back to winning ways off a mark of 93, having scored earlier in the year at Newmarket off 87.
Sent to Glorious Goodwood next, Martyr was dropped back a couple of furlongs to today’s 1m6f trip and he seemed to relish the distance, traveling beautifully throughout under an ever-confident Richard Hughes. He quickened really well when asked to pick up and ran out an easy 3-length winner.
Carrying a 4lb penalty for that smooth success, the four-year-old looks capable of another bold show. The one concern I had about his chances earlier in the week was the prospect of soft ground, as all of his form to date has come under quicker conditions, but yesterday’s times suggested the going was no worse than good and that should be fine.
The obvious danger for many will be Northumberland Plate and Galway Hurdle winner Overturn but he looked to have a hard race in Ireland and he will find it difficult to dictate things from his wide draw, though he did overcome this at Newcastle when landing the ‘Pitmen’s Derby’.
Fortuni looked good at Epsom on Derby Day and holds sound claims. He too will probably try and make all and, on a line through Cill Rialaig, Sir Mark Prescott must be hopeful of finishing very close to the selection, though this will be his first start beyond 1m4f.
The other one I think will go well is Irish raider Elyaadi who ran on in eye-catching fashion from an impossible position in the Ascot Stakes last time. She’s a very useful mare on her day, as she proved when winning over this trip on her penultimate start at Leopardstown in May and her young jockey landed last year’s Ebor aboard Willie Mullins’ Sesenta.
Sadly the lame Ask misses the Lonsdale Cup (2:15) as Sir Michael Stoute’s classy seven-year-old would have been the day’s other bet. The contest now looks a fairly weak Group 2, though I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see dual course scorer Akmal go well for John Dunlop and Richard Hills. The 3lb penalty and the poor showing in the Ascot Gold Cup is somewhat off-putting.
The Gimcrack Stakes (2:50) is the other Group race on today’s card, in which the hat-trick seeking Temple Meads is a worthy favourite. The Super Sprint winner looks ready for the step up to 6f and the step up in to pattern-company, but I was also very taken with the debut success of Barry Hills’ Shropshire at Haydock last month, which puts me off making him a selection.
Barry Hills has sound claims in the other two-year-old contest on the card, the Listed Roses Stakes over the minimum trip. His Face The Problem was impressive when winning a nursery here in July and followed up in even more emphatic fashion at Thirsk the following week.
The Johannesburg colt also held an entry in the Gimcrack and he does look a Group class juvenile in the making, but the problem we face today (pardon the pun) is that the opposition looks particularly tough.
Choose Wisely beat subsequent Listed winner Electric Waves at Carlisle and has since finished third in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes, while Cadeaux Pearl is clearly well thought of among the Hannon juveniles.
The son of Acclamation was well touted before flopping on debut at Goodwood in June and he may well have bumped in to a useful sort next time. He has since won a Sandown maiden by 10 lengths and he remains a very interesting two-year-old.
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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