Paul Ferguson has two selections at York today; Main Sequence in the 15.05 and Western Prize in the 16.15. Compare odds and bet.
York’s Ebor meeting kicks off today and, while all eyes will be on the mighty Frankel in the feature Juddmonte International Stakes, we need to look elsewhere for the day’s betting opportunities.
The Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (as ever) looks a fine trial for this year’s St Leger next month and Derby runner-up Main Sequence (3:05) is taken to enhance his claims for the final Classic of the season by scoring for David Lanigan and Ted Durcan.
The chestnut had made it four from four for his career prior to Epsom when landing the Derby Trial at Lingfield, where he quickened up smartly to beat Shantaram, who has won both starts since including the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy at Newmarket last time.
A rather unlucky fourth in the Grand Prix De Paris at Longchamp last time, he ought to relish York’s long straight. Available at a general 9/4 overnight, hopefully there will be a bit of 5/2 on offer this morning.
The penultimate event on the card, the Betvictor.com Stakes, is a fiercely competitive 2m handicap, but the two I like are Western Prize and Countrywide Flame.
At the prices I certainly wouldn’t put anyone off splitting stakes on the pair, but slight preference is for Western Prize (4:15) given that he has proven form on quick ground, while good-to-firm is a slight concern for the Triumph Hurdle winner.
Western Prize has to prove that his run in the Melrose here last year was a one-off, but since then he has gone from strength-to-strength and has further scope for improvement over this sort of trip.
The High Chaparral gelding won a decent event on fast ground at Salisbury on his penultimate start and again travelled really well behind the smart Montaser at Ascot last time. The Salisbury form now reads well with Gosbeck (2nd) having won at Nottingham last week and Lily In Pink (5th) winning both starts since, latterly in a strong event at Newbury last Friday.
Up another 4lbs since Ascot, a bold show looks on the cards and Paddy Power were a best priced 13/2 when they opened up on Tuesday evening; I suspect he will be sent off much shorter.
Countrywide Flame is an 8/1 shot and looks well in compared with his hurdles rating. When last seen on the Flat he won a Redcar handicap off a 12lb lower mark in October, when he led all the way. He’ll find it more difficult to dictate today, but more of a worry is the quick ground. If he handles it, he is certainly still weighted to go very close indeed and he caught my eye more than any horse at entry stage last week.
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Last Year’s Tips Included 40 Leading Prospects: £499.80 profit to a level £10!
- AL FEROF won Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 10-1
- BENSALEM won Stewart Family Handicap 5-1
- BOBS WORTH won A Bartlett 15-8, 4/4 for year
- CAPTAIN CHRIS won Arkle Trophy 6-1
- FIRST LIEUTENANT won Neptune Investment 7-1
- (plus Grade 1 in Ireland 16-1)
- JAMES DE VASSY won Lanzarote Hurdle 8-1
- LONG RUN won King George 9-2, Gold Cup 7-2
- OSCAR WHISKY won Aintree Hurdle 6-1
- Peddlers Cross (Fighting Fifth Hurdle)
- Medermit (Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase)
- FINIAN’S RAINBOW (Maghull Novices’ Chase)
- WISHFULL THINKING (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)