Paul Ferguson has three selections at York today; Guarantee (2.30), Times Up (3.05) and Camborne (3.40). Compare odds and bet.
York stages a fantastic card for the final day of the Ebor Festival, with three cracking renewals for the Melrose, Lonsdale Cup and the Ebor itself and, given the competitiveness of each event, I’m looking for a bit of each-way value in each contest.
Starting with the Betfred Melrose Stakes, which like fellow columnist Charlie (McCann) this is one of my favourite events in the Flat calendar, due to the fact that you usually get a clutch of classy and unexposed three-year-olds lining up.
The field doesn’t disappoint this afternoon, with the likes of top-weight Gospel Choir and Biographer, who did us a good turn last time, fitting the bill as likely winners. The latter is entered in the Cesarewitch and looks sure to be suited by the step up in trip, but that comment also applies to Guarantee (2:30) who I have had in mind for this race since he won the Bell-Ringer at Ripon last month.
An 8lb rise for that success seems a bit harsh, but he again looked rather green and still has plenty more to offer. He won his maiden on good-to-soft at Newbury the time before, when again selected in this column, and he appeals as the type to relish a strongly run big-field handicap.
The Authorized colt still holds an entry in the St Leger at Doncaster next month, indicating that connections believe he is better than a handicapper and, while he is more a potential horse than one with proven form, he looks capable of going on to much better things in time. Phillip Makin’s mount was trading at 8/1 overnight with the sponsors.
Goodwood Cup winner Saddler’s Rock looks the obvious port of call in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup and a reproduction of that form ought to be good enough here. But, in behind that day Times Up (3:05) could be spotted travelling well for a long way and, though his form has been in and out this season, he appeals as the type who could go well at a price.
An impressive winner of a Listed event here last May, he also travelled strongly before blowing up on his seasonal reappearance in the Yorkshire Cup. In the hope that the rain doesn’t get in to the ground too much (at his best on quicker ground), the six-year-old seems worth chancing at 16/1, again with Betfred, or Bet365.
Finally for the feature race of the week, the Betfred Ebor, in which Motivado is a worthy market leader running here under a 4lb penalty for his impressive Goodwood success three weeks ago.
It was a very taking performance and, as he’s 6lb well in, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him follow up, though he disappointed here in the Melrose last year, so the tentative nod goes the way of the hat-trick seeking Camborne (3:40) who, admittedly, faces a stiff ask off the lofty mark of 106.
Run off his feet in a handicap over 1m2½f at the Dante meeting in May, he has since flourished over 1m4f under the application of cheek-pieces. An impressive 7-length winner at Doncaster in June, he followed up at Royal Ascot, coming from well off the pace to land the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap in some style.
Up another 9lbs for that success, he needs to be bordering on Group class to be landing this, but he has proven form on an easy surface and looks sure to relish the strongly run race. The trip is an unknown, but his running style suggests he could well improve for it and he is another 8/1 shot with the sponsors.
* only back Times Up if ground doesn’t deteriorate too much overnight
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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)