Paul Ferguson has three selections for us on Saturday; Solatentif in the Killarney 13:45, Captain Morley and Battersea in the York 14:40 and Clever Cookie in the York 15:50 Compare odds and bet.
York’s Ebor Festival finishes with an absolutely cracking card and the feature of the week is certainly no exception, in which a strong case could be made for several.
At entry stage, a couple that stuck out where Pallasator (won impressively since for this column) and Mighty Yar, but both are considerably shorter now and the latter isn’t the most consistent.
The former should improve for the step back up in trip and is clearly one for any shortlist under a 4lb penalty, but at the odds Clever Cookie (3:50) rates as a viable each-way alternative, despite the fact he looks just about high enough in the weights.
The step up in trip should suit last year’s classy novice hurdler and, given how he has moved through his Flat races to date, it is hard not to envisage him arriving on the scene travelling strongly for Graham Lee.
Peter Niven’s stable-star was readily available at 10-1 overnight (Bet365 offering 5 places for each-way terms) and the six-year-old will appreciate the easier ground than he encountered in last month’s John Smith’s Cup.
Earlier on the card, the three-year-old equivalent contest, the Melrose Stakes, looks even more competitive but is arguably the race of the week from a depth point of view – there should be tons of winners to come out of this race in the closing weeks of the season and, probably, even more so next summer.
Regular readers of my column will know I’m a fan of top-weight and market leader Connecticut, but he’s up a further 10lbs for his latest success and will need to be very good indeed to give weight away all around, while I respect the course form of Adventure Seeker and Penhill from earlier in the season.
The former is on better terms this afternoon and was too far out of his ground at Goodwood last time, while the latter has gone from strength to strength since. He was hugely impressive in the Bell Ringer at Ripon last time and I just wonder if softer ground would have aided his chances.
The pair I have ended up coming down on are Captain Morley and Battersea (2:40) and, at the prices, it is worth splitting stakes each-way (9-1 and 7-1, respectively, overnight).
The former won at Chester on his final start for Marwan Koukash before making a really pleasing debut for Qatar Racing when a staying-on third in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot. Off just 1lb higher and with the prospect of the longer trip in his favour, he looks capable of a bold show.
Likewise, Battersea is progressing nicely and got off the mark in an Ascot handicap last time. The Galileo colt pulled nicely clear in the closing stages that day – again, hinting that the step up to 1m6f will suit – and a 6lb rise seems fair. He could well set Graham Lee up for a big day, though the jockey will have to work his magic from stall 18.
Under different code and at considerably shorter odds, Henry De Bromhead’s recent course bumper winner Solatentif (1:45) should win the opening maiden hurdle at Killarney.
The four-year-old created a good impression when travelling powerfully en route to scoring on his racecourse debut and, though he faces a fair Flat performer in the shape of Pyromaniac, it will be disappointing if he isn’t able to maintain his 100% record.
1:45 Killarney: Solatentif
2:40 York: Captain Morley / Battersea
3:50 York: Clever Cookie
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