Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips on the final day of the Ebor Festival at York on Saturday. View selections below.
QUICK JACK (4.00) can further enhance Ireland’s excellent recent record in the Betfred Ebor Handicap.
With more rain forecast, the Knavesmire will be riding on the slower side and this greater emphasis on stamina will suit Tony Martin’s gelding. Quick Jack has finished third in the past two runnings of the Cesarewitch at Newmarket and the 2015 Galway Hurdle winner (beat Max Dynamite) arrives here on the back of a recent comeback run at the Galway festival.
Sent off joint favourite for the Ebor 12 months ago, Quick Jack could never obtain a challenging position and 7lb claimer Oisin Orr won’t want to get too far adrift from a nice position in stall eight.
Stablemate Heartbreak City boasts winning course form and also enters calculations.
Of the home contingent, She Is A Lady should go well for the Ralph Beckett/Frankie Dettori combination, while easier underfoot conditions favour Old Newton Cup winner Tawdeea.
Battersea, wearing a first-time hood, provides a touch of class but wouldn’t want the ground to ease too much.
Well-touted Antiquarian and Seamour represent the Northumberland Plate form and Nakeeta’s excellent effort on Wednesday gives the race a very solid look.
In the opening 1m 2f handicap SNOANO (1.45) will appreciate any further rain and should go well at an each-way price.
Tim Easterby’s four-year-old beat Masterpaver on the Knavesmire earlier in the season and travelled like the winner for a long way in the Old Newton Cup (soft) before being swamped close home. Stall 16 is a worry but not insurmountable.
Sir Michael Stoute’s lightly-raced Stargazer won nicely at Sandown before running a cracker at Glorious Goodwood when third to You’re Hired and rates a big danger.
In the Group 3 Betfred-sponsored Strensall Stakes, the Stoute stable send out another improving three-year-old in the shape of the Queen’s filly DIPLOMA (2.15).
She was a course winner over a slightly longer trip last month, pulling more than three lengths clear of Fireglow, and that convincing triumph came on the back of a fine fifth in the Sandringham Handicap at Royal Ascot.
Scottish will help ensure a very honest gallop and he found one just too good in Royal Artillery at Haydock. His best form has come on faster ground so, again, a weather watch is advisable.
The royal silks are carried by Forth Bridge in the Betfred Melrose Stakes over the Ebor trip but the each-way recommendation is MASTER BLUEYES (2.50)
Alan King’s gelding finished only sixth in a blanket finish to the Qatar Handicap at Goodwood and that keenly-contested event may well hold the key as Stoute’s Shraaoh was pipped by Dal Harraild, with Jaameh (fourth), Emperor Napolean (fifth) and Wall of Fire (tenth).
In a rough race, Master Blueyes was one of the worst sufferers and he has form on soft ground.
BLUE POINT (3.25) will go off at shorter odds to land the Gimcrack Stakes for Charlie Appleby.
The Godolphin colt mopped up his first two starts, latterly by 11 lengths at Doncaster, but was turned over at odds-on by very smart Mehmas in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood. He is taken to restore his towering reputation in style.
Ardad thumped a big field in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot (soft) before flopping in the July Stakes at Newmarket. John Gosden’s juvenile finished stone-cold last but the horse which finished second-last, Yalta, bounced back with a scintillating success in the Molecomb at Goodwood. Ardad is the each-ay alternative.
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