With heavy showers due to hit the Knavesmire overnight and then a fairly dry forecast for the next few days, what we do know is that rattling fast ground is out of the equation.
Bearing the likely change in the going through the first two days, here are 5 value plays for Ebor week at York.
Several of the 22 entries for this 5f sprint have pretty good Knavesmire form and along with Ascot, of the Grade One tracks, that is a huge factor when assessing races at both courses.
The top weight has form figures here of 8th of 22 and 4th of nine, but it is the first of those races that points to his chance here.
That run was in this very race last year when he was beaten barely two lengths. The pertinent point was that he lost a shoe during the race which is a big negative in a sprint, when racing at more than 30mph and trying to grip the turf is hugely important.
Tarboosh was held up. well off the pace in rear that day and made eye-catching progress from two furlongs out before edging left (that lost shoe must have been the cause) inside the distance.
That run came off a mark of 104 when he had the likes of Arecibo (3rd), Watchable (5th) and Amomentofmadness (6th) ahead of him. Of that trio the first named is feared most off a 4lbs higher mark and that is further backed up by his strong finishing fifth to Lahore here two outings back. He is well worth a saver.
However, the selection is double his price and should outrun his huge odds as long as he manages to keep all four shoes intact this time around!
Indianapolis was very interesting here stepped up to two miles for the first time in his career after running with credit in the 1m 4f handicaps in the past two seasons, but if we do get some significant rain, his chance of seeing out the extra yardage could be compromised.
Summer Moon though has won on ground from good to firm to soft and won’t care what the unpredictable weather does in the next 24 hours.
He actually travelled like the best horse in the race in the 2m 4f Goodwood Handicap and just emptied out on the final climb to the line. He wasn’t suited by being the hare to follow at Sandown Park the time before.
His run when third in last year’s Cesarewitch off a 5lbs higher mark highlights his chance here and his sole run at York was a victory over 1m 4f last May, when he pummelled the likes of Laafy and stable mate Rochester House by four lengths and more. The last named, a could prove his biggest rival having finished second in that Goodwood lung-bursting contest.
This looks a particularly good renewal of this valuable sales event with Vintage Stakes runner-up Devious Company, Super Sprint Stakes winner and fourth Happy Romance and Tinochio (very unlucky) and the highly rated Doncaster maiden winner Uncle Jumbo set to line up.
However, this is a contest which normally throws up a big-priced placed horse – if not winner – and Kraken Power could fit the bill.
This fast son of The Last Lion has progressed on each of his four starts culminating in very fair seventh of 10 in the Vintage Stakes. That means he has some nine lengths to make-up on the Tom Dascombe trained runner-up, but doesn’t take into account his passage through that six furlong contest.
Sent off an unconsidered 80/1 shot, the youngster missed the break and raced in rear off what was hardly a break-neck gallop and then was very badly hampered on the apex of the turn half a mile form home. That incident not only lost him ground, but serious momentum. He managed to recover his balance but then was hampered again when not getting clear daylight at the quarter mile pole.
At that point his chance had gone and Danny Tudhope wasn’t overly hard on him merely nudging him out. I suspect he would have finished fourth or fifth with a clear run and based on that assessment would have been a deal shorter in the market for this and he merits and small each-way interest here.
FRIDAY 13:45 – FOX VARDY (now runs in Ebor on Saturday)
Another handicap with lots of strength in depth. At the time of writing the progressive pair Zabeel Champion and Look Closely head the market, but the former has an alternative engagement later in the week and the last named was all out to win at Ascot after having the run of the race up front that day.
The selection was beaten a length and a quarter in that Berkshire contest, but had nowhere to go at a crucial stage at the quarter mile pole and probably lost more ground than he was beaten by.
On the same terms there should be very little between the pair, but the other factor in his favour is that Cieren Fallon reported that his charge hung left handed throughout the contest and going this way around should suit him a whole lot better.
The other plus is that he has some very solid form at the track, a half a length off Mr Carpenter over the course and distance last month, when he ran too freely through the opening half mile and paid for those exertions close home when losing second in the shadows of the post.
Anything around double figure odds now would make him a value each-way play and again whatever the weather does shouldn’t inconvenience him.
Winner of this contest in 2019 following up his game success in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot that season, Lord Glitters was then promoted to Group One company at last year’s meeting when contesting the feature event, the International Stakes.
And considering he was nearly on his knees when the gate opened you could easily upgrade that four length sixth to Japan as he still had plenty of running in him at the finish.
You could argue that this is a much better race than the one he won two years ago, but he will come here for what I consider to be his peak run. He showed he retains all his ability with a fabulous third to the highly progressive Aspetar in the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes over slightly further last month and a faster pace at this trip probably suits him best with plenty of time to wind up down the long home stretch.
His York form of 163 is once again a massive bonus and all he needs is a solid pace to aim out down the straight and possibly a wee bit of dig in the turf which seems to suit him best.
At the time of writing there are 23 entered in this opening contest, but half the field have alternative entries and I suspect we could be lucky to get a double figure field so grab the 8/1 now as I fancy he could start a deal shorter come the day of the race.
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