York races: Paddy Power’s 4 best backed antepost bets on eve of 2020 festival

We've got four days of top-class racing ahead, and here's who Paddy's punters like the look of.



Wednesday, 3.15pm – Juddmonte International Stakes: Magical

Punters are relying upon Cashel conjurer Aidan O’Brien to work his spell with Magical in the opening day’s feature contest and the five-year-old has been smashed into 100-30 from as big as 11-2.

The Galileo mare had been booked for a date with No Nay Never, but connections decided to keep her in training instead and his misfortune has been racing fans’ gain as she hasn’t been extended in landing two top-class contests already this term in the Pretty Polly Stakes and the Tattersalls Gold Cup both at The Curragh.

Two different pilots in Seamie Heffernan and Wayne Lordan were gushing in their praise for one of the best mares in training after she brushed aside Cayenne Pepper, subsequently runner-up in the Irish Oaks, and Sir Dragonet, last year’s Derby favourite, in those two races.

The champion trainer has stated that she’s a better mare this year which could be a concern for backers of favourite Ghaiyyath.

Friday, 3.15pm – Nunthorpe Stakes: Art Power

Those shrewd punters who managed to back local trainer Tim Easterby’s Art Power at 12-1 must be highly delighted that their fancy is now 3-1, although he does still have the small task of lowering the colours of sprinting sensation Battaash.

However, when Easterby bigs a horse up, he is more often right than wrong and he has described this son of Dark Angel as ‘a proper horse’.

Horseracing is always a simple game in hindsight and he must have been some certainty when justifying favouritism by three and a half lengths in the Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap off a mark of 97 at Royal Ascot.

His transition to Group company was no problem last time when he scooped a Group 3 at Naas by two and a half lengths to Millisle, who returned to the same venue to win in the same class next time. It’ll be some craic if Battaash and Art Power are neck and neck at the furlong pole.


Saturday, 3.40pm – Ebor Handicap: Fujaira Prince

 Make no mistake this race is a big deal in these parts and local trainers will be desperate to repel the challenge of Suffolk sorcerer Roger Varian’s Fujaira Prince who is into 7-1 favourite from 11-1.

This does have the smell of a real plot as the Pivotal gelding has not been seen in public since an unchallenged victory in the Copper Horse Handicap at Royal Ascot, where Selino was a long-looking three and three-quarter lengths adrift.

The six-year-old had looked a canny horse when third behind Baghdad in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at the same royal extravaganza a year before, but the additional two furlongs looks to have brought out the very best of him last time.

Fair play to Varian, who looks to have extracted every ounce of his tutor Michael Jarvis’s, known as the professionals’ professional, shrewdness, as once a horse wins over this sort of trip, you have to aim at the Ebor because of its sheer value.

Saturday, 3.40pm – Ebor Handicap: Trueshan

Unsurprisingly for a handicap of this nature, Fujaira Prince is unlikely to have things all his own way and there has also been plenty of support for Wiltshire wizard Alan King’s Trueshan who is an 8-1 poke from 10-1.

You probably need a Group horse to score here and this four-year-old is not far off after landing a Listed heat at Haydock last month, when he showed his grit by getting the better of a sustained duel with runner-up Alignak by a wafer-thin margin.

But one piece of his form jumps out at you – he mastered Hamish, who himself was ante-post favourite for this contest before suffering a setback, by a neck in a conditions race at Newbury last October over just short of the Ebor trip.

The runner-up went on to finish fourth in this year’s Group 2 Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, only beaten four and three-quarter lengths, so this fellow must be pretty decent.

Paddy’s 4 best backed for York

Wednesday, 3.15pm – Juddmonte International Stakes: Magical

Friday, 3.15pm – Nunthorpe Stakes: Art Power

Saturday, 3.40pm – Ebor Handicap: Fujaira Prince

Saturday, 3.40pm – Ebor Handicap: Trueshan

Don’t Miss

Timeform’s 4 ‘horses for courses’ to follow at York
4 top handicappers to follow at York this week
ITV’S Matt Chapman delivers his best bets for Wednesday


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