Two down, two to go. That’s what’s left at the York Ebor festival for 2020 which means there’s still plenty of time to take some hard earned off Paddy. Oh yes.
Let’s get straight to it, and see what damage we can do.
We start with a handicap over 1m 4f. This is so open but Zabeel Champion sets a decent standard with two wins over Newmarket’s Rowley and July courses before arguably putting in a career best at Goodwood last time when second to Junkanoo over 10f. The step up to 12f should suit and with his ability to handle all types of ground, he should go close in the opener.
Now into Group 2 company with the Lonsdale Cup over an extended 2m which, of course, has been dominated by Stradivarius in recent times but not this year. NAYEF ROAD is a pretty decent stayer and will make it hard for Enbihaar to get past. The Ascot Gold Cup runner-up was also a decent second in the Goodwood Cup and when Stradivarius is not around clearly has a chance as he showed at Newcastle when winning the Sagaro Stakes. Mark Johnston trains and Andrea Atzeni is on top.
Another Group 2, this time for the youngsters with the Gimcrack Stakes over 6f. A competitive heat. YAZAMAN was no match for Supremacy in the Richmond at Goodwood but will be hard to keep out the frame here. I think he’s better than the Goodwood run in any case and this might track might help him. Should have each-way claims for William Haggas and Tom Marquand.
Now the big one of the day, the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes over 5f and obviously Battaash should win. But I am happy to have a few quid on A’ALI each-way who has been much improved recently having been a good youngster. In a field with a good each-way look to it, the Simon and Ed Crisford runner will come from off the pace and will finish off well under William Buick.
Charlie Appleby’s charge showed plenty on his first run at Newmarket when third on soft ground. He was then all the rage to get his head in front at Ascot last month over 7f. The ground was good to firm that day and he didn’t appear to Let himself down on it and also ran too free early on.
The ground won’t be anywhere near as rattling fast on the Knavesmire on Friday and with those two runs under his belt, he can finally deliver for Team Godolphin.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
Matt Chapman’s Friday tips for the Ebor Festival at York
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