So, we’ve made it. The final day of the York Ebor Festival where the big handicap very much takes centre stage on the betting front.
On ITV Racing it’s not just about York either, with four races chucked in from Sandown as well.
Let’s get straight to it and try find some winners:
Class straight away with a Group 3 over 1m 1f. It’s some time since ZABEEL PRINCE beat Study of Man in the Group 1 Prix d’Ispahan and he’s not as good as that effort suggests.
However, he still retains some ability and is a decent each-way bet here against Lord Glitters. Trained by Roger Varian and ridden by Andrea Atzeni, Zabeel Prince will be spot on now after a spin at Leopardstown in July.
Now a competitive handicap with the Melrose over 1m 6f. There is a good chance BODYLINE has been crying out for this trip and he can improve to land this for Sir Mark Prescott and the sniper Luke Morris.
My selection has been second a couple of times this term, but it was his effort at Royal Ascot which suggested this trip might be what he needs.
A Group 2 here with the City of York Stakes over 7 furlongs. ONE MASTER did this column a favour last time and is a class act at this trip. She overcame trouble in running to score at Goodwood and this distance is absolutely perfect for her and not for many others.
William Haggas and Tom Marquand team up once again.
Now the big one, the Ebor, a handicap over 1m 6f. Class hurdler VERDANA BLUE was unlucky not to land the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting and can make amends here under Ryan Moore for Nicky Henderson.
She’s not chucked in under 9st 2lb, but she’s used to carrying weight over hurdles and the ground, trip and strong pace will suit her well. She’s no ordinary eight-year-old.
Lastly at York, it’s a Listed race over 5 furlongs for the two-year-olds. BEN MACDUI won well on debut at Hamilton and even better in defeat at Goodwood behind Steel Bull in the Molecomb.
Many of these are open to improvement, but he’s got every chance of being good enough.
We have a handicap here over 1m 2f. COZONE has gone up 5lb for a recent success at this track, but he’s open to more improvement and has every chance in a tough heat.
The Amanda Perrett-trained gelding stayed on really well last time and Martin Dwyer is on top, so that’s another plus.
In handicap company once again over 1m this time. I tipped up BAROSSA RED each-way when placed the other day at Newbury and any rain that falls will help him.
He’s got a good draw for a horse who might well try and lead, and Andrew Balding and David Probert form a strong combination.
A similar type of event here with a handicap over 1m, but this time for three-year-olds only and wow, this is open.
Kingman colt RAAEQ might be a class apart here on seasonal debut. He scored nicely at Newbury last term and can race here under Dwyer off a mark of 89. Another with a good draw.
And finally at Sandown, it’s a handicap for fillies over 7 furlongs. DREAM WORLD is not the best drawn but has conditions to suit.
Trained by Mick Appleby and ridden by Alistair Rawlinson, my selection was a good third at Newbury towards the end of last year off a mark of 73 and is on 68 here.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
* Prices on our snazzy new bet widget are bang up to date.
13:50 York – Zabeel Prince
14:25 York – Bodyline
15:00 York – One Master
15:40 York – Verdana Blue
16:10 York – Ben Macdui
14:05 Sandown – Cozone
14:40 Sandown – Barossa Red
15:15 Sandown – Raaeq
15:55 Sandown – Dream World
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