Favourite Moon is a deserving favourite here, but I think BODYLINE is the each-way play against him – with Paddy offering the extra place as a bonus.
A rare juvenile winner for Mark Prescott, he started off in handicaps this season at Yarmouth off a mark of 82 and was a staying on second that day over 10 furlongs.
Upped to a mile and a half for the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, he got anything but a clear run when beaten under four lengths in sixth that day. The form of that race has worked out tremendously well:
- The first Hukum won the Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes on next start
- The third Subjectivist won a Hamilton Listed event and was third in a Goodwood Group 3 Gordon Stakes
- The fifth Arthurian Fable won two starts later in a decent Sandown handicap
- The seventh Win O Clock won next time at Leicester
- The 13th To Nathaniel won a decent Newmarket handicap two starts later
Bodyline only went up 2lbs for the run and I reckon you can forgive he last run at Newmarket, which was a four-runner tactical affair.
The return to a big field handicap should ensure a decent gallop and the step up in trip is sure to suit. He has also been gelded since Newmarket and he could prove to be ready to realise his full potential now.
The Ebor is always one of the best handicaps of the season and this year’s renewal looks particularly strong.
A case can be made for many, but I am going to side with GHOSTWATCH for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin. A really progressive three-year-old in 2018, he won over course and distance when landing the Melrose Handicap and that looked a decent renewal with the likes of Proschema, Mekong, Corgi and Making Miracles all behind that day.
He finished that season with a Listed win at Ascot where he again had Mekong behind and also included Enbihaar among the horses he defeated that day. He missed all of last season but after a disappointing return, he bounced back to form when just touched off at Newmarket by Cape Coast. That race has worked out reasonably well already with the fourth horse Reshound winning next time at Newbury and the fifth Sam Cooke being beaten a nose on his next start.
Ghostwatch was a beaten favourite at Listed level in Deauville last time, but those French races can be run at an uneven tempo and the return to a strongly run handicap will really play to his strengths.
He is 3lbs higher than Newmarket. With Paddy paying six places, he makes plenty of each-way appeal.
NELSON GAY was well touted before his debut at Yarmouth back the beginning of June and went off just 6/4 to make a winning debut. At the time connections would have been a bit disappointed with his third place finish, but he was beaten by The Lir Jet who broke the course record that day and then followed up when winning the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Nelson Gay found that Norfolk too hot to handle, but he did run well stepped up to 6 furlongs on his third start when third behind Cairn Gorm at Newbury. He was getting 10lbs off the winner that day, but the winner has gone on to win a Group 3 in France since and the second has bolted up also.
He had a crack at the Super Sprint at Newbury on his last start and was not disgraced in sixth behind Happy Romance, who has gone on to land a valuable sales race at York this week.
Our selection appeared to find the five furlongs too sharp for him that day, so the return to 6 furlongs here should suit and he looks to be starting off in handicaps off a very fair mark of 75 here.
Jessica Harrington has some smart juveniles this season, with Lucky Vega probably her leading light so far. However, CADILLAC could well the one that could be a real star based on his impressive debut at Leopardstown when winning by nine lengths.
The clock backed up what the eyes were seeing and the fact that the second Ebeko won next time out, only increases confidence in the potential of Cadillac. This is a big step up in grade, but the clock says that he should be capable of it and while he is yet to race on soft ground, the fact that he is by Lope De Vega suggests he should have little difficulty in handling it.
An impressive victory here could see Cadillac become a relatively short price favourite for next year’s 2,000 Guineas.
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