After failing to improve on her debut second, Mamba Wamba seemed to benefit from a break as she got back on the up at this venue last time, finishing a very close fourth in listed company and arguably unlucky not to have done even better, not getting the rub of the green late on. She got going again near the line in a manner that suggests she might have won with a clear run, and she is a confident selection to make amends now dropped in grade.
Kingbrook didn’t look the easiest juvenile to train, despite his hard-fought victory at Ascot last July, but he shaped encouragingly on his first outing for Ian Williams at Sandown last time, not yet looking the finished article but finishing a good third in a good-looking handicap. There is more to come from him if he can be kept on track and he could be worth chancing in what appeals as a wide-open contest.
Dakota Gold won five of his seven races last season, including twice at listed level, and though he made a low-key start to 2020, he has looked back in good form on his two most recent starts. He ran with plenty of promise when seventh in the Great St Wilfred at Ripon last month, and he built on that to regain the wining thread at Beverley 11 days on, looking at least as good as ever with a typically game front-running display. He is now a three-time winner at listed level and another bold bid looks likely.
Athers made appeal on pedigree ahead of his debut at Doncaster in July and he duly offered something to work on, held back by inexperience but keeping on for third under considerate handling. That form is starting to work out as well, with the fourth home going in since, and a few others also showing improvement next time out. Athers is open to improvement himself and is taken to make his experience count against a field made up mostly of newcomers.
Stepped back up to two miles for the first time this season, Sassie ran better than she has done for a while when fourth at Redcar last month. She finished behind the reopposing Frankenstella on that occasion, but she wasn’t given a hard time of things, and considering she has won on soft ground over this course and distance in the past, she could be worth chancing to reverse the placings.
Royal Context progressed again when second on his reappearance at Haydock in June, making a good go of things on his first foray into handicap company, and he went one better over the same course and distance a month on, coping well with the testing conditions to get the better of a subsequent winner. He is a likeable sprinter with a good strike rate (never having finished outside the frame) and he looks up to winning more races despite a 5 lb rise in the weights.
Firlinfeu caught the eye despite being left poorly placed over shorter than his optimum distance at Doncaster on his penultimate start, ultimately managing only seventh, but he made amends for that as he ended a long losing sequence at Ayr last time, traveling well and looking as good as ever as he put five lengths between himself and the rest of the field. That was an impressive performance and he makes plenty of appeal under a penalty.
Timeform’s tips for York on Sunday
- Grab racing previews from the UK, Ireland and the rest of the globe here
- Placing bets is easier than ever with Paddy Power News’ live odds banners
- Horse Racing tips: Our traders reveal their NAPs for the weekend’s action