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Day 3 of the York Ebor meeting gets under way here with a handicap over 1m 4f. We got a huge field for this and a tough one to sort out. STATE OF BLISS is a youngster against seasoned handicappers, but he stepped up to this trip in style at Ascot last time and Nicola Currie keeps the ride for Mark Johnston.
A weight of 8st 4lb is very attractive and he’s lightly raced for the Middleham handler, so should have more to offer. Draw 18 is not ideal, but they often come down the middle of the track on the round course which would help.
A Group 2 here with the Lonsdale Cup over an extended 2m. Some have given up on STRADIVARIUS, but not me. There have been plenty of decent reasons why the John Gosden runner has not come up to scratch in recent times and even despite that, he hasn’t always been disgraced. The former multiple Gold Cup hero has a chance to bounce back here for Frankie Dettori in conditions, which should be perfect.
This is the Group 2 Gimcrack for juveniles over 6 furlongs. BERKSHIRE SHADOW never seemed happy on soft ground at Goodwood last time, and I will give him another chance for Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy. The Royal Ascot Coventry Stakes winner still have more to offer and might be good enough to see off Lusail and Pat Dobbs. One thing for sure is my selection will be running right to the line.
Now the feature of the day, the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes over 5 furlongs and it might just be the day for DRAGON SYMBOL. The disqualified Commonwealth Cup hero has since been second in the July Cup and runner-up to Suesa at Goodwood where a slow start did not help.
I’d hope Oisin Murphy gets the Archie Watson challenger out quicker here and he is a great each-way bet. After a fair start I want him just tucked in behind a furious pace and pounce late.
So best of luck and pray for Yeeehaaas. You hear me Paddy?
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