The Ebor Festival at York wraps up on Saturday, headlined by the feature of the Carnival, the Ebor Handicap (2787m), with the race being a guide towards the Melbourne Cup.
Race 1. (22:50) Strensall Stakes 1770m
I’m banking on a rain affected track, because that’s a main reason why I have 9 Miss O’Connor (Bet Now: $11.00) on top. Kicked off her career with four wins prior to resuming at Ascot over the mile where she found firm ground and wasn’t really as effective when midfield behind Lady Bowthorpe. If we get wet ground, she’s the one to beat.
5 Lord Glitters (Bet Now: $3.75) is an absolute beauty. Queen Anne winner from last year that has been strong in two runs back from a spell, the latest coming in the York Stakes over 2000m here when a game third to the in form Aspetar, beaten two lengths. Like him back in trip, hard fit now and has the runs on the board.
3 Dark Vision (Bet Now: $6.00) is heading in the right direction. Won the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot and has since gone on to win at Listed level at Pontefract, beating home Beringer. He is holding his form really well this guy and handles track with some give in it, but not too much, so the weather is vital to his chances.
Race 2. (23:25) Melrose Hcp 2800m
Good race this with several runners looking to press for a St Leger berth. I think there’s good value about 12 Coltrane (Bet Now: $11.00) for the Andrew Balding stable with Oisin Murphy to steer. Took care of an average lot two back at Chepstow but backed it up with a sharp win at Newmarket over 2800m, showing good change up speed when asked by Buick. He’s heading in the right direction and double figures looks more than acceptable.
9 Favourite Moon (Bet Now: $3.75) looks one of the hardest to beat. William Haggas trained three year old that was good first up at Doncaster before going to Haydock where he had a really good battle with Subjectivist but pulled clear late and won well. Gets the claim for Fallon and the form around him does read well for this.
8 A Star Above (Bet Now: $12.00) is a stablemate of Favourite Moon and noteworthy that Tom Marquand rides this guy and not the other. He won on this guy two back at Leicester before Hollie Doyle got aboard at Goodwood and just missed out on the win when a narrow second to Mambo Nights. Trip is no issue, hard fit and in form.
Race 3. (00:00) City of York Stks 1400m
The safe option here looks to be 7 One Master (Bet Now: $2.75). William Haggas trained mare who is a multiple Group l winner so she has the runs on the board and is in form having won the Oak Tree at Goodwood last time out, with Marquand really lifting her late to win. Loves a track with give in it and she finds a winnable race.
4 Safe Voyage (Bet Now: $6.00) can bounce back here for sure. Impressive winner two back at Epsom, strong through the line, prior to racing at Goodwood in a Group ll where he was somewhat unlucky, but was never beating Space Blues, who has since won a Group l, so think the form reads very well and he can bounce back hard.
This time last year, 1 Beat Le Bon (Bet Now: $15.00) was winning races and potentially on a path towards Group l glory, but her form had sort of tapered away. Thought her effort a couple of weeks back at Salisbury when second to Regal Reality was very good give she bombed the start. With a clean getaway, she’s in the mix.
Race 4. (00:40) Ebor Handicap 2800m
Guarantee whoever wins this will be purchased for the Melbourne Cup, if not purchased already. Despite 20+ runners and how open this race traditionally is, if the track isn’t too bad, I think 4 Fujaira Prince (Bet Now: $5.50) is a good thing. Has had his issues given he is six years old and this is only start eight, but you can see why they have been patient because really, his win at Royal Ascot in the Copper Horse was second to Stradivarius as the most arrogant win of the Carnival. Just has to reproduce that to win again.
8 Pondus (Bet Now: $9.50) has the Team Williams colours and will be looking to cement his ticket on the plane for a crack at the Cup. Lapped up the heavy conditions to win two back before going to Leopardstown for a Group lll and I thought overall, he was a touch disappointing. If we have a genuine wet track, he comes right into play as a key threat.
The best version of 6 True Self (Bet Now: $12.00) is capable. Won the Queen Elizabeth at Flemington last year after narrowly missing out on a Melbourne Cup start, where I’m sure she would have been competitive. Her two runs back from a break have been fair, but the stable should always be respected in these kind of races, and we know how good she can be.
Race 5. (01:10) Roses Stakes 1000m
1 Acklam Express (Bet Now: $3.75) can continue his winning ways. Impressive winner at Hamilton Park before going to Goodwood where he was backed late and the punters got it spot on as he gave his rivals, some decent rivals, a spanking. I think there’s more to come from him and provided he handles soft ground, he’ll take a power of beating.
2 Ben Macdui (Bet Now: $4.20) hasn’t done much wrong in two career outings. Strong winner on debut at Hamilton Park before racing over 1000m at Goodwood where he led, fought hard, but was bloused late by a potential Group l horse, Steel Bull. The form reads well, but his overall time was some six/seven lengths slower than Acklam Express.
3 Lauded (Bet Now: $6.00) needs to improve but if so, can be a knockout chance at odds. Impressive debut winner at Haydock before being far from disgraced in the Coventry at Royal Ascot. Went then to the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood and I thought he was a definite pass mark behind Supremacy. Not sure he wins, but a must for multiples.
Race 6. (01:40) Sky Bet Hcp 2060m
4 Sinjaari (Bet Now: $3.75) gets the nod. William Haggas trained gelding with Tom Marquand to steer. Not sure what he beat first up at this track/distance, but gee there was a bit of class and quality about the way he put them away, like a really good horse. Has to confirm that thought process by winning again but think he can.
5 Maydanny (Bet Now: $4.75) is a key threat. Son of Dubawi that comes here off the back of an absolute spank job of his rivals at Goodwood, winning by over five lengths and running solid time relative to the meeting. Led throughout as well, adding more merit to the performance. Jim Crowley aboard, gate one, likeable.
15 Silver Dust (Bet Now: $34.00) is the best of the lightweight chances. Put together a couple of nice wins prior to racing over at Thirsk where he did a pretty good job I thought when rising in weight, finishing fourth. Tumbles down to 51.5kg for this, hard fit, in form and he loves a track with give in it. Knockout chance at odds.
Race 7. (02:10) Apprentice Hcp 1000m
7 Sampers Seven (Bet Now: $6.00) will make sure this is a truly run five furlongs. She has got super early toe and will likely lead this field up, which is what she did last time out at this track/distance, showing good sustained speed to win by three in solid time relative to the meeting. Harder here, but she’s got the right racing pattern.
2 Meraas (Bet Now: $3.75) draws the right part of the track to bounce back into winning form. Impressive win two back at Hamilton Park before going to Goodwood where he wanted to wander about under pressure so he had excuses, albeit his own doing. Can see him sitting off the fast speed, getting towards the outside fence and launching late.
5 Illusionist (Bet Now: $23.00) is the one that interests me at a price. Grant Tuer trains this colt, who hasn’t raced since finishing down the track at Newmarket in late July, but since that run, he’s had a wind operation, so connections have identified something amiss and hopefully it’s worked. His best is good enough to be competitive.
Best Bets & Quaddie Tips
BEST BET: Race Four Number 4 Fujaira Prince
NEXT BEST: Race Five Number 1 Acklan Express
LONG SHOT: Race Two Number 12 Coltraine
All odds are subject to change. Odds listed are correct at the time of the latest update.
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