Welcome to York for the four day Ebor Meeting, which kicks off today with three Group races and three fierce-looking handicaps in a six race card.
As per, the feature race is at 3.35, when the Juddmonte International Stakes takes place over 10 and a bit furlongs with a field of seven. Worthy favourite for this is the very likeable Barney Roy at 3-1 and we start our betting portfolio with a decent bet on this Richard Hannon trained 3-y-o.
‘Barney’ is a little unfortunate not to be unbeaten in his five races thus far, having won three and finishing second in the others, both behind rivals who re-oppose today. Runner-up to Churchill in the 2000 Guineas after a troubled passage he just failed to rally sufficiently to defeat Ulysses in the Coral-Eclipse last time out, which, although he didn’t win, proved his stamina for this afternoon’s trip.
Both Newmarket and Sandown would not be the ideal venues for this long-striding colt but York should be ideal and we confidently expect a winning performance under usual pilot (and greatest fan) James Doyle.
At 3.00 the Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes (Group 2) over a mile and a half sees eight three year olds fighting it out for close to a hundred grand and the favourite is the john Gosden trained Cracksman, who just failed to land the Irish Derby on July 1st. Prepared for this race ever since, Cracksman really should win, but there is little mileage in a best price of 10-11, so, regrettably, we’ll sit this one out.
The Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes at 2.25 is the other main race on the card and punters will be fastening their seat belts and preparing for take-off with the re-appearance of Mark Johnston’s exciting Dee Ex Bee. Named after the Identification Code for Dubai International Airport, expect this colt to fly out of the stalls and run(a)way with the race.
(‘Please, no more airport puns’ Ed.)
Dee Ex Bee looked a very serious horse on debut at Goodwood and is probably Group 1 class, so we recommend a win bet at 2-1.
Lovers of collateral form will be all over a ‘rag’ in this race and we are going to suggest a small each way investment on Zaaki at 18-1. This unfashionably bred, unfashionably trained youngster finished a close fifth in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket last time out on only his second racecourse appearance, just behind the 106 rated Zaman, and Zaman would probably be second favourite for this if he were in the field.
No need to go mad, but throw a few quid at it each way.
Of the three handicaps, only one merits serious consideration and that’s the Fine equinITy Handicap (their spelling, not mine) at 4.15, run over two miles (and a bit).
Two of the 16 runners catch the eye, so we recommend an each way bet on Platitude at 8-1 and Edge Of Sanity at 16-1.
The Sir Michael Stoute trained Platitude looks to be crying out for this step up in trip, while Edge Of Sanity actually won this race in 2014 off a mark of 96. That might seem a long time ago, but this 8-y-o has only had three races since, including its comeback and debut for Iain Jardine last month, when a close third over course and distance. Off 93 today, bar the bounce, Paul Hanagan could have an interesting ride.
The sprints that top and tail the card are too iffy to recommend anything serious, but, if you must, then Soie D’Leau at 16-1 in the 1.55 and Green Fortune at 6-1 in the last may help to scratch the itch.
Barney Roy 3.35 win @ 3-1
Dee Ex Bee 2.25 win @ 2-1
Zaaki 2.25 e/w @ 18-1
Platitude 4.15 e/w @ 8-1
Edge Of Sanity 4.15 e/w @ 16-1