………..or you might miss the highlight of Day 3 of the York Ebor meeting when, at 3.35 two of the fastest horses in training go head to head in the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes over 5f.
The bookmakers are unable to split Lady Aurelia and Battaash in the market and these two 3-y-os are bracketed together at 13-8. After that it’s double figures bar and for win purposes, that’s probably fair enough.
As for a bet, this does seem to be the epitome of the ‘yer pays yer money and yer takes yer chance’ epithet as even what little collateral form lines that exist do not favour either horse. Sometimes races come along in which there is no need to bet – watch and enjoy.
The Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes over 2 miles takes place at 2.25 and we make no apology for suggesting, for the third and probably last time (promise) an each way bet on Sheikhzayedroad at 8-1. Things just haven’t panned out in the two Group 1 contests Shakey has contested this season, although the gelding has run honourably in defeat. Today should be easier and, on a course he has already chalked up a victory, a last chance saloon bet could pay off.
The other Group race on the card is the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes at 3.00 and this 7f Group 3 event has attracted no less than 19 runners. Our main selection for this race is the David O’Meara trained 6-y-o Suedois, each way at 15-2 (4 places).
Suedois hasn’t won since 2015, but has been plying its trade at the highest level and achieving a handful of placings in Group 1 company. It’s latest run was an unlucky third in the Group 2 Qatar Lennox Stakes at Goodwood and a repeat of that, hopefully with more luck in running, will see it go very close this afternoon.
We also recommend a small ‘just in case’ e/w bet on the 3-y-o Talaayeb at 10-1. This filly finished a close 4th in the Guineas and was sent off at 4-7 next time out in a Listed contest at Newbury. That race was over 10 furlongs and Talaayeb stopped as if shot at around a mile, with the official reason given that ‘she didn’t stay’. While we are not 100% convinced about that, Owen Burrows’ yard is in fine form and the filly has had ‘the break that refreshes’, so best to cover our rear end, eh?
Today’s festivities start with the usual ‘impossible’ handicap, the snappily named Sky Bet First Race Special Handicap, with 14 runners standing their ground as we write.
Two against the field is the way we suggest here, with the first selection Speedo Boy, e/w @ 10-1. Since coming over from France (Listed race winner in March) this 3-y-o gelding has run three sound races over 10 furlongs, each time looking as if a step up to today’s 12 will be ideal. We will find out later, with SDS making a belated appearance at the meeting.
Our other pick for this race is the Ed Dunlop trained Amazing Red, also available (e/w) at 10-1. This gelding improved markedly for becoming a gelding last time out when taking a Newmarket handicap over today’s trip. Up 4lbs, but this 4-y-o has had only 6 races in its life and is (hopefully) on the big improve.
The 4.15 is a Maiden race worth an astonishing £43,575 to the winner and, not surprisingly, has attracted a field of 19 2-y-os. Clearly this is a total minefield, but anyone who witnessed the racecourse debut of Capital Flight, when he finished third at Glorious Goodwood will know that the award for ‘unluckiest loser’ is as good as his, so we are going to recommend an each way investment at 9-2 and hope that ‘Frank’ can guide this Group 2 entered colt to a deserved victory.
The final race, you may be relieved to know, is all yours.
Speedo Boy 1.55 e/w @ 10-1
Amazing Red 1.55 e/w @ 10-1
Sheikhzayedroad 2.25 e/w @ 8-1
Suedois 3.00 e/w @ 15-2
Talaayeb 3.00 e/w @ 10-1
Capital Flight 4.15 e/w @ 9-2