Day Two of the York Ebor meeting, designated as ‘Laydees Day’, which usually means it will hose it down from start to finish, leading to silly hats looking even sillier.
However, the Weather Gods are in a benign mood, so perfect racing ground is the order of the day.
Centrepiece of the card is the Darley Yorkshire Oaks at 3.35, a Group 1 of sheer quality. Favourite for this race is the William Haggas trained Sea Of Class, fresh from a victory in the Darley Irish Oaks, which she took by a neck under a confident ride by Popeye Doyle, who is again on board today.
This is the best form on offer and we have no hesitation in recommending a win bet at 11-8.
In case something goes wrong, however, we also recommend an each way bet on Eziyra at 10-1. This Dermot Weld trained 4-y-o came back from a year’s absence to take a Leopardstown Group 3 as easy as you like two weeks ago and looks well up to this class.
Proceedings kick off with the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at 1.55, a Group 2 contest over 6f. The market has it as a match between old protagonists Angel’s Hideaway and Fairyland and we prefer the former. John Gosden‘s filly has improved a lot since finishing just behind Fairyland at Royal Ascot, filling second spot behind subsequent Group 1 winner Pretty Polyanna and then taking the Group 3 Keeneland Stakes at Ascot by a comfortable margin. With the Mad Italian back on board, we suggest a win bet at 2-1.
The Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes, worth nearly 150 grand to the winner has attracted a big field of 20 and, although these races are fraught with danger, we recommend an ultra cautious each way bet on the Group 1 entered Masaru at 4-1. The form of this Richard Hannon trained son of Lethal Force‘s maiden win has worked out a treat and the trainer has won the last two runnings of this race – so what’s not to like.
And so to the Clipper Logistics Handicap at 3.00.
19 contest this mile affair, in the absence of likely favourite Seniority, and our idea of the winner is one of David O’Meara‘s runners, Firmament.
This 6-y-o won this very race in 2016 and was third in it last year off a mark of 109. Since then, it has been plying its trade in top handicaps, performing with honour but without winning, so that it lines up today off a rating of 98. Hard to say that this has been the plan, but easy to say that it’s very well handicapped, so get on each way at 11-2.
A glance at the race card will give regular readers a big clue what’s coming next.
We must give another chance, in this race, to good old Hors De Combat. Have faith, dear people, it will come good one day and, in case it’s today, we recommend an each way bet at 22-1.
Back tomorrow to talk about Battaash.
Sea Of Class 3.35 York win @ 11-8
Eziyra 3.35 York e/w @ 10-1
Angel’s Hideaway 1.55 York win @ 2-1
Mazaru 2.25 York e/w @ 4-1 (4 places)
Firmament 3.00 York e/w @ 11-2 (5 places)
Hors De Combat 3.00 York e/w @ 22-1 (5 places)