Day 3 of the York Ebor meeting is dominated by two horses which, if they were dogs, would both be competing for the title of ‘Best In Show’.
Battaash contests the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at 3.35 and if the real Battaash turns up, the other 14 runners needn’t bother.
Probably the only way this outstanding sprinter can get beaten is if it loses it in the preliminaries, as, like all superstars, a highly strung temperament goes hand in hand with the precocious talent.
The bookmakers are taking no chances, with 4-6 the general price.
The other ‘unbeatable’ is Stradivarius, who contests the Group 2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes at 2.25.
This is the last race in the £1million bonus series, the first three of which have been pouched by Stradivarius and we can only hope that the insurance premium has been paid on time.
At 1-3 generally, this is clearly not a race to bet in and with the double only paying around 5-4, we can only recommend sitting and watching the main events.
The card kicks off with the Sky Bet Handicap at 1.55 and, to compensate for the lack of action later on, we’ll throw three darts at this 19 runner race – so up to the oche and game on!
Erik The Red finished third in this race last year and competes off a 2lb lower mark today. A promising ‘prep’ three weeks ago should have removed any cobwebs and this cunning plan should be backed each way at 12-1.
Second up is Karl Burke‘s runner, Kelly’s Dino, which has come back really well this year after missing more than two years with an injury. Still only five, KD won its latest race at Ascot with a deal in hand, beating today’s favourite First Nation in the process and, with the ‘go to man’ Ben Curtis up top, this is also an each way bet, again at 12-1.
We complete our 180 attempt with an each way punt on Mister Belvedere at 20-1. Mickey Dods‘ inmate has run its two best races over this course and distance, winning one and finishing second in the other. With the excellent Paula Muir still able to claim her five, this consistent 4-y-o is weighted to go close.
The other Group race on the card is the Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes, a Group 2 for the youngsters.
Favourite for this is the unbeaten Space Traveller, which comes firmly into the ‘could be anything’ category and is trained by last year’s winning trainer Richard Fahey. Winning a Class 4 at Hamilton, however, is a whole different cauldron of tench from today’s race and we prefer the chances of Shine So Bright, now trained by Andrew Balding. Already placed at this level and on just his second start for the yard, at 4-1 we recommend an ‘insured’ each way bet.
The card ends with the Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap at 4.50 and’ provided it’s not rusty after 27 days off, Corrosive will win it.
Have an each way lash at 7-1.
Back tomorrow to explain why the favourite can’t win the Ebor.
Erik The Red 1.55 York e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)
Kelly’s Dino 1.55 York e/w @ 12-1 (5 places)
Mister Belvedere 1.55 York e/w @ 20-1 (5 places)
Shine So Bright 3.00 York e/w @ 4-1
Corrosive 4.50 York e/w @ 7-1 (5 places)