Final day of the York Ebor meeting takes place today, with the eponymous race the feature at 3.40.
20 runners go to post for the ‘big ‘un’, worth a paltry £311,250 to the winner and the short priced favourite is the Willie Mullins trained Stratum at 7-2.
This 5-y-o was last seen running away with the JLT Cup at Newbury, for which it has been raised 8lbs and thus scrambles into this race with bottom weight. Now for the killer statistic: only one horse in the past 20 years has won this race from a single figure draw and that was a 50-1 rag with a rush of blood. Stratum is drawn in Trap 4.
Although statistics are there to be shot at, we will oppose with three (hopefully) well-aimed darts, starting with Mr Mullins‘ other runner Whiskey Sour.
Also a 5-y-o, this horse finished just behind Stratum in the Ascot Stakes in June and it’s safe to say that Monsieur Soumillon did not have his finest hour that day, so, with a 7lb pull, we rate this a cracking each way bet at 13-2.
Maintaining our Oirish theme, our second pick is Jarlath Fahey‘s representative Sea The Lion, which is available at 16-1. This 7-y-o has taken on a new lease of life this season, winning all three handicaps contested and never seemingly knowing when it’s beaten. Those races were over 12 furlongs, but it is proven at this trip and can acquit itself with honour this afternoon.
For our third pick we go for the hero of last year, Nakeeta, each way at 11-1.
After landing our selection, Nakeeta went on to run an admirable 5th in the Melbourne Cup before having a very well-earned rest. Brought forward perfectly with a view to today, our hero is 5lbs better off with Stratum than when fifth at Newbury and will surely be there or thereabouts at the business end.
The card starts at 1.50 with the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes, which represents the best chance so far for the consistent and very likeable Lord Glitters to garner a Group race.
This 5-y-o has gone close to taking a Group 1 twice already this season and the drop to Group 3, together with an extra furlong should do the trick. Whack into it at 2-1.
At 2.25 is the Sky Bet Melrose Handicap, for 3-y-os over 14 furlongs and this looks wide open at 5-1 the field. With just about all 16 runners in with a shout, we suggest each way bets on two, namely Mekong at 8-1 and Lucky Deal at a somewhat juicy 28-1.
There is one other Group race on the card at 3.00, which is the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes over seven furlongs and it’s very hard to look beyond the favourite Expert Eye, which should be backed to win at 6-5.
There is probably only one rival which can give our selection a run for the hard-earned, so we recommend a reverse forecast with Suedois.
Have a good day, folks.
Whiskey Sour 3.40 York e/w @ 13-2 (6 places)
Sea The Lion 3.40 York e/w @ 16-1 (6 places)
Nakeeta 3.40 York e/w @ 11-1 (6 places)
Lord Glitters 1.50 York win @ 2-1
Mekong 2.25 York e/w @ 8-1
Lucky Deal 2.25 York e/w @ 28-1
Expert Eye 3.00 York win @ 6-5