Final day of the York Ebor meeting should take place in glorious sunshine, with all roads leading to the race itself at 3.40.
Before we cover that, however, some information about yesterday. To be honest, we were convinced we had the first race well and truly sussed with our two selections Mandarin and Indianapolis, only for them to finish 13th and 8th respectively. Having spent the evening doubting our previously proven ability to work out these fiendish handicaps all was revealed this morning, with the news that Mandarin went lame on its right fore and Indianapolis was badly struck into during the race. No help to the bank balance, of course, but our ego is still intact.
The Sky Bet Ebor Handicap at 3.40 has a field of 22 and a completely impossible look about it, but at least you should be able to get a minimum of 6 places from our bookmaker ‘friends’.
Taking over at the head of the market is the William Haggas trained Raheen House at 6-1 and this is going to be our selection.
Sent to Mr Haggas with specific instructions to ‘win the Ebor’, this previous Group 3 winner has had two ‘prep’ runs, both over today’s course and distance, finishing second and third in Listed & Group 3 events and showing the old ability is definitely still there. With Popeye aboard, we recommend a fair each way bet.
The York card starts at 1.50 with the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes over nine furlongs and this looks at the mercy of Wissahickon and the Mad Italian. Easy winner of the Cambridgeshire off a mark of 107 when last seen on turf, John Gosden‘s 4-y-o has been plying his trade on the All Weather, mopping up a Listed race and then a Group 3 with a minimum of fuss. Turned over at 1-3 at the Lingfield Good Friday funfest, he’s not been seen since but you betcha he’s fit and ready to go. Have a decent win bet at 7-4.
The Sky Bet Melrose Handicap at 2.25 is full of potentially smart 3-y-os, most of which are stepping up markedly in trip and therefore adding to the uncertainty, but one horse who will relish the 14 furlongs is Kiefer, trained by Eve Johnson Houghton. This horse has designs on the Melbourne Cup in 2021 (would you believe) and he can take a small step towards that goal by winning this afternoon. Have an each way bet at 13-2.
The Sky Bet City Of York Stakes at 3.00 completes ITVs coverage and the market is headed by Laurens at 3-1. Whilst this Group 2 represents a drop in class for Karl Burke‘s filly, we think there are queries concerning both trip and ground and we prefer to take a chance on the fitness of Shine So Bright, which is available at 13-2.
Andrew Balding‘s 3-y-o was last seen finishing 6th in the 1000 Guineas, before ‘suffering a little niggle’ but with the drying ground very much in her favour and the 7f trip ideal an each way bet looks justified.
Cameras are also covering two races at Goodwood, starting with the Group 2 Ladbrokes Celebration Mile at 2.05, for which Skardu is favourite at 7-4.
However, we prefer the chances of Duke Of Hazzard, who is an unbeaten 2 from 2 on this track and picked up a Group 3 last time out. Headgear and treatment for a sore toe (bless) has apparently been the reason for the dramatic form improvement of Paul Cole‘s runner and we take Rossa Ryan to bring him home at 3-1.
Finally to the Ladbrokes Prestige Stakes at 2.40, which looks at the mercy of Shadn, another from the Andrew Balding yard.
Leaving aside our previously expressed mantra that ‘if you can’t pronounce it, it can’t win’, Shadn took a Newbury Listed race last time out in the style of a horse who would benefit by an extra furlong, which it has today. Get on at 3-1.
That’s it – now for the last rites at Headingly.
Raheen House 3.40 York 1pt e/w @ 6-1 (8 places SkyBet)
Wissahickon 1.50 York 4pts win @ 7-4
Kiefer 2.25 York 1.5pts e/w @ 13-2 (4 places)
Shine So Bright 3.00 York 1pt e/w @ 13-2
Duke Of Hazzard 2.05 Goodwood 2pts win @ 3-1
Shadn 2.40 Goodwood 2pts win @ 3-1