All the way back to 1959 for our Chuck Berry inspired headline prefacing a look at the final day of the York Dante meeting, which has the Group 2 Matchbook Yorkshire Cup at 3.10 as the centrepiece.
Just five runners are due to take part but this is not an easy contest to sort out, with two from the Mark Johnston yard and the statutory Aidan O’Brien runner to further muddy the waters.
Braveheart has done a tremendous job in bringing back Sir Ron Priestley to his previous form heights after a suspensory injury followed by a displaced pelvis resulted in an absence of a year and a half. Since his return to action, Sir Ron has pouched a Listed race at Nottingham and a Group 2 at Newmarket without breaking sweat and, despite a small penalty in today’s race, we hope he will continue his upward curve.
Stable-mate Nayef Road and Irish Derby winner Santiago will provide stiff opposition but we recommend a bet on our hero at 13-8.
Telly coverage starts, as usual, at 1.40 and, also as usual, it’s a nightmarish 5f affair, this time for 2-y-os.
To be Frank (rather than Lee) this is a lottery, with most of the field likely to show mega improvement on previous runs, but, with four places on offer and a wing and a prayer we suggest a modest each way bet on Bellarena Lady at 8-1.
The Oaks Farm Stables Fillies’ Stakes at 2.10 sees the return to action of the much touted Snow Lantern, which was a short price for the 1000 Guineas after winning at Newbury in April. Connections declined to go that route, however, and here she is for a prep run before Royal Ascot.
If she is as good as ‘they’ think, she’ll probably hose up but 5-4 is no fun, is it?
We suggest a cautious each way bet on the thrice raced Love Is You from Roger Charlton‘s stable. This daughter of Kingman won both races as a 2-y-o and showed she had trained on with a close third in a Group 3 at Newmarket, just behind Saffron Beach, who went on to be second in the Guineas.
With today’s trip and ground to suit, we suggest an each way bet at 4-1.
Handicappers come to the fore at 2.40 with the Matchbook Exchange ,er, Handicap which has a field of 12.
Favourite, at a bit of a skinny 5-2, is Blue Cap, which was arguably unlucky at Epsom on seasonal reappearance but a mark of 93 looks high for a horse whose only previous handicap win came off 77 and we look elsewhere.
The consistent and likeable Fishable is our first port of call after an excellent come back run at Ripon last month. Second in a big field over this CD last October, Tim Easterby‘s charge should give us a good run, especially as the dear old cheekpieces work the oracle. Each way please, at 8-1.
We also like the look of Makram, another from Roger Charlton. Looks to be crying out for a step up to today’s trip after a run over a mile at Newmarket and can go close in this under Big Ben. Take the 5-1 each way.
Another handicap closes the televised action, this time the 18 runner Jigsaw Sports Branding Handicap at 3.40.
At 11-2 the field this may look impossible, but we think there may be a ‘stand out’ by the name of Shawaamekh.
Declan Carroll‘s 7-y-o is a previous winner off 78 & 83 including over this CD and returned from a break and a wind op to run an astonishing race at Chester nine days ago. Drawn 13 of 14 and denied a clear run in the straight, Harrison Shaw‘s mount stormed through into fourth at the line and was in front 20 yards after it.
Runs of 81 this afternoon (same as at Chester) and goes close with a repeat. Get on at 13-2.
After a good night’s kip, we roll on to Newbury and Newmarket tomorrow.
Sir Ron Priestley 3.10 York 4pts win @ 13-8
Bellarena Lady 1.40 York 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)
Love Is You 2.10 York 1.5pts e/w @ 4-1
Fishable 2.40 York 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places)
Makram 2.40 York 1.5pts e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
Shawaamekh 3.40 York 2pts e/w @ 13-2 (7 places SkyBet / 6 places Hills/Paddy/Betfair
* ‘Memphis Tennessee’ by Chuck Berry (1959)