PUSH THE BUTTON, MAX

PUSH THE BUTTON, MAX
August 21, 2021 Lee Bolingbroke

Film aficionados will recognise a quote from The Great Race as the source of today’s headline, which leads us in to the final day of the York Ebor meeting.

The Sky Bet Ebor Handicap is at 3.35 and has a maximum field of 22 vying for a first prize of a mere £300,000.

With probably more than half the field having been specially laid out for today, it can probably be summed up by quoting Sam Goldwyn – “in two words Im Possible”, but we are here to have a bash at it and our main pick is the 4-y-o Max Vega from Ralph Beckett‘s yard.

As a 2-y-o Max was very promising indeed, pouching a Group 3 at Newbury on his third and final run, but failed to win as a 3-y-o in five attempts, leading connections to change his gender status to ‘gelding’.

Having its first run since last October, MV pitched up in the Group 3 John Smith’s Silver Cup over today’s CD and was noted staying on late under hands and heels into 6th. That run was enough to think that the old ability is still there and, this being a handicap, there is every chance of reversing the form of the four that finished in front of it, all of which re-oppose and all of which are at much shorter prices. Every drop of rain that falls (and there’s plenty of it forecast) will help the cause and we recommend an each way bet at an artisan 28-1.

Our other pick is one of the less fashionable Irish raiders Shanroe.

Karl Thornton‘s 7-y-o is a 137 rated hurdler which seems even better on the Flat, having won three from five attempts, the latest being a Curragh handicap off 94, defeating a subsequent Group 2 second without fuss. Again, any ease in the ground will be a help and we think 20-1 is an attractive price.

Televised coverage starts, as per, with the 1.50, which today is the Group 3 Strensall Stakes just over a mile.

Real World is even money fav for this and would probably be value at that price if the going remained as good to firm, but that seems unlikely and, with only seven runners, we don’t recommend getting involved in this one.

At 2.25 we have the Sky Bet Melrose Handicap, with another maximum field, this time for 3-y-os.

With generous place terms on offer, we chuck two darts at this race – Valley Forge at 12-1 and Pleasant Man at 25-1.

The former is more unexposed than most and from Andrew Balding‘s yard while the latter is weighted to finish in front of the market leader on recent running.

Bookmakers have the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes at 3.00 as a two horse race between Space Blues and Primo Bacio and we are firmly on the side of PB.

The only 3-y-o in the field, Ed Walker‘s young lady was supplemented for this race after a luckless run at Deauville 18 days ago and she will find it easier than the Group 1s that she has been contesting since destroying a field including Snow Lantern on this course in May.

We think she should be favourite for this, so recommend a decent bet at 100-30.

Goodbye and good luck.

Summary:

Max Vega 3.35 York 1.5pts e/w @ 28-1 (6 places) / 25-1 (8 places) with Skybet

Shanroe 3.35 York 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (6 places) / 16-1 (8 places) with Skybet

Valley Forge 2.25 York 1pt e/w @ 14-1 (6 places) with William Hill / 12-1 (7 places) with Skybet

Pleasant Man 2.25 York 1pt e/w @ 25-1 (7 places) with Skybet

Primo Bacio 3.00 York 4pts win @ 100-30

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