Day 1 of the York Dante meeting dawns with a drizzly morning on the Knavesmire and what should be near perfect ground. 

Five races are being televised, starting with the Sky Bet Jorvik Handicap at 1.50 and good old William Haggas supplies the hot favourite for this in the shape of Gaassee, currently a 13-8 poke.

This 4-y-o racked up a hat-trick of wins last season including on handicap debut, when it sluiced home by 4 lengths off a mark of 85. Signs are that this horse is better than a mere handicapper and we should weigh in with a win bet at the price.

Danger and insurance bet could be Global Storm, from Charlie Appleby‘s powerful operation. Last seen finishing a close third behind the mighty Hukum in Meydan, our Charlie has shrewdly booked Harry Davies to take off half a stone and, at 8-1, an each way tickle is recommended. 

The statutory impossible sprint is next, this one called the Churchill Tyres Handicap at 2.25, which has a field of 22.

In last year’s race the first four home were drawn right across the track (2 high, 1 middle, 1 low) so no clues there, then.

We’ll throw three darts and hope – Nomadic Empire (5-1), Bergerac (9-1) and Makanah (14-1).

The Group 2 Clipper Logistics Stakes at 3.00 follows and it’s hard to look further than Minzaal in this.

Owen Burrows‘ 4-y-o won the Gimcrack over this CD as a 2-y-o but missed almost the whole of the next season through injury before returning in October with two runs which confirmed that (a) he had trained on and (b) all the ability is intact. This could be the year that Minzaalestablishes himself as one of the top sprinters and we should avail ourselves of the 5-2 on offer.

The Musidora Stakes at 3.35 is definitely NOT a betting race, not just because there is an odds-on fav but also because evaluating the others on such limited evidence is beyond us.

Moving swiftly on to the Paddy Power Handicap at 4.10, which completes the York coverage, we are going to oppose the 11-10 favourite by suggesting a win bet on The Cookstown Cafuat 4-1 and an each way ‘steal’ bet on Mojomaker at 11-2.

As per, there is a jumps race thrown in for good measure, the 2.05 at Newton Abbot and, out of the six runner field, we like the progressive Diligent the best. We won’t get rich at 2-1, but well worth a bet.

Back tomorrow with more ‘educated’ guesswork.


Gaassee 1.50 York 4pts win @ 13-8

Global Storm 1.50 York 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (4 places Hills/Coral)

Nomadic Empire 2.25 York 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2 (6 places bet365/Paddy/Betfair)

Bergerac 2.25 York 1pt e/w @ 9-1 (6 places)

Makanah 2.25 York 1pt e/w @ 14-1 (6 places)

Minzaal 3.00 York 3pts win @ 5-2

The Cookstown Cafu 4.10 York 2pts win @ 4-1

Mojomaker 4.10 York 1pt e/w @ 11-2 (4 places Skybet/Paddy/Hills)

Diligent 2.05 Newton Abbot 2pts win @ 2-1

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