A top class days racing to start the Ebor Fesitval and hopefully we can move recent seconds to firsts. We are involved in four races tomorrow and it is a pretty difficult day so stakes are being kept low.
We are likely to have a couple of big stake bets before the end of the festival so we will save our ammunition for then.
Symphony Group Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 1.55 York
Bogart comes from the local stable of Kevin Ryan and will undoubtedly be primed for this, but his rating is based upon two big wins as a two year old. He has not performed to that level since and has not really shown any sign of bouncing back to form – he unseated at Goodwood last time.
Barnet Fair is a horse I like but he has gone back up the weights for his recent win and probably needs to drop a few pounds.
Majestic Myles is plenty high in the weights and appears better over 7 furlongs than this five furlongs and although having a rail position he may get tapped for toe and get caught behind a wall of horses.
Angels Will Fall has the capability to win this having already won at Listed level and he has been running mainly in Group races recently. He does not win that frequently but does defintely have place possibilities. He was very close to being a selection for this race.
Judge N Jury is now an old stager but retains some ability and really likes York. He also has a decent apprentice on board and can run into a place at a big price.
Ladyship is the likely favourite and is beautifully bred and has done her running at 6 and 7 furlongs. She has only won twice in eleven starts and although she could turn out to be a star there are too many ifs and buts for me.
Above Standard looks very much like the type of improver that Mick Easterby saves for the Ebor meeting. He has a high draw and can use the rail to good effect here and has pace enough to make all off his light weight.
Wozthecat should be suited by the fast ground and again has the rail and pace about him which should see him go close at far too big a price. His young apprentice has won on him in a big field handicap and his 7 pounds claim could make all the difference in a tight finish.
Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes (Group 2), 3.05 York
Secret Number won his first two races but hasn’t won since and has not shone since being moved into Group races. Godolphin are in fine form however and do well in the Group races at York, but this one is held by the other Godolphin runner.
Telescope must be the most hyped horse of the season and it kind of smacks of desperation that he returns to the track only eleven days after losing to David Livingston. He could improve again but has to prove he stays the distance against a proven stayer.
I am happy to accept that Cap O’Rushes is not Pegasus but he is proven at Group level and at the distance and could out battle the favourite at much more favourable odds. He proved for us at Goodwood that he is difficult to pass and he can hold off all comers in the final furlong here.
Juddmonte International Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1), 3.40 York
I think this is basically a three horse race with Al Kazeem the even money favourite, which he is entitled to be having won multiple Group 1’s this season. He will go very close to winning here but due to his age and his Group 1 wins he has to give eight pounds to a couple of very good three year olds.
Trading Leather won the Irish Derby but probably lacks the outright speed and acceleration of Toronado and Al Kazeem.
Toronado has not tackled this distance before but Richard Hughes is convinced he will stay and his pedigree also suggest that. He looked to be staying on comfortably when winning at Goodwood. It should be a tough battle but the value lies with Toronado getting eight pounds at almost double the price.
Lanstone Building Conservation Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 4.20 York
I had thought about putting Homeric out as a bet on his own at bigger stakes but have decided to include Viking Storm as I couldn’t believe his price.
Blue Bajan’s rating is mainly due to his past glories and it is a long time since he won a race and I expect that losing run to continue.
Party Line and Broxbourne from the Mark Johnston stable have chances here but the trainer does not have a great Ebor meeting record and are short enough in the betting.
All the Aces from Nicky Henderson will no doubt run well and his trainer has been farming these long distance flat races over the past couple of years. All the Aces has not won for a while and is held by a couple of today’s runners. His price has more to do with his trainer rather than the horses talent.
Willie Wag Tail is from the Qatar Bloodstock team (new Godolphin?) but has shown nothing on the course which would suggest he has the ability to win here. I do like Jamie Spencer in these big field handicaps though, as he has the ability to get his horses into a good position coming home.
Homeric is an up and coming stayer and should certainly be involved in the finish with Ryan Moore booked. He has a big turn at the weights with Broxbourne and has won a couple of races at 2 miles.
Viking Storm’s form figures read 778 this season but when you look deeper these were over too short a distance and in a Listed and Group race. His fourth behind Mount Athos over 14 furlongs reads well and the fact that he is sired by Hurricane Run means he should get the 2 miles tomorrow. James Doyle is a significant booking and he can go very close here.