Our replacement selection Windhoek just failed to hang on for the win and adds to the recent list of seconds! Secret Gesture ran well but couldn't touch the Fugue returning to her best back amongst the girls. However we finished the day in style with Our Obsession and Dutch Rose both winning advised at much bigger odds.
A busy day tomorrow with a couple of three point bets and playing in five races in total.
The weather appears to be holding to keep the ground quick and this should mean that most of the races are won by the best horses on the day.
Sky Bet Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 1.55 York
Mark Johnston has a couple of contenders here with Scatter Dice and Party Line. Party Line ran here a couple of days ago and ran well to finish third. This trip should suit better and if he runs he can place again. Scatter Dice has not won for sometime now and appears a bit burnt out, which happens with a number of Mark Johnston’s that run a lot at two and three. He showed improved form last time at a lower level and could bounce back but unlikely.
Warlu Way has probably been fine tuned for this by Mick Easterby and it would not be a surprise to see him challenge here. I think he will place but is probably not the same level as our selection.
Chancery is another which has been aimed at this, but disappointed last time. Although he has form at York I think he is another with place claims at best.
Gospel Choir will hopefully have us all singing after his first run for almost a year; however he has won first time out last season. He would have been a bigger bet if he hadn’t 10 stone to shoulder but he is a potential Group horse running in a Class 2 Handicap. He beat both Sun Central and Stencive over this distance last year and can dominate this race.
Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup (British Champions Series) (Group 2), 2.30 York
Simenon is a worthy favourite based upon his second in the Ascot Gold Cup; however he is plenty short in the betting and may not be suited by two miles on quick ground.
Times Up is probably too old to win this and even with Ryan Moore booked is likely to find a couple too quick.
Colour Vision has gone backwards since winning a Group 1 and needs to show a huge improvement on his recent form.
That kind of left me with Ahzeemah which has an anooying habit of finishing 2nd, which usually puts me off. However he has won 25% of his races and at four has more scope for improvement than the majority of these.
Personally I will have a straight forecast saver with Simenon to beat our selection, which should more than cover stakes.
Sky Bet Strensall Stakes (Group 3) (CLASS 1), 3.05 York
City Style is the class horse in the race having competed consistently at Group 1 including being placed second. He is now seven and I think that makes him vulnerable to a horse with speed.
Pavlosk is a short priced favourite but Sir Michael Stoute has done well in this race. He has limited experience however and that could be his undoing in the latter stages against experienced horses.
Gabrial is a decent miler but has struggled when raised beyond Listed level. He could challenge for the lead early but is likely to be out run in the final furlong.
Archbishop has won at this level but makes his seasonal debut which makes his task difficult here. He is still likely to give our selection most to do and Frankie Dettori will be keen to win another Group race.
Danadana is a horse I like on good to firm or firm going but I made a mistake selecting him last time as he was running over 2 furlongs beyond his best. The drop to just short of 9 furlongs will suit and he can use his acceleration to land his second Group 3. His jockey is a rising star and could end up riding for Godolphin before long.
Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (British Champions Series) (Group 1), 3.40 York
Kingsgate Native is still very capable at the age of eight having won this race as a two year old. He needs everything to fall right for him and I think he is just below Group 1 level these days.
Sole Power is another horse which needs things to fall right and I am sure that he will place at least in this. Funnily his younger stable mate Slade Power is improving at a great rate and must win one of these races sooner rather than later. I would expect him to win a Group 1 before the end of the season whether in the UK or France.
Ladies Are Forever is superb value but probably better at 6 furlongs rather than 5, however she is a good chance for a place or maybe in a combination forecast with our selection and Sole Power.
Shea Shea was supposed to come to the UK and win all the big sprints, but that hasn’t happened. Back to five furlongs and on good to firm plays to his strengths and he can win this for us as Ortensia did last season.
Nationwide Accident Repair Services Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 4.55 York
A trappy handicap to end Day 3 but I think I have the winner here and surprisingly it is the longer odds selection I thin has been set up for this.
Secret Art has run well in Class 2 races in his last two without really threatening and I expect to see the same again tomorrow. He is very consistent and can run into the places.
Party Royal is another from the Mark Johnston stable and has had 17 runs at the age of three. He has won at a lower class than this and will struggle to win here based on all known form.
Ayaar was under consideration for this but although he has shown improvement in his last two runs and has dropped back to a winning mark I would have expected a bigger price.
Majestic Moon has won his last three and has not been out of the first three in his last seven, but that has meant a rise of a stone in weight. I think he still has improvement to come but the weight rise will slow him down here.
Hay Dude is high enough in the weights for only having won at Class 3 and has paid for his consistency. He will do well to place here off his current mark.
One Word More has been highly tried without success, but has won at this level already and has finished second at Listed level in France. If Jamie Spencer can get him to settle he can prove a real threat here in the closing stages from a reasonable draw.
Equity Risk looks exactly that at first glance with 09 in his last two races, but I think he has been saved for this by Kevin Ryan. His breeding suggests that he will be better for the step up to a mile. I think he will arrive late and at least place at big odds.