A frustrating day with Gospel Choir fading on the rain softened ground, Danadana would have won if the ground had remained quick (top rated City Style winning by a neck), Shea Shea was beaten half a length by Jwala (100/1+ on BF) but at least Ahzeemah came through having been advised at bigger odds. To round things off in the final handicap another second with Equity Risk running well at decent odds to produce some returns.
On to the final day and although we have recovered from our poor start it would be good to have a big finish tomorrow with the Ebor Handicap the highlight.
Betfred City of York Stakes (Listed Race), 2.05 York
I was tempted to go with Cristoforo Colombo here but he is absolutely no value despite his lack of success on course. Beautifully bred he should win this with ease, but he appears to have had his problems and the skinny price is too risky.
Sirius Prospect was a top class improver until getting injured but he seems to be coming back to form this season. He still would need to improve to win here.
Lightning Cloud appears to save his best form for Ascot and again is probably a level below the front two in the betting.
Rex Imperator has recently switched to Willie Haggas and he has applied cheekpieces which had a positive effect over 6 furlongs at Goodwood. He is equally adept at 7 furlongs and can take advantage of any weakness in the favourite at reasonable odds.
Betfred Melrose Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 2.40 York
Great Hall has won his last two races on quick ground and it remains to be seen if he can win here on softer ground off a big weight.
Snowy Dawn is pretty exposed after eleven runs and won last time but that led to a big hike in the weights and this race is much tougher.
Ambleside is a typical Mark Johnston horse and will probably try to make all, but his wins have been in a much lower class. This is likely to lead to him being passed in the last couple of furlongs.
I had planned to just back Havana Cooler here but then spotted the hugely overpriced Mister Impatience, which has finished close up in two Group races. He can lead from start to finish here with Joe Fanning being a great judge of pace within a race. He is being heavily backed from 16/1.
Havana Cooler steps up in trip and should get the extra half mile under tender handling by Ryan Moore. Luca Cumani has a great record in this type of race at the Ebor meeting and I am sure that Havana Cooler will be ready to go.
Betfred Ebor (Heritage Handicap) (CLASS 2), 3.50 York
Opinion is a hot favourite for this but his odds make backing him prohibitive especially with his low draw and unproven stamina at this distance.
Tiger Cliff was under serious consideration but his lack of experience puts me off as this race can cut up quite rough. He is likely to place if he gets his run in the latter stages, but at least stays.
Caravan Rolls On is frustrating but if he is on song he will go close here as he has had excuses for recent defeats. Jamie Spencer is good in these big fields and can get Caravan Rolls On into a position to strike in the final furlong; however his best form is on better ground.b
Sun Central has top weight here, but that does not put me off due to his win over course and distance recently where he won very easily indeed. He is a Group horse and is amazing odds due to the high weight.
No Heretic gets in here off a very low weight with Darren Egan taking off another 3 pounds and this for a horse which finished 5th in a Group 2 in his last race. He now runs over this distance for the first time and I think it will be perfect for him as he stays further but has the speed to win over two furlongs less. Far too big a price so we can take advantage.
Betfred The Bonus King Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 5.00 York
Charles Camoin is a big price here, although I was tempted to put him out he has a real disadvantage with our selection at the weights due to weight for age allowances.
Strictly Silver has a big weight as he is now on a career high, but he is also inconsistent and it is hard to see him following up from his last time out win.
Sam Sharp has the same problem at the weights with Sennockian Star as he is eight pounds worse off than if running without allowances. He should go well and can run into a place.
Two for Two has only won at a low level but despite that he has to give weight to our selection and that makes his task very difficult. David O’Meara has had a good week and it will be no surprise to see this one run well.
Sennockian Star can make the most of the age allowance and win this. He is very consistent and has won over this distance and going and can win by leading from start to finish.
Qipco Future Stars Apprentice Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 5.35 York
I think that the winner of this (very much like the Ebor) will come from the top rated horses shown above.
Hoofalong from Mick Easterby’s stable (owned by Lee Westwood) will be a short price to try and give the locals a win in the last. He is likely to be better than the bare form in the book, but I do prefer to have some glimmer of form at this level.
Jillnextdoor has won once in twenty one starts and although consistent this puts me off her.
Cosmic Chatter hasn’t won for awhile but has had excuses and has run well at this level so at his odds is worth a chance. David Barron is another Yorkshire trainer who would love to finish with a win. Robert Tart is a top apprentice and his 3 pounds claim will help.
Normal Equilibrium on the face of it has consitency but lacks sparkle but his form is actually strong with a decent run both in the class of tomorrow’s race and in a Listed race. Charles Bishop his rider has a 14% strike rate which for an apprentice is very good and he can make the difference here.
An end to a week with more seconds than winners but hopefully you have enjoyed it and we can end with more winners to provide a bigger profit.