There is the prospect of showers – some possibly heavy – at York this afternoon and there is the possibility that conditions will ease ahead of and during the final day of the Ebor meeting.
Lord Glitters won the opening Group 3 Strensall Stakes three years ago and this nine-furlong trip is perfect for David O’Meara’s evergreen grey. Any significant rain would suit but the 8-y-old must carry a 7lbs penalty for his Group 1 success in Meydan at the beginning of the year.
Godolphin’s Real World heads the market and goes unpenalised for his impressive listed success at Newbury last time. He bounces off fast ground but if the rain gets into the ground, it may blunt his pace. His previous Hunt Cup success earmarked him down as a Group winner-in-waiting but at 5/4 he is too short given the imponderable over the ground. If the rains do not arrive, he would be a confident selection even at the prohibitive price of 5/4 on Friday evening
This is a big day for trainer William Haggas whose My Oberon (1.50) is penalised 3lbs for his Gp 3 Stakes at Newmarket back in the spring. I have great respect for the gelding who was beaten just a quarter of a length in a Group 1 over this trip at Longchamp back in May. He was fitted with cheekpieces at Royal Ascot last time, but they are dispensed with this afternoon. There is 9/2 available at the time of posting but he is 7/2 with 10Bet on Friday evening,
My two against the field in the Melrose have long been the Haggas-trained Dhushan (2.25) and Surrey Gold although the former has been raised 3lbs for his narrow defeat at Ascot over 12f last time when he gave the impression a stronger gallop would have seen him go one better. Haggas has a good record in this valuable handicap and this does not look a vintage renewal given the top-weight in this 0-105 is only rated 97. The 13/2 with William Hill – 6 places – is fair,
I am not surprised to see Andrea Atzeni replaced by Tom Marquand aboard Primo Bacio as the filly has not been given the best of rides at Newmarket or Deauville in Group 1 contests in recent weeks. I remain convinced she is a Group 1 performer, but she would not want any significant rain and she drops down in distance to 7f in the City Of York Stakes.
Safe Voyage is better than he showed at Goodwood last time, but Space Blues (3.00) is surely the one to beat having failed by less than a length in the Lennox Stakes when he was returning from a near four-month lay-off. The selection – 5/4 with Boylesports – is a specialist at today’s distance and is entitled to strip a bit fitter than last time when he looked to be travelling best of all but didn’t find as much as expected.
At the time of writing, it doesn’t look as if Ebor favourite Live Your Dream will get a run and my two against the field in the big race are Hamish (3.35) and Tribal Craft with preference for the latter despite being off the track for over 400 days.
The selection has only had seven carerr starts, is unbeaten in two starts at York and will appreciate any easing in the ground. Proud Yorkshireman Haggas has four runners in the field and has never saddled the winner of this great handicap. He looks sure to have his 5-y-old – who runs in the colours of his father – primed for the day. He is currently 6s with MansionBet 6 places but if it rains significantly he could go off as short as 4/1.
The form of Tribal Craft’s second at Goodwood last time took a knock when the winner – Wonderful Tonight – flopped on ground quicker than ideal in the Yorkshire Oaks earlier in the week. She has been raised 4lbs for that effort but can race from her old mark today. Rain would certainly be a plus and the 12/1 with William Hill looks fair..
Migration (4.45) did us a favour when landing the opening race of Glorious Goodwood last month and he is taken to defy an 8lbs rise in the 10f handicap. That fluent success was gained on heavy ground and the predicted rain would certainly big a big help to David Menuisier’s 5-year-old. The 7/2 with 10Bet looks fair.
At Sandown I feel there is more to come from King Of Clubs (3.15) who finished tamely over today’s 10f trip at Newmarket last time but had run well here over a slightly shorter trip on his penultimate start. Hollie Doyle takes over in the saddle with Hughie Morrison’s colt carrying just 8st 2lbs. The 3/1 with 10Bet is about right.
The lightly raced Poet Of Life is a fascinating contender on his handicap debut, and he could easily turn up in the Cambridgeshire if maintaining his progress although he will have to be smart to defy an opening mark of 96.
Rooster Cogburn will ensure a frenetic gallop in the two-mike handicap chase at Newton Abbot, but I hope he helps set the race up for Dogon (5.15) who ran a terrific race on ground softer than ideal over today’s C&D last time. The selection – 9/2 with Boylesports – can make the running himself but if he is keeping tabs on Rooster Cogburn I feel he is likely to be going too quickly.
There is a terrific card at the Curragh this evening and I think Duke De Sessa (5.30) will appreciate the step up to a mile having created such a favourable impression when a close third at Galway on debut. The colt – 2s with Mansion Bet – is well drawn in stall four and holds several fancy entries later in the season. The Joseph O’Brien trained Swan Bay finished runner up over 7f here on debut and looks the one to beat.