Day 2 of York’s Ebor meeting starts with the Group 2 Lowther Stakes and Sandrine is a worthy market leader having shown her versatility when scoring on heavy ground at Royal Ascot before landing the Group 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket last month.
Andrew Balding’s juvenile is penalised 3lbs for that latest success, however, and no filly has carried a penalty in the Lowther since Lucky Kristale back in 2013. She looks short enough in the betting at 6/4 and an each way alternative is Illustrating (1.50) who steps up to 6f for the first time having bounced back from a slightly disappointing run at Royal Ascot when running away with a minor Conditions event at Goodwood. That win was gained on soft ground but her debut success was achieved on fast ground and the 15/2 freely available on Wednesday morning looked attractive.
In the Mile Handicap Jim Crowley rides top-weight and market leader Maydanny but I give the each way vote to Shadwell’s second string Baashir (3.00) who has yet to win at a mile but looked ready for a step up in distance when scoring over Doncaster’s straight 7f last time. This is one of the most competitive mile handicaps of the season and I hope to see Dane O’Neill take advantage of his, seemingly, good draw in stall one although a low number is not the advantage on the round course it once was at York with the runners fanning out down the middle of the track in recent years. The 14s with William Hill 6 places looks fair.
The classic generation have monopolised the Galtres Stakes in the last decade and, in what looks a poor renewal, I hope to see Pennymoor (4.45) build on her fluent Kempton win earlier in the month. The ew selection – 11/2 with MansionBet – may not have beaten a great deal on that occasion but that was only her third career start and she is bred to be smart. She gets the each way vote for John & Thady Gosden.
Gosden has saddled the winner twice in the last decade as has Dermot Weld who brings over market leader Amma Grace. She looks the best of the older horses and is the highest rated filly in the field, but she looks vulnerable giving 9lbs to the classic generation.
At Stratford Bourbon Borderline is worth a second glance to see if there is any market support having his fist start for Rebecca Menzies. Without that information, however, I am prepared to give another chance to Ellios D’Or (1.30) who ran with the choke out when trying to make all at Worcester last time and is likely to be ridden with more restraint by Harry Cobden this afternoon. If he settles better I feel he will take all the beating although he has been put in short enough at 5/4.
There is a valuable two-and-a-half mile handicap chase and Yccs Portocervo (2.40) was just touched off by the potentially smart Neville’s Cross at Uttoxeter last time but travelled like a class act and is taken to go one better. A 2lbs rise is fair despite the fact that the winner bombed out next time although that 3m 2f trip certainly looked to tax his stamina. The selection – 11/4 with William Hill – had previously won back at the Staffordshire track and he has his optimum underfoot conditions today.
Presentandcounting (4.17) is only third best treated at the weights but I still feel he can give weight and a beating to his three rivals in a fascinating and valuable novice chase. The selection cannot beat Some Day Soon on a line through Ruthless Article but I am not convinced the latter was at his very best when beaten when coming down behind the Jamie Snowden runner here three weeks ago.
The Donald McCain trained runner is a fast fluent jumper of fences and I hope he has the job done after he has jumped the second last as there is now just the one fence in the home straight at today’s track. The selection has opened up 7/4.