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You know, I could go on and on and on about the day’s racing at York on the first day of the ebor Festival, but there really is only one thing to talk about – Epsom Derby winner Golden Horn’s undefeated record went down in spectacular fashion. Did he lose to Gleneagles? No, Aiden O’Brien pulled the 2,000 Guineas winner out before the start of the day’s racing. Did Time Test improve and beat Golden Horn into submission? No. Did The Grey Gatsby somehow reverse the form book? Nope. No, Arabian Queen, the unheralded 50-1 show, whose best result prior to the Juddmonte International was third in the Nassau Stakes, galloped Golden Horn into submission. Frankie Dettori never looked like winning on the 4/9 favourite.
From yesterday’s free tips for Day One of the Ebor Festival, Silvanus got us off to a good start, coming in third at 22/1, so we got a nice lift on ouur each-way bet. Bondi Beach was touched off in the Great Voltiguer, and connection will feel frustrated they didn’t get the win on appeal. And in the Acomb, Humphrey Bogart finished like a train, but was just out of the places.
Day Two of the Ebor Festival is just as tricky as Day One, without the excitement of the Juddmonte International, but it’s still going to be a great day of racing from the Knavesmire.
1:55 Premier Yearling Stakes
This two year-old 6 furlong race is all about one horse and one horse only – Tasleet. William Haggas had a great day on Day One of the Ebor Festival, and this youngster will be aiming to get Day Two off to a flier. Tasleet has great form in Group 2 company, finishing second in the Richmond at Goodwood, hence the short price.
Yes, he looks the class act, but we want to find an improver in the field. These races can be a nightmare, especially with a huge field of 19. Delizia stands out in the field, finishing 8th behind Acapulco in the Queen Mary at Ascot, which is great form, getting within 11 lengths of what could be the best two year-old in training. There is each-way value here due to Tasleet’s short price. We did also notice that those racing prominent over the sprint distances fared better, and Tasleet might be coming off the pace, while Delizia should be right on it. Plus, Silvestre De Sousa will be riding with confidence after yesterday’s great win on Arabian Queen. A nice bit of value to start the day.
2:30 Lowther Stakes
This is a race for the two-year-old fillies, and this Group 2 race sees yet another short-price favourite, although this time we only have a 9 runner field to wade through, not close to 20, which is always nice.
Lumiere is close to going odds-on at the moment thanks to her winning her only start very convincingly at Newmarket. The form coming out of the race is decent enough, but it’s hard to see why she warrants such a short price compared to the rest of the field. Yes, she might romp home, but with so much uncertainty surrounding the whole field, we can’t lump on a short-price favourite.
Besharah really stands out in the field. She has the beating of Ashadian and Easton Angel through the form line of Illuminate, and we know she can handle the sticky going, after winning on the soft at Ascot last time out. William Haggas is going well, so while it’s not the biggest price, she should go off second or third favourite, and, on paper, she looks like being a class above after winning a Group 3 and losing out on a Group 2 by a nose.
Easton Angel does deserve a mention after following Acapulco home in the Queen Mary, but there are other form lines from that race that just point us towards Besharah.
3:05: Clipper Logistics Stakes
A one mile 20-runner handicap? Wow, nice and easy, isn’t it? The fact that currently there are three co-favourites at 7/1 sums up just how close this field is. There is certainly value to be had, but it’s tricky trying to find it.
Again, we need to find the runners that are going to be up there with the pace, as we’ve seen that the front-runners have had most of the luck on Day One, and Day Two shouldn’t be any different. So, hold up horses in this race have to be out of the equation.
Western Reserve would be a popular winner for Lady Cecil, and a lot of sentimental money will be thrown at this horse. There will be concerns over the sticky ground, though, so it’s probably best to look elsewhere. Extremity is the each-way selection here. The ground won’t be an issue, the bookie of the in-form Frankie Dettori is a positive, and the most important thing is that Extremity has form around this time of year – finishing 2nd in a valueable handicap at last year’s Ebor Festival at on a slightly lower mark. He looks to have been aimed at this race, so get on each-way and watch him get the feather weight up the Knavesmire.
3:40 Yorkshire Oaks
The feature race of Ladies’ Day at the Ebor Festival, and it’s quite a hot renewal of the race. This race is all about the Irish Oaks winner Covert Love, and the two horses that followed her home at the Curragh – Jack Naylor and Curvy. Obviously the preference should be for Covert Love, as she’s won all four of her starts this year, will race up with the pace and the ground shouldn’t be a problem. Yes, Curvy and Jack Naylor look handy, but the way Covert Love won the Irish Oaks shows she’s the class act of the field, and that the trip won’t be a problem. All signs point to the favourite here, and although it’s a cliché choice, it’s the only one that makes sense given the form.
4:20 Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes
Hopefully all 16 runners go to post in this 1 mile 4 furlong Listed race, as it’s a very handy field, stacked with useful fillies and mares. Koora looks like she could be an improver, and we’re taking a chance on her at a nice double-figure price, so get on each-way again. It’s another wide-open race, and there are many with questions to answer over the ground of the distance, while Koora’s win last time out looks good on paper, and she is open to a lot of improvement. She should be up there with the pace, and Jamie Spencer will make sure he gives her a patient ride on the pace.
4:55 EBF Stallions Stakes
Don’t let the name of the race fool you, this is another fillies handicap. A slightly smaller field, so the bookies will only be paying 3 places on this, unfortunately, as 15 declared runners is the bane of the bettor’s existence.
It’s a trappy race, with Mistrusting and Spangled heading the market for the two. However, Subtle Knife near the bottom of the handicap looks interesting based on her last time at Lingfield, which she won on heavy ground. Her trainer, Giles Bravery, is giving her a week’s rest, and she’s running under a 6lb penalty, but her jockey, Paddy Pilley, will be taking 7lbs off her back due to his allowance, so it’s all balanced out. Like a lot of final races of the day, it’s not one to invest heavily in, but get on Subtle Knife each-way.
That’s all for Day Two of York’s Ebor Festival. It’s another tricky day, and a lot of two year-olds that could be going on to bigger and better things next year. It’s definitely a day to get your notebook out and keep notes on what horses to follow next year.