Rory Paddock and David Weldon from PicksfromthePaddock.co.uk team up with the Lancashire Evening Post to preview the first day of York’s Ebor meeting.
We start the four day York meeting off with a minimum trip, five furlong handicap.
Current favourite Goldream, who hails from the in form Robert Cowell yard, is the horse to beat. That said however, despite the horses undoubted class, I have to look for value with so many runners heading to post.
Also near the head of the market is a horse who, at the age of three, is one of the youngest horses in the race. Tim Easterby’s See The Sun won at The Knavesmire two starts back but has since struggled when facing older horses and as such I was surprised at how short the horses price is and I’m happy to take this one on.
My first selection for the race has atrocious form so far this year with a tenth placed finish the best it’s achieved in its last six starts.
That said however Bogart’s last victory came over course and distance at the same time last year and now the horse has lowered in the weights I’m hoping it can rekindle some of its previous form. Reigning from the Kevin Ryan stable is another plus for Bogart as the trainer specialises with sprinters and does well at this meeting.
With the number of runners in the field I’m going to make a second selection for the race.
Trainer Paul Midgley enters two horses but I’m going for the lesser fancied of the two runners with seven year old Monsieur Joe.
The gelding has been very well travelled racing in both Dubai, Ireland and France and at much higher levels than this previously.
The seven year old has certainly declined with age but out of three previous attempts over the course and distance it has won on two occasions and for that alone a chance has to be taken.
Monsieur Joe (E/W)
The first group race of the meeting sees a very open contest with the lightly raced youngsters taking centre stage for the Acomb Stakes.
With not too much form to go off it makes it very difficult to decipher the race and as such it should come with a health warning to your bank balance.
In my opinion the winner should come from the top four in the betting with current market leader Jamaica, who hails from
The Ballydoyle yard, entered into an abundance of big group races over the next 12 months it’s thought very highly of by connections. The Galileo colt impressed at Galway last time out but quite how impressive that form is still remains unknown.
The other horse vying for favouritism is Richard Hannon’s Basateen who was mightily impressive when winning at odds on in a very eye catching time at Doncaster.
You write any Aidan O’Brien runner off at your peril but of the two I think the Paul Hanagan mount is the one they all have to beat.
One that may be able to tackle the leading duo is Growl.
A horse who also has big group race entries to its name and after blitzing the field when winning its maiden race certainly hasn’t done anything wrong.
My only concern however is that the horse only tackled four other runners and how good the competition was is questionable.
Another mention has to go to Prince Gagarin but despite having highly rated jockey Ryan Moore on board trainer Ed Dunlop hasn’t been in great form.
Despite the competitive nature of the race I have to base my selection on the horse with the best form and that has to be Basateen.
Our next port of call sees a few St.Leger fancies take their place here with the likes of Snow Sky and Hartnell as well as Derby runners and high class handicappers.
Although it may seem somewhat of an obvious choice I can’t look past the favourite and Derby runner up Kingston Hill. The horse was by far the second best horse at Epsom that day and if it weren’t for Australia would’ve been sure to win The Derby. After dropping the horse in distance for its last run it’s good to see it back at a preferable one and a half mile. It clearly has the best form by far here and if it gives another good account, similar to the one it gave in the Epsom showpiece, it should have more than enough to win here.
The best of the rest would be the dark horse from Ireland Granddukeoftuscany and Ascot winner Snow Sky.
Kingston Hill (WIN)
We continue on the first day of York with the feature of the week. A small and select field of six are in line to take their chance for this group one race.
Unfortunately, given the size of the field, there isn’t much each way value to be had with only two places on offer and a short priced favourite who looks the part. Australia for team Ballydoyle should take all the beating here after finishing an excellent third in The Guineas at Newmarket before he showed himself to be top class when winning The Epsom Derby and followed that with a facile victory in the Irish equivalent.
With Aidan O’Brien more than impressed with his work at home and despite possibly needing the run, as he has bigger targets towards the end of the season, Australia should have more than enough to see off this field.
The dangers as the market suggests will come from Telescope and Mukhadram.
The former tackles Group One company for the second time after finishing second to Taghrooda and beating Mukhadram the last day at Ascot.
While he is rated the same as Australia I think he won’t be able to quicken with the selection and it should be a fight for second with Eclipse winner Mukhadram.
Without an easy lead William Haggas charge could struggle and will be taken on by Ballydoyle pacemaker Kingfisher. The Grey Gatsby and Arod have it all to do.
From a small field Group one race we move onto what the Ebor Festival is all about in the final two races with first a seventeen runner two mile handicap.
Brian Ellison confuses matters with no less than five runners heading to post, the pick of these looks to be Edge of Sanity who had a nice prep run for this last week at Ascot. Totalize won over course and distance on his second to last run and with Megan Carberry back on board would have to be on the short list as well.
Spacious Sky is in good form and his race behind Quick Jack and Bayan would give him a chance, also the booking of Fallon is interesting.
He appears to be hard to win with and would appreciate softer underfoot conditions plus currently no real value in his price given the size of the field and as such is overlooked.
Richard Fahey’s entry Dolphin Village is an unexposed type who won at this grade around Catterick last year and the Cape Cross gelding is taking a big step up in trip which should bring about another step forward and is taken as the main selection with a saver on dark horse Totalize.
Dolphin Village (E/W)
A wide open two year old sprint to close the first day and with nineteen set to go to post over six furlong is another tough race to call. There are plenty of angles to attack this with so many open to improvement and unexposed.
Three horses carry penalties, Prize Exhibit, Izzthatright and Felix Leiter. The latter has been well backed and will likely go off favourite.
He won easily last time and while he is an obvious contender he doesn’t appear to be well handicapped with a penalty given previous form.
Prize Exhibit does interest me however especially after he bolted in at Nottingham when heavily eased. That day he was third favourite but won as he liked and will surely go close again.
At bigger prices Majestic Hero is interesting. The horse was last seen when finishing down the field behind Hootenanny but raced on the far side and wasn’t given a hard time that day. It also had previous form behind Kool Kompany before winning its maiden at Cheptsow, the step up in trip and good firm ground could see a big improvement from this horse with a good draw also helping.
Prize Exhibit (E/W)
Majestic Hero (E/W)
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