Thank God its Friday. Yesterday’s ambitious 3 from 4 shout got the obligatory 2 from 4 outcome – so it is a welcome relief to see some quality fare at the likes of Ascot and York.
York’s evening meeting gives us a chance to get another look at a favourite of ours, the once-raced and unbeaten Kharbetation (2000 BST). It is very hard to get a handle on how good he could be, mostly because he has proven to be very race-shy. A 4yo with just one run is pretty unusual, but this will be his 4th trip to the track, its just the last twice he has refused to enter the stalls.
There is something generally amusing about a recalcitrant horse, with jockey urging and a gang of handlers pushing like the Argentinian front five, simply refusing to move, however we would like, at some stage, to find out how good the Kharb is on the track. He is consistently well supported suggesting he shows plenty in his homework. Maybe today he will deign to show it on the track.
With our non-runner radar on full alert, we will supplement with a sneaky one at Ascot (1625). Top jockey Ryan Moore is always worth a head start, and a booking for trainer Mark Johnston is fairly eye-catching.
Shamshon is a warm favourite here after an easy win at Newmarket last time, but a 6yo with 25 runs is unlikely to have too much in hand. Instead trust Moore to get the best out of the more lightly raced 3yo Yalta. A mark of 102 looks high, but this will in fact be a first handicap run having run in 8 Group races (winning one) since two early 2yo wins.
Yalta may have been last in the Group 1 Commonwealth Stakes last time, but his 5th in the Pavilion Stakes, just 3 lengths behind Harry Angel over this course the run before is potentially well ahead of this handicap grade. The step back to 5f, over which he won a Group 3, can only help, and Ryan Moore is the final tick in the box.
Yalta (1625 Ascot), 1pt win, 6/1 generally available
Kharbetation (2000 York), 1pt win, 5/1 generally available
Yalta & Kharbetation, 1pt win double, approx. 41/1.
Please subscribe for notification of up-to-date tips and news, and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.