The York Ebor meeting is a highlight of the UK Flat racing calendar and opens with the first day feature race being The International Stakes.
Our biggest attention though will be on the opening sprint handicap (1355 BST). A host of in-form pace-setters on a speed favouring track should ensure a breathless pace from the outset. Yorkshire based David O’Meara always does well here and saddles four runners, all with chances.
We think its significant that stable jockey Danny Tudhope has selected Edward Lewis of the four available. This horse has good form on speedy tracks and with any luck in running could have won the Epson Dash and the Wokingham. He was drawn out of contention at Goodwood last time, but conditions look ideal here and he is drawn where he can track the very fast A Momentofmadness. He looks worth a 2pt bet.
Later (1615), another big field goes to post in a contrasting staying slog. Course winners Magic Circle, Theydon Grey and Oceane all deserve respect, we though like the chances of long shot Suegioo.
Admittedly he hasn’t won since the 2014 Chester Cup, but he has finally slipped back to a fair mark. He has been 3rd in an Ebor off 7lbs higher here two years ago, and was a pretty good 5th from off the pace at Royal Ascot recently. Local trainer Richard Fahey is another who loves a win here, and the jockey booking of Jamie Spencer is both unusual for the trainer, and eyecatching as the master of the waiting ride is united with a horse who loves to come from off the pace.
The feature race looks likely to be closely fought. The Eclipse is a good guide usually. and although Ulysses held off Barney Roy there is a titanic struggle, Barney has stayed fresh since whilst Ulysses has another hard race in the King George. Churchill is an obvious danger, but Barney Roy looks solid.
Derby third, and Irish Derby runner-up Cracksman reappears in the preceding Great Voltigeur. It is tempting to paint him as a nearly horse, but he may just be one who improves as the season wears on. Certainly form alone has him well ahead of this field, and he should have as much room for improvement as any of his opponents.
Edward Lewis (1355 York), 2pts win, 9/1 Boylesports
Cracksman (1500 York) & Barney Roy (1535 York), 1pt win double, 13/2 generally available
Suegioo (1410 York), 0.5pts each way, 25/1 generally available
Edward Lewis & Suegioo, 0.5pt each way double, approx. 250/1
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