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S.A.S » Ebor Festival 2017 » Advanced days

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1Advanced days Empty Advanced days on Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:09 am



Sir Michael Stoute hasn’t saddled the winner of the Betfred Ebor (3.35) since 1996, but Dubka could provide him with a belated fourth success at York.

The daughter of Dubawi has been plying her trade in Group races and the clock suggests her form stands up well against these largely exposed handicappers off a mark of 102.

Her best effort came at Haydock in June when she split French raider Bateel and subsequent Group 1 winner Ajman Princess on soft ground.

She then failed by just a neck to withstand the late challenge of Endless Time in the Lillie Langtry at Goodwood three weeks ago, again on soft, and may well gain compensation if getting sufficient cut in the ground.

Cardsharp was a beaten favourite at Goodwood recently, but that soggy surface wasn’t to his liking and he can prove he is better than that by winning the Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes (3.00).

Mark Johnston’s tough juvenile had clocked better figures in each of his previous five races, peaking with his July Stakes win at Newmarket.

He can turn the tables on the Richmond one-two Barraquero and Nebo.

Bengali Boys turned the Weatherbys Super Sprint at Newbury into a procession and can add to his tally in the Julia Graves Roses Stakes (4.10).

Richard Fahey’s promising youngster sprouted wings in the closing stages to leave his rivals toiling in his wake and the time stacked up well against the rest of the card, adding substance to the style. He has more on his plate here but can rise to the challenge.


The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (3.35) at York is widely considered a duel between Lady Aurelia and Battaash, but Marsha could upset the applecart.

Sir Mark Prescott’s filly has finished behind both of the principals this season, but she hasn’t been in the same form as when landing the Palace House at Newmarket and is up to their level at her best.

Perhaps returning to York, where she is a course-and-distance winner, will help her to bounce back.

Azari gamely defied top-weight at Haydock recently and can follow up in the Sky Bet First Race Special Handicap (1.55).

Tom Dascombe’s five-year-old earned a personal best at the Lancashire track and has reached the frame a couple of times this term over this course and distance. Versatile as regards ground, he looks sure to be in the mix.

Thomas Hobson can lift the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup (2.25).

Willie Mullins’ dual-purpose seven-year-old hadn’t run on the Flat since 2013 when returning to this sphere at Royal Ascot, but he ran away with the Ascot Stakes in a good time and that sets the standard.

High Jinx, a creditable third behind Dartmouth here in May, has been below-par twice since but Tim Easterby’s sprightly nine-year-old is worth an each-way saver.

Kings Gift can end his lean spell in the Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap (4.50).

Second in the Horris Hill at Newbury last season, Michael Dods’ three-year-old has come up short in Group races this term but showed there were still races to be won with him when third in a course-and-distance handicap last month, earning his best speed figure.


Kynren (83) was a decisive winner of the concluding handicap at Newmarket on Saturday and David Barron’s lightly raced and progressive three-year-old may not have finished winning yet.


Mattmu (54) was never headed in the valuable Great St Wilfrid at Ripon on Saturday, but the consolation sprint was 1.76sec faster and the form of the main event may be unreliable.

2Advanced days Empty Re: Advanced days on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:42 pm


Al Neksh
1.55 York
1pt each-way at 11-1 with Hills & 188Bet

Al Neksh
1:55 York
Dal Harraild
2.25 York
1pt win at 9-2 with bet365, Betfred, Coral, Hills, Ladbrokes & 188Bet 
Dal Harraild
2:25 York
3.00 York
1pt each-way at 20-1 with bet365 & Betway
3:00 York
3.35 York
2pts win at 7-4 with Betfred & 188Bet
3:35 York
Capital Flight
4.15 York
1pt each-way
Capital Flight
4:15 York
4.50 York
1pt win
4:50 York

With all due respect to Wednesday's excellent Juddmonte International, the race everyone has been looking forward to at York this week is today's Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (3.35).
Twelve runners are set to go to post, but this is all about three-year-olds Lady Aurelia and Battaash and it's just a shame the Knavesmire took 15mm of rain on Wednesday as otherwise Dayjur's long-standing course record from 1990 could well have been under threat.

Dayjur raced in the same colours as Battaash and I'm full of hope for Charlie Hills's lightning-fast son of Dark Angel in his biggest test yet.

It's not going to be easy as Lady Aurelia has twice looked brilliant at Royal Ascot when winning the Queen Mary by seven lengths as a juvenile and this season's King's Stand by three, but she went off the boil after Ascot last year and has to prove herself on a different course.

It's true her final two runs last season came over 6f and she looks an out-and-out 5f performer, but there is a question mark and so far this term Battaash has thrashed everything put against him despite wildly different conditions.

He was a big drifter in the King George Stakes at Goodwood last time when faced with soft ground, but he fairly tanked through the race and streaked away from Profitable, beating the runner-up by a similar margin as Lady Aurelia had at Ascot.

The pair are drawn apart in stalls three and nine, but Take Cover is in six and Battaash will be happy enough to take an early lead from him, as he did at Goodwood. It's not like me to put up horses at really short odds, but I've been as excited about this race as any Flat contest in years and won't be able to resist.

The rest of today's selections will not be so short, starting in the Sky Bet First Race Special Handicap (1.55) with Al Neksh for William Haggas, who I hope will have a good day.

Still lightly raced for a four-year-old, Al Neksh had an up-and-down campaign at three, but won twice and looked booked for a good campaign when running second on his reappearance to 2015 John Smith's Cup winner Master Carpenter on soft ground at York in May.

It's true he was beaten five lengths, but the winner had his conditions, had dropped 15lb from his peak rating and was race-fit to boot.

Some of those who finished close up have not done much since, but the race has produced winners and there's no reason to doubt the strength of the form.

Unfortunately Al Neksh was last of six when next seen at Newmarket, but he burst a blood vessel and has had eight weeks to recover. It's not the first time he's thrown in a stinker as he was last of 14 when well backed at Glorious Goodwood last year, but bounced back to win seven weeks later and may be best fresh.

The obvious favourite is Game Starter, a big, backward three-year-old with impeccable breeding who may be up to contesting Group races in time. He looked good at Newmarket last time, but got the run of the race from the front up the favoured stands' rail and might find it tougher to dominate upped in trip in this big field.

I like horses with solid York form and Haggas's Dal Harraild is one of many with that in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup (2.25).

Dal Harraild looked a stayer with serious potential when shrugging off a Listed penalty to win easily over 1m6f here in May and I wouldn't worry about his subsequent Hardwicke Stakes sixth (beaten only four lengths) as they tried to make it a searching test at 1m4f and he went off too fast. He'll be much happier back up in trip.

He boasts the ability to travel sweetly without tugging and also has a turn of pace - a potent combination for a stayer.

The Sky Bet City of York Stakes (3.00) is fiercely competitive with no more than 4lb between 12 of the 17 runners on official ratings and I'll take a bit of a flyer with Toscanini, who runs in a race he can actually win rather than acting as a pacemaker (or spoof pacemaker) as he has done for Ribchester on his last three starts.

Some of his best form is not far off the best of these and he was beaten only three lengths in a muddling Sussex Stakes last time, suggesting he retains all his ability.

He was better known as a 6f sprinter in Ireland, but has some really good form at 7f too, including seconds as a two-year-old in the Chesham and Group 1 National Stakes (to Gleneagles) and a close fifth in the Jersey as a three-year-old. The drop back from a mile is certainly in his favour and 20-1 is a fair price.

I don't normally tip in maidens, but while everyone was wetting themselves over the performance of Dee Ex Bee on his debut at Goodwood this month I was fairly adamant third-placed Capital Flight was the best horse in the race – he'll need to be if the winner's Acomb run is as good as he is – and I will be backing him to prove the point in the British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden (4.15).

Keen and green in the early stages, he was cantering three furlongs out, but nearly got put over the rails and dropped back to last after another furlong only to rocket through the field under hands and heels.

He is related to stacks of winners and, while judging by their big-race entries there will be plenty in here with tall reputations, his experience might be key.

Finally, Haggas can round the day off with the hat-trick-seeking Mojito in the Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap (4.50).

The trainer blamed himself for his early defeats this season as he was trying to rush up his handicap mark with a view to getting into the Britannia, but he's starting to look the real deal now and the way he has been finishing suggests he'll relish another try at a mile.


Ebor fancy I wasn't sure what to make of a draw in 20 for my ante-post pick Star Storm in tomorrow's Betfred Ebor Handicap, but then I checked and eight of the last nine winners have been drawn in double figures.

Badly handicapped Having played in loads of golf society days off marks of 20-24 and been winless since 1997, I recently joined Surrey Downs, put three cards in and have been given an official mark of 13 for today. I still don't know whether I should consider that a high or a low, but I must be a 50-1 poke!

3Advanced days Empty Re: Advanced days on Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:05 am


@XxicequeenxX wrote:


The Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (3.35) at York is widely considered a duel between Lady Aurelia and Battaash, but Marsha could upset the applecart.

Kings Gift can end his lean spell in the Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap (4.50).

Wish i read this properly other day that would been a great each way double to set stakes would returned £180 meeeeeh

Tipster Of The Year 2017 SeanRobertz

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