Its the opening day of York’s Ebor Festival as Pete casts his eye of a mouth watering card. Will Postponed breeze to vicory in the Juddmonte?
A 5f sprint handicap opens the card today at York today, and I’m feeling pretty optimistic that we can give the bookies a good bashing today.
A lot of these have run against each other recently and for me there are three horses that stand out and are weighted to reverse the form with the others.
Tuesday York Selections (automatically added to slip)
They are front runner Bowson Fred and hold up horses Harry Hurricane and Duke of Firenze, with the former Bowson Fred ridden by Frankie Dettori.
Im in little doubt he’ll be trying to set the right fractions on this horse from the front. It won 2 races earlier in the season and has since been placed in several handicaps like this one.
Is usually found wanting at the finish and was reeled in late on at Ascot and at Goodwood last time out. Is drawn in the middle today, might find it hard to grab the rail.
Front runners don’t tend have the best of records at this course, and I think this one will set it up for a few of the others. I wouldn’t rule Bowson Fred holding on for a place again though.
Harry Hurricane won a similar handicap over course and distance back in May and could do well.
He wasn’t the same on it’s next 2 starts but was very unlucky last time out at Ascot, falling out of the stalls and wasn’t beaten far, finishing only a half a length behind Bowson Fred then.
The Hurricane should reverse the placings today given a clear run, and clearly has a liking for the track and should go well.
The one I fancy the most in this race however is Duke of Firenze, who was a decent horse in his pomp for Sir Michael Stoute.
The Duke won a race over course and distance back in May beating a good few of these, and ran a cracker last time out when 5th in the Stewards Cup at Goodwood over 6f.
The form of that race has worked out well since and he has a nice low draw today.
I can see this one finishing late and fast. It’s an open race but DUKE OF FIRENZE is the one I like and should give us a good run at 10/1 each way.
The Acomb Stakes is always a decent 2yo race at 2.30.
Two horses stand out in this race this year and they are the Mark Johnston trained Bear Valley and the Hugo Palmer trained Best of Days.
Bear Valley was 2nd on its first two runs and has since then won twice and made a favourable impression last time out when running away with a Nursery at Goodwood.
The horse needs to improve again to take this Group 3 but I wouldn’t rule it out.
Best Of Days went into everyone’s notebooks when it won on debut, putting on a very impressive that day and beat some good sorts by 6 lengths. It could well have won by more if pushed.
William Buick recently gave BOD as his best bet of this York August meeting, while Hugo Palmer has nothing but good things to say about this horse when asked.
I just get the feeling that this horse could well be special and possibly a 2000 Guineas contender next season.
Bear Valley will put up a fight but BEST OF DAYS should take this race.
The Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (3.05) has been won by some decent types over the years.
Most recently won by Telescope, Postponed and Storm the Stars.
Idaho is the one that is clear on ratings this year. He has been a model of consistency this season without winning.
Was 2nd to Harzand in a Derby trial at Leopardstown and then went on to finish 3rd to Harzand in the Epsom Derby and 2nd to that same horse in the Irish Derby.
He got closer to Harzand last time out which suggest this horse is still improving.
This race is a drop in grade for Idaho and it should be enough to see this one get it’s head in front today.
Across the Stars could be the main danger but IDAHO is the one I like.
The Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes (3.40) is the feature race of this York August meeting.
Postponed is the horse that is on everyone’s lips and has been backed into the 7/4 favourite.
This horse has gone from strength to strength this season, winning a Group 2 earlier in the season in Meydan and followed up that win in the Group 1 Dubai Sheema Classic over at that same course and distance.
Postponed also beat some of the world’s beat then including today’s rivals Highland Reel and Dariyan.
He has only had 1 run since and that came in the Coronation Cup at Epsom on Derby Day, beating Found then and that horse is a very good yardstick.
Postponed missed its intended run in the King George and Queen Elizabeth Stakes last month due to a respiratory infection.
His trainer says he’s in good order but there is a slight doubt in the back of my mind about this one today.
Also the drop in trip and the trainers poor recent form is off putting.
Hawkbill is the the 2nd favourite has had a great season winning 3 times, and had a career best last time out when winning the Eclipse Stakes at Sandown from The Gurkha.
That race has proven to be a good trial for this race. Needs to find more improvement again today to win but I wouldn’t rule it out.
I believe Hawkbill is the one they all have to beat, but I do believe there is better value in the race though.
Wings of Desire is the one I like.
Won the Dante Stakes at this track earlier in the season and ran a great race when 4th in the Derby on ground that he hated.
He ran another great race when 2nd to Highland Reel in the King George Stakes at Ascot on its most recent run.
I think he can get the better of that rival today.
Both Frankie Dettori and trainer John Gosden said that this horse will come into it’s own at the back end of the season and they were both confident that they had a special horse.
I think today’s the day that WINGS OF DESIRE lives up to that expectation and is a really nice price – that 14/1 should give us a good run for our money.
I like the chances of outsider Repeater in the penultimate race on the card.
It has been running really well this season for his new trainer Amanda Mooney.
The gelding gave Mooney her first training success when beating subsequent Cork Derby winner Alveena by a head at the Curragh on Irish 2,000 Guineas Day in May.
The 7yo has since finished 3rd at Epsom and 4th at Galway. Her trainer recently said “I think he has a serious chance, he’s always a great each-way chance.
But he’s a tricky horse, he lives out in the field all the time and only comes in to get tacked up or to go to the races, I think that keeps him sane.
He’s back to his best and I think he’ll be better on the forecast better ground for York. He has bottom weight and Killian Leonard takes a further 7lb off him.
Killian is riding well and let’s hope it continues. He knows him very well and he gave him a good ride to win in the Curragh.
The Willie Mullins trained Renneti looks the danger but I like the chances of REPEATER each way in this 2 mile handicap.
The last race on the card is a Nursery handicap with 20 runners going to post.
This Nursery like most is very tricky to find the winner of. The likes of The Wagon Wheel, Muthawatheb, Storm Cry and Nautical Heaven all have fair chances.
I’m going to take a chance on one at a nice price and that is the Charles Hills trained PARYS MOUNTAIN.
He ran a great race on debut to be 2nd to Thunder Snow. That horse has since placed in a Group 2.
The horse that just finished behind Parys Mountain won on it’s next start. Parys Mountain then ran midfield in the Group 2 Coventry Stakes won by Caravaggio.
He didn’t like the soft ground then and ran a much better race next time up when 5th in a decent maiden at the Glorious Goodwood festival.
The 2nd Rich and Famous has since won.
Parys Mountain has the form in the book to win a race like this. Doesn’t have the best of draws but should run well.
I really like the chances of two of my selections today and strongly suggest putting them in a double.
York Day One Singles and Double
BEST OF DAYS 2:30 & IDAHO 3:05
The double is currently paying just over 3/1!
I also think my other 4 selections have a good chance at nice odds.
I suggest doing an Each Way Lucky 15 on these:
DUKE OF FIRENZE 1:55 @ 10/1
WINGS OF DESIRE 3:40 @ 14/1
REPEATER 4:20 @ 20/1
PARYS MOUNTAIN 4:55 @ 9/1