Charlie McCann of BetVictor.com previews York’s biggest Saturday of the year
The Ebor Handicap is one of the biggest betting races of the flat season and the drying ground and high draw is a concern for the 13/2 market leader Flymetothestars who is only 2lbs higher than when a close third at Gosforth Park in the Northumberland Plate last time.
A high draw was at one stage a big negative in the Ebor but the narrow vote goes to Star Storm (3.35) despite his modest draw in stall 20. The five-year-old didn’t quite get home over the extended two miles at Newcastle back in December but the hope is this 1m 6f should be ideal. James Doyle takes the ride for James Fanshawe and he can reward each way support at 16/1 with BetVictor.
If those drawn low come to the fore then Godolphin’s Natural Scenery (14/1 at BetVictor) is suggested as the alternative but I have always thought there was a good prize in Star Storm and it was nice to see the stable have a winner at York earlier in the week.
Mustashry (1.55) must take the beating if transferring his improved all-weather form to turf having overcome a desperate draw to win a valuable Chelmsford Handicap last time. Favourite Mondialiste (11/4 with BetVictor) won this corresponding race two years ago for David O’Meara and this race will have been the target for some time, but I just favour the Sir Michael Stoute-trained runner who is 3/1 with BetVictor.
The Melrose is another very difficult puzzle to solve but I will take a chance on Secret Advisor (2.25) who ran an excellent race in the Queen’s Vase on his penultimate start before getting bogged down in the Goodwood mud last time. The selection is 12/1 at BetVictor and he is another each way recommendation.
Weekend Offender (4.40) finally got his act together when scoring from a 6lbs lower mark at Ayr last time and connections have always thought that he would improve for the step up to ten furlongs. I agree and he is another each way selection.
The Celebration Mile is Goodwood’s feature, and last year’s winner Lightning Spear had a hard race when third in the Sussex Stakes last time. As a result, I am going to take a chance on Zonderland (3.20) who was runner up to Lightning Spear last term and has not been seen since.
The selection has already shown he can go well fresh and at 4/1 with BetVictor I expect a big run from the Clive Cox trained runner.
At Chester Paddy Pilley takes off a valuable 5lbs from the back of Calder Prince for local handler Tom Dascombe. The 4-year-old likes to race prominently and the hope is that he can get into a nice position at the first bend from his plum draw in stall one.
The draw in stall eight is a concern for Tribal Conquest (3.20) in a valuable handicap at Goodwood on Sunday for Godolphin. The gelding made it third time lucky when breaking his maiden at Doncaster stepped up to today’s 10f trip. Karawaan looks sure to make it a decent test but I was taken with the Charlie Appleby horse last time and there is more to come from the Charlie Appleby-trained runner.
I’m looking forward to seeing White Chocolate (5.05) step up to a mile-and-a-half for the first time in the fillies’ handicap for David Simcock. The selection didn’t get the best of runs at Goodwood last time, but she does have a previous course win to her name when she just got the better of the consistent Nathania who reopposes on Sunday and is considered the main danger.
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