The Acomb Stakes is the first of three Pattern races on the opening day of York’s four-day Ebor meeting on ground that was described as good on Tuesday morning with only a light shower possible ahead of today’s sensational card.
Charlie Hills saddled the winner of this corresponding race 12 months ago with his subsequent Irish Guineas winner King Of Spain and he saddles the once-raced Persuasion (2.25) as he bids for back-to-back wins.
The selection was trained by the now retired Jeremy Noseda in the spring before transferring to the Hills yard at the beginning of July. His fluent Goodwood success came in what is normally a decent maiden although at odds of 16/1 the assumption is he had not been burning up the home gallops. The selection is 4/1 at BetVictor and looks open to significant improvement from a good draw in stall four.
As mentioned yesterday that I will be disappointed if the unbeaten Logician (3.00) does not land the Gt Voltigeur for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori. The Frankel colt has reportedly been working the house down at Newmarket and the hope is that he can light up the day and maintain his perfect record in the same way his father did when landing the feature International Stakes in such glorious fashion on the corresponding card seven years ago.
This represents a step up in grade for the selection – backed from 6/4 to 5/4 with BetVictor on Monday – but I’m not convinced it is the best renewal of what is generally regarded as the premier St Leger trial. Note Logician is currently 8/1 (from 10s) for the final classic of the flat season.
Aiden O’Brien saddles two with Constantinople – who was a beaten favourite in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood last time – the mount of Ryan Moore.
The Group 1 contest on the opening day is the 10f International Stakes and this is a real clash of the generations with three-year-olds King Of Comedy, Circus Maximus and Japan taking on their seniors led by Crystal Ocean who lost nothing in defeat when beaten a neck by Enable in the King George last time.
Crystal Ocean has only won one Group 1 and is, arguably, better over an additional quarter-mile and did finish third over today’s C&D in the Dante a couple of year’s ago. He has improved in leaps and bounds subsequently but he is 11/10 at BetVictor and I will look for an each way alternative.
Derby fourth Japan drops down in trip and is a fascinating contender, but marginal preference is for King Of Comedy (3.35). The selection has never raced beyond a mile but is the half-brother to a Prix de Diane winner and looked ready for a step up to 10f when runner up at Royal Ascot in the St James’s Palace Stakes last time. Yes, his stamina must be taken on trust, but he looked very good when landing the Heron Stakes on his penultimate start and at 4/1 he gets the each way vote.
Makawee has looked all over the winner on his last couple of starts – both over today’s C&D – but she has been run out of it close home in both runs and Danny Tudhope is likely to leave his challenge to the last possible minute in the 2m handicap.
Sleeping Lion (4.15) showed he had the stamina for today’s 2m trip when runner up at Ascot last time and he is taken to reward each way support – 8/1 at BetVictor – for James Fanshawe with Jamie Spencer taking over in the saddle this afternoon. Note Oisin Murphy was in the saddle at Ascot but he is leaving York after his sole ride in the opener to get to Kempton Park for this evening’s meeting.
At Kempton Zuba (8.15) beat a subsequent winner over this evening’s C&D on his penultimate start and he may not have been given the best of rides when a close fifth in the Shergar Cup last time. He is only 3lbs higher than when scoring here at the beginning of the month and David Egan takes over in the saddle.
At Worcester this evening only five go to post in the 2m 4f Handicap Hurdle but I feel Really Super (6.00) can go one better than when second at Uttoxeter last time from the same mark as he runs off tonight for Amy Murphy.
For all your racing odds go to BetVictor.com