Today Nick Hardman of Betting School Insiders Club takes a look at the big races at York, the Nunthorpe Stakes today and tomorrows Ebor Handicap.
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The feature sprint race of the Ebor meeting is the Group 1 Nunthorpe, a race won in recent times by Sole Power, Kingsgate Native, Ortensia and Borderlescott (twice). This race has thrown up some surprise winners in recent years including Jwala @40/1 (2013), Margot Did @20/1 (2011) and Sole Power @100/1 (2010).
Trainer Edward Lynam is ruling the Group sprint races this year with his stable stars Sole Power and Slade Power. Sole Power is 2-2 on home soil this season with wins in the Palace House and King’s Stand Stakes. He needs good ground and the faster the better. On anything less than good he is opposable and may not even run. However, it is hard to knock what he has done under his ideal conditions this season and he is a worthy favourite. Whether you back him or not depends on whether you think 7/2 is value.
Close up in the market are familiar faces Shea Shea and Hot Steak. Shea Shea is sure to prove popular once more but he has now had 4 visits to these shores and lost on each occasion, although he did finish second to Jwala in this race last year. Hot Streak has twice finished behind Sole Power this season and he would probably prefer the ground on the soft side of good.
Cougar Mountain could be anything after a great run to finish 5th in the July Cup on only his second racecourse start. Take Cover is improving at a rate of knots and won the Group 2 King George last time out, with the re-opposing Extortionist, Moviesta, Stepper Point and G Force in behind. He is also 2-2 at York and is a viable alternative to the favourite @8/1. French raider Rangali has collateral form with many of these via Stepper Point who he beat by 3 lengths in June. He could run well at an each-way price.
I wrote an ante-post review of this race for the Betting Insiders and highlighted Astaire and Moviesta as two who could well outrun their ante-post odds of 40/1. Moviesta swept through the handicap ranks last year to win the Group 2 King George Stakes at Goodwood but then flopped when finishing last in this race last season. He has had a much lighter campaign this year (just 4 runs) and his best run was when 3rd of 15 beaten ½ a length by Take Cover in the King George last time out. Three of his four wins have come over the minimum trip but unfortunately the value seems to have gone as he is now 16/1.
One who may be suited by a drop back in trip is Astaire for Kevin Ryan. He has done all his racing at 6f but he has fairly shot out of the gates on his last two starts, showing bags of early speed to lead in both the Diamond Jubilee and the July Cup. On both occasions he ran out of juice in the final furlong and was picked off by stronger finishing horses. He is currently 33/1.
Although this race has thrown up a few surprises in recent times, Sole Power looks a solid favourite on his form this season. Granted his preferred quick going he could be the one to beat. Take Cover looks the biggest danger with Moviesta, Rangali and Astaire having each-way appeal.
The Ebor handicap takes centre stage on the final day and this is a race where we will have a decent sized field for the each-way punter to get stuck into.
This race was won last year by the ill-fated Tiger Cliff @5/1 and it is sad for connections and racing fans alike that he is no longer with us. He was the first single figure winner since Purple Moon @7/2 in 2007. If you want a race that throws up big priced outsiders then consider this. There have been 4 winners @25/1 and 1 winner @100/1 in the last 12 years. Since 1997 there have been 7 winners at odds of 20/1 or higher. Hopefully the statistics can point us towards a few likely types at bigger odds.
First up we are looking for a horse with a top 3 finish LTO as these account for 10 of the last 17 winners. Secondly, no 3yo has won this since 2001 and just two 4yo’s have prevailed in the last 10 years. The 5yo horses are the ones to have on-side with 6 winners in the last 10 renewals. Dual purpose horses do quite well with 4 winners in the last 11 years.
From a ratings perspective, 7 of the last 17 winners were rated 100+ and 6 of the last 7 were rated between 98 and 101. A win over 1m 4f looks like a strong trend and fits the profile of 14 of the last 17 winners.
Those current entries that match the profile include Suegioo @33/1, Mutual Regard @25/1 and current favourite Pallasator @4/1.
Today's Selection courtesy of http://bookiesenemyno1.com
6.35 Hamilton:Half A Billion.