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York Ebor Festival – Day 1

Morning all,

The heavy thunderstorms and rain seemed to have bypassed York. They had 2mm on Monday evening but nothing more by mid-afternoon on Tuesday. Even if there has been rain on Tuesday evening, I don’t think it will be enough to change the going description from good to firm.

Day 1’s seven race card sees a nice mix of Group races and big field handicaps. The ITV cameras are broadcasting the first five races live as they are throughout the week.

Inside today’s main piece you’ll find preview of the three Group races including the feature race the Group 1 Juddmonte International (3:35). Plus, there’s a York Placepot attempt.

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Juddmonte International

Baaeed will take now on five rivals on his long-waited step up to 1m 2f in the Group 1 Juddmonte International (3.35). Trainer William Haggas also saddles Dubai Honour butAlenquer is out due to dirty scope

Last year’s impressive winner Mishriff is Baaeed’s main market rival and reproduction of last year’s performance would see him provide a stern test for the short-priced favourite.

There doesn’t seem to be much in the way of pace. The only serious pace angle looks to be High Definition. An aggressive front running ride back down at 1m 2f could see the colt back to his best but he’s not reliable.

You can’t knock Native Trail’s consistency and he was only head behind Mishriff when 3rd of 6 to Vadeni in the Coral Eclipse. He finds plenty pressure, but the Irish 2,000 winner lacks an instant change of gear. He wouldn’t want a tactical race, but York’s long straight should play to his strengths.

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Any significant ease in the ground could see Dubai Honour, who isn’t far below Group 1 level outrun big odds but that now seems unlikely

If Baaeed is healthy, he wins, and I will take the consistent Native Trail to chase him home.

Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes

Walk Of Stars and Secret State give Charlie Appleby a strong hand in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes (3.00). Secret State, to be ridden by William Buick, looks the pick of the pair.  A winner of a Goodwood handicap under a big weight last time

Deauville Legend was head behind Secret State when runner-up to that one in the King George V Stakes (handicap) at Royal Ascot. He’s 4lb worse off today but he’s improved since winning the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy and finishing runner-up to Secret State’s stablemate New London in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood.

The biggest rival to Secret State looks to be the Aidan O’Brien trained colt Aikhal. The son of Galileo seemed to relish the step up to 1m 2f when an impressive winner of a Group 3 at the Curragh in June. If as expected the step up to 1m 4f suits he’s a big player.

Tattersalls Acomb Stakes

Smart juvenile prospect Nostrum wasn’t in the final declarations for the Group 3 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes (2:25). However, a couple of the ante post market leaders Local Dynasty and Mill Stream do run. The former looked very useful when winning a “Newcomers” maiden at Newmarket 12-days ago. Mill Stream also won racecourse debut at Doncaster. Before finishing ½ length runner-up to Noble Style (stablemate of Local Dynasty) at Newmarket last month.

Chaldean built on his racecourse debut promise when winning at Newbury last month. He’s looked useful at Newbury and is open to further progress.

Irish challenger Indestructible build on a promising debut when winning at Windsor 23-days ago. He was still about green last time and is capable of better. Given he holds Group 1 entries he’s clearly held in high regard by connections.

Oviedo and Shaquille represent local trainers.  The former looked smart when winning at Doncaster on his racecourse debut last month. He found plenty for pressure that day to prevail and that will stand him good stead here. Shaquille also made a winning racecourse debut over C&D last month. He was a bit keen that day so needs to settle better but he’s another open to further progress. Yard has its horses in excellent form, and I can see Shaquille going well in a race where there have been a handful of big-priced winners in the past ten years.

Interestingly Shaquille comes out top rated on my ratings and is a qualifier from the “Simple but profitable” angle I put up in Tuesday’s column. Other qualifiers but not in the top two rated are:

1:50 – Bergerac

3:35 – Sir Busker & Dubai Honour

4:45 – International Girl.

Opening Handicaps: How will the draw pan out?

The 5 ½ f handicap that opens the card has attracted a maximum field of 22. I mentioned in yesterday preview the importance of being ridden handy prominently on the straight course. Well, the forecast is set to be very strong so it will be interesting to see if it holds up or not.

As for the draw it looks like there’s pace across the track although slightly more middle to high. Its possible that low draw might not be advantageous on this occasion.

There are two further big field handicaps on the straight course later on the card. The Fillies' Handicap (4:45) run over 5f and Sky Bet Nursery Handicap (5:20) over 6f.  Another strong pace is anticipated in both races. Once again there seems to be pace across the track in both races. Given the pace scenario’s It could pay to have a selection either side of the track and maybe even down the middle.

York Placepot:

Writing this on Tuesday afternoon and no rain has arrived so its case of going with horses who go well on a quick surface. If heavy rain does arrive, then I will have to take it on the chin.

1:50 – Leg 1 – Atalis Bay & Zarzyni

2:25 – Leg 2 – Chaldean & Shaquille

3:00 – Leg 3 – Aikhal

3:35 – Leg 4 – Native Trail

4:10 – Leg 5 – Master Milliner, Alfred Boucher & Praiano

4:45 – Leg 6 – Cuban Breeze & International Girl.

Today its 36 bets 3 x 2 x 1 x 1 x 3 x 2 = 36 bets. Today I have used 50p unit stakes, so my total stake is £18. Others may go with a sporting 10p unit stake.

Good luck with your York bets.

John

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