The rain did arrive at York on Tuesday evening. There was just enough to change the going to good, good to firm in places. There was plenty of moisture in the ground and looking at the times it was certainly slower than last year’s opening day. Good ground, on the easy side, was probably the right description but there was no good to firm out there.
It hard to keep up with the weather forecast for York over the next three days. It seems to be changing every hour. Now 2mm is being forecast for Thursday afternoon which wasn’t on Wednesday morning. Meanwhile Saturday had been forecast to be dry but now there could be heavy thundery showers during the afternoon.
It was like York of the 80s & 90s yesterday with horses staying towards the far rail. There were three handicaps on the straight course and all the winners were drawn low. Mind you stall 1 was a bit of a coffin box draw. With the runners gravitating to the stands side, it meant you needed plenty of luck in the run from that stall.
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Inside today’s main piece I look ahead to day two of the Ebor Festival. Plus, you’ll find my York Placepot picks.
Golden rules update:
It was a good day for the ‘golden rule’s’ that I put up in Tuesday’s Preview. Bergerac’s win in the opener (22/1) got the “simple but profitable” angle off to a fantastic start. The qualifiers won’t all win as we saw later on the card. However, their strike rate is good and given Bergerac’s SP they will likely end up in profit once more this year.
There was just one handicap on the round course yesterday. Despite the poor record of horses drawn in the final quarter on the round course that didn’t stop punters backing Soapy Stevens (stall 14) into favouritism. If they had read Tuesday’s preview, they wouldn’t have touched the horse with the proverbial barge pole. One might well win over the next three days, but I will still be avoiding them as they are now 1 winner from 140 runners since 2017.
Thursday’s “simple but profitable angle” qualifiers
2:25 – Dare To Hope – After Shaquille’s defeat yesterday 2-year-old’s are 3-36 -10.5pts
3:00 – Blue For You
3:00 – Orbaan
3:35 – Alpinista
3:35 – Poptronic
Ones to avoid:
There’s one handicap (3:00) on the round course tomorrow. For those interested the ones drawn in quarter 4 are:
Ebor Festival – Day 2
It's Yorkshire Oaks and Ladies Day at York. The action gets off to a flying start with Group 2 Sky Bet Lowther Stakes (1.50). However, the feature race is of course the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks (3:35). It looks a cracker to with the Sir Mark Prescott trained mare Alpinista having a rare run in Britain, seeking a seventh successive win. However, she does face some useful rivals including Oaks winner Tuesday, Irish Oaks winner Magical Lagoon and Group 1 winner La Petite Coco.
Thursday’s big handicap is the valuable Clipper Logistics Handicap (3.00) which has attracted a maximum field of 20 for a race with £125,000 in guaranteed prize money. Last year’s winner Cruyff Turn will be popular choice among local punters on his bid for back-to-back race successes.
The speedy juvenile fillies get things underway in the 6f the Group 2 Lowther Stakes. Hot favourite is Dramatised made it 2-2 when winning the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot. Given how impressive she was last time she is worthy favourite. However, she may be worth taking on here given the form of the Queen Mary hasn’t really worked out.
Newmarket Group 2 winner Mawj could be capable of better and is big contender. Lady Hollywood has been supplemented after she produced a nice turn of foot to win a Listed race at Naas last month. She’s gets a handy 3lb from Dramatised and Mawj and should stay 6f.
Irish challenger Matilda Picotte is a very speedy filly and this sharp 6f will really play to her strengths. Its hard to see her winning but she’s capable of getting into the money.
Kinta unbeaten on her first two starts, both on the all-weather, showed she was just as effective turf when a length 2nd of 9 to Lezoo in the Group 3 Princess Margaret Stakes at Ascot last time. She’s got plenty of scope for improvement and the forecast strong pace will suit her.
Darley Yorkshire Oaks
Just seven fillies & mares go to post for the feature but it’s an intriguing contest. Arc hopeful Alpinista has won her last four starts in Group 1 company in Germany and latterly the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud in France. Runner-up to Love in 2020 the 5-year-old is the one to beat on form and the rain that arrived on Tuesday has come at the right time for her.
Tuesday won the Oaks at Epsom before running below par in the Irish Derby last time. She’s better than run and likely to bounce back with a big run.
Magical Lagoon won the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot and then won a likely below standard Irish Oaks last time. That said she’s got a likable battling attitude, as she showed when winning at the Curragh. Needs to find a bit more improvement but could be well positioned in a steadily run race.
La Petite Coco has improved from three to four and made a winning seasonal return in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes (1m 2f) at the Curragh. A very likeable filly who looks capable of better returned to 1m 4f. Connections will be hoping that the moisture stays in the ground.
French challenger Raclette has been steadily progressive this season and improved for the step up to 1m 4f when winning a Group 2 at Longchamp last month. Needs to improve to win this but she may well do so.
I'm surprised Alpinista is as big as 5/2 with Coral & Ladbrokes. She's brings the best form to the race and the ease in the ground is a big plus. I have to say at those sort of odds I'm tempted. However, I can't now desert La Petite Coco. I think she's got a big performance in her. A win here and she becomes a serious Arc contender.
1:50 – Leg 1 – Matilda Picotte & Kinta
2:25 – Leg 2 – Shouldvebeenaring & King's Crown
3:00 – Leg 3 – Orbaan, Blue For You & Cruyff Turn
3:35 – Leg 4 – La Petite Coco
4:10 – Leg 5 – Mimikyu
4:45 – Leg 6 – One Nation & Indian Dream
Today its 24 bets 2 x 2 x 3 x 1 x 1 x 2 = 24 bets. Today I have used 50p unit stakes, so my total stake is £12.
Good luck with your York bets.