A brilliant three-day meeting at York gets under way this afternoon and we've got selections for each of the Channel 4-televised races.
The three-day York Dante meeting gets under way this afternoon with four live races on Channel 4, including the feature Musidora Stakes, and we’ve run the rule over them all here.
2.10: 888sport Stakes (Handicap), 1m2f88y
This looks a tricky start for punters with a field of 20 set to go to post. However, recent results suggest otherwise with the biggest-priced winner in the last ten years being returned at 8/1. That will encourage backers of John Gosden’s Mahsoob, who is unbeaten in two starts and did it the hard way Newbury last time from a terrible draw and on ground that was faster than ideal. However, an 8lb rise for that neck success still looks pretty harsh and the form has taken a knock since with both the runner-up and fourth getting beat on their subsequent starts. Do I want to back him at just 7/2? – no thanks!
But William Haggas’ SATELLITE at bet365’s 9/1 (7/1 in a place) does spike my interest with Ryan Moore booked to ride. The four-year-old showed a decent level of form early last season, winning first time out at Ripon and later finishing a short head second in a classified stakes at Doncaster in June. His form tailed off afterwards but he’s been gelded during the winter break and has been dropped a few pounds by the handicapper to what looks a fair mark of 89. His trainer has been amongst the winners of later, with three of his last nine runners obliging, and Moore is riding out of his skin. Stall nine looks okay and there are no concerns over the trip or ground either.
2.40: Infinity Tyres Stakes (Handicap), 6f
This looks even harder to solve but recent winners have tended to be drawn middle-to-high, which helps to narrow the field down to a more manageable size. MASS RALLY, who will exit from stall nine (of 20), is the one that is grabbing my attention the most at the current 10/1 (Betfred). The eight-year-old is a course regular and has twice won over today’s trip from higher marks, including the 2013 version of this race. Indeed, he’s 6lb lower than for the last of those wins in October 2013 and he should at peak fitness following a reappearance fourth at Pontefract, where he made up a lot of ground from the rear in a race favouring prominent runners. Virtually everything his trainer Michael Dods is running right now is running up to expectations or better, with three of his last six runners ending up in the winners’ enclosure, and I’ve always liked backing Paul Mulrennan’s mounts in sprints here.
3.15: Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes (Group 2), 6f
This is a cracking renewal of this Group 2 and highly competitive it is too, with bookmakers going 5/1 the field. Muthmir looked potentially top class in a couple of runs last season, including when winning the SkyBet Dash here in July from Goldream, who franked the form when winning the Group 3 Palace House Stakes on his reappearance, and his Portland Handicap success on his final start came in course record time. He could go to the very top this term, but I’ve a feeling he might be vulnerable first time up with Royal Ascot reportedly his early season target.
Marco Botti deliberately skipped Newmarket’s Guineas meeting with NAADIRR (11/2 bet365) to keep him fresh for this and the four-year-old can reward his patience. The winner of a Listed contest over track and trip last September, the son of Oasis Dream looked to have improved again for his winter break when landing the Listed Cammidge Trophy on his Doncaster reappearance. He holds the second Astaire (a winner since) and fourth Jack Dexter on that form and, if the weather forecast is correct, should get the fast ground he needs to show his best. Royal Ascot beckons after this with the Group 1 July Cup also on his radar, so he really needs to land this to justify those lofty ambitions.
3.45: Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (Fillies’ Group 3), 1m2f88y
Just the five runners have been declared for this established Oaks trial and it looks a match on paper between John Gosden’s STAR OF SEVILLE and the Ballydoyle representative Together Forever, who are a best-priced 10/1 and 106/1 respectively for the Epsom Classic. This is not a betting medium for me personally but, if forced to choose, I’d want to be on the Gosden filly at evens (bet365) given she has the benefit of a run – made all when winning at Newbury on her reappearance – and is in receipt of 4lb from her main rival. Her pilot Frankie Dettori should be able to dictate matters from the front in this small field.
Punters should be aware that bet365 are running their popular Channel 4/1 offer. Back a winner at 4/1 or bigger in any of the four Channel 4-televised races and they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50) on the next race shown live on Channel 4. If that also wins at 4/1 or bigger, get another free bet and so on.
Good luck with your York bets!