With the big Ascot races covered elsewhere, our resident tipster turns his attention to the action on the Knavesmire with a couple strongly fancied.
We’ve some cracking racing to get stuck into this afternoon and, having covered Ascot’s King George and International elsewhere on this site, I’m going to concentrate on the action at York, where the feature is the Sky Bet Dash over 6f (3.30pm).
It’s a handicap and it contains some familiar names, with the majority having carried my cash in recent seasons. Bogart is just one of those and Kevin Ryan’s charge must come into the reckoning as he’s run some terrific races on the Knavesmire, including when third of 16 behind the re-opposing Kimberella last time. He’s got no secrets from the handicapper, though, and history tells us that the winner is often bound for pattern company, meaning we are looking for an unexposed, fast-improving sprinter.
Step forward the Charlie Hills-trained TANZEEL, who is almost certainly destined for Listed / Group races and is likely to be a good deal better than his current handicap rating of 96. A winner at Yarmouth last summer, he was off the track until reappearing at Newcastle last month when, having recovered from a slow start, he kept on nicely to finish fourth to the smart Bushcraft, who was completing a hat-trick.
With that run under his belt, he should be far more competitive here and it’s worth noting that his owner won this race 12 months ago with Muthmir, who was also beaten in that Newcastle race. That horse has gone on to be successful in Group 2 company and, while I’m not suggesting the selection is in the same class, the potential is there. Hills, who remains in good form, seems happy with him, saying in his Weekender column “he’s ready to run now” and the booking of the excellent James Doyle is another positive. I know he’s favourite at 8/1, but he’s every right to be.
The other bet on the Knavesmire is the Ann Duffield-trained ROSINA, who makes her handicap debut in the closing nursery after winning a maiden here on her debut. The bare form of that win is nothing special but she won nicely, quickening well to lead inside the final furlong and keeping on strongly to win by a cosy length.
After the race her trainer was most complimentary, saying: “We bought Rosina at the breeze-up [sale] and we have always liked her. We knew she had an engine but you never know how they will go first time. They didn’t actually go quick enough for her as she was pulling. PJ [McDonald, her rider] said she would be better in a better race.” That perhaps explains why she has swerved what looked an easier opportunity for the filly at Carlisle on Sunday and I’m very happy to take the 6/1 on offer as I think she’ll go off shorter (already 4/1 in a place).