What are the best bets at York on Thursday?
The York Ebor meeting continues this afternoon with the four Channel 4-televised races coming under the scrutiny of our racing expert here.
13:55 Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes, 6f
This is tough but Mark Johnston’s RUSUMAAT may well the answer as his form stacks up well and he seems best over this trip on fast ground, which can’t be said about several of his rivals. Since making his debut on the all-weather back in April, he’s run five times on turf, winning twice, with his only bad run coming when down the field in Royal Ascot’s Coventry Stakes, which is generally one of the hottest juvenile races of the entire season. His best run came in defeat last time out at Goodwood where he found only Final Reckoning a quarter length too good. That horse has Group 1 entries later in the season as does the third Top Score, so the form looks strong. The only real niggle is his trainer’s record on the Knavesmire and with two-year-olds in particular – a very modest 5-93 (5%) since 2012. However, I’m not going to let that put me off and by way of compensation he’s dropped lucky with the draw in stall 14 if recent results are a guide – all of the last seven winners were drawn 13 or higher. Take bet365’s 6/1.
He’s preferred to stablemate Miss Infinity, who landed a 7f Listed contest in France last time, and the top-rated runner Rainbow Mist, who would have been the selection but for the fact she prefers some juice in the ground.
14:30 Sky Bet Lowther Stakes (Fillies’ Group 2), 6f
I’m excited to see Frankel’s daughter FAIR EVA back in action as she bids to take her unbeaten record to three, though she’s no betting proposition at best odds of 4/9. An impressive scorer on her Haydock debut when beating subsequent winner Nations Alexander by four lengths, she simply oozed class when winning by the same margin at Ascot on her next start and has come on again since according to her trainer Roger Charlton. Like her sire, she’s likely to go into the winter unbeaten and it’s no surprise to see that she’s already as short as 4/1 (bet365) for next spring’s 1000 Guineas. There are far worse 4/1 shots around.
For the forecast look no further than Richard Fahey’s Queen Kindly, another daughter of Frankel whose dam won this race seven years ago.
15:05 Clipper Logistics Stakes (Handicap), 1m
Sir Michael Stoute’s Mustashry has got in near the bottom of the handicap and as the only three-year-old runner – a progressive one at that – he is highly respected. He showed his disappointing effort on soft ground in the Britannia at Royal Ascot to be all wrong when winning on a fast surface at the same track last time and he’s almost certainly got more to come after just five starts.
He’s hard to pass over at Ladbrokes’ 6/1, but this is ultra competitive and I’m inclined to find one at a bigger price who might reward each-way support – and hopefully hit the jackpot! The one that takes the eye is Keith Dalgleish’s LAT HAWILL, a 12/1 shot with bet365 who responded to the application of a first-time visor when running the well regarded Treasury Notes close at Haydock (1m, good to firm) 12 days ago. The five-year-old has gone up 3lb for that but is still on a fair mark and another bold bid is on the cards under similar conditions. The clincher for the bet is his rider Phillip Makin’s great record for the stable, with 83 winners to show from 466 runners (18%) for a whopping £1 level-stakes profit of £64.98 over the last five seasons.
15:40 Darley Yorkshire Oaks (British Champions Series) (Fillies’ Group 1), 1m4f
Aidan O’Brien is responsible for a third of the 12-runner field as he bids to win this Group 2 for the fourth time. The pick of his quarter and the current 2/1 favourite is four-year-old Found, a remarkably consistent sort who has finished outside the top three just once in 16 career starts, winning five times and perhaps most famously when holding off Golden Horn by half a length in last year’s Breeders’ Cup Turf. Things haven’t gone entirely to plan in 2016, though, with just one victory to show from five starts, that coming in a Group 3 at the Curragh, and she’s twice let down favourite backers.
That makes her opposable at shortish odds and I’d rather be on her stablemate SEVENTH HEAVEN, who can be backed at 4/1 with Paddy Power. She’s a typical Ballydoyle filly in that she is improving with her racing and is already a Group 1 winner, having beaten Epsom Oaks runner-up Architecture fair and square in the Irish equivalent last time out. She will have the fast ground she needs and will love this flat track, as pointed out by O’Brien in the post-race interview at the Curragh when nominating this race as her next target
But one other I can’t let go unbacked is Jim Bolger’s TURRET ROCKS at BetVictor’s 33/1. With the exception of Found, she was the best of these at two with a Group 2 success and a second behind Minding in a French Group 1. She’s shown nothing like that form in three runs this term, though sixth place in the 1000 Guineas on her reappearance wasn’t too shabby, but she’s a fast ground filly through and through and this is the first time she’s had her conditions. She’ll love to hear hooves rattle on the Knavesmire and may well finish in the money to reward each-way support to small stakes.
York 1.55, Rusumaat @ 6/1 bet365
York 2.30, Fair Eva-Queen Kindly straight forecast.
York 3.05, Lat Hawill each-way @ 14/1 bet365 (1/ 4 odds, 188.8.131.52)
York 3.40, Seventh Heaven @ 4/1 Paddy Power / Turret Rocks each-way @ 33/1 BetVictor (1/ 5odds, 1.2.3)
Fancy some free bets? Back a winner at 4/1 or bigger in any of the above Channel 4-televised races with bet365 and they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50 per customer per race) on the next race shown live on Channel 4.