What are the best bets on day two of the York Ebor meeting?
The York Ebor meeting continues this afternoon with the four races being shown live on Channel 4 coming under scrutiny here.
1.55: DBS Premier Yearling Stakes
Tasleet is well clear on the ratings – he’s on 109, which is 8lb higher than the second-highest rated horse Orvar – and he only has to run up to the form of his Goodwood second to the top class Shalaa to land this valuable sales race. The big field of runners (20 have been declared) will put some punters off and understandably so as the bookmakers are hardly giving Richard Hannon’s colt away at around the 7/4 mark, but he’s by far the most likely winner. His draw in stall 14 looks a positive too with the last six winners exiting from stall 13 or higher.
If there is an each-way bet against him it possibly lies with Tim Easterby’s EXCESSABLE, who did best of the low-drawn runners in the Super Sprint at Newbury, finishing fifth as 2/1 favourite. He gets 5lb from the penalised Tasleet and while that may not be enough to allow him to finish in front of that horse, he could well find one of Betfair’s four places (1/4 odds) from stall 17.
2.30: Pinsent Masons Lowther Stakes (Fillies’ Group 2)
The favourite for this Group 2 is the Mark Johnston-trained Lumiere, who impressed many when winning by six lengths on his debt at Newmarket. However, the form of that race has not worked out – the third, fourth, fifth and sixth have all been beaten since – and I’m inclined to swerve him at just 11/8.
The form of the Queen Mary, won by Acapulco, looks stronger so the second and third, Easton Angel and Besharah, have to be considered and it’s worth noting that the Ascot race has proved a good pointer in recent years, with eight winners since 1978 following up on the Knavesmire and three runners-up also winning. Easton Angel got no sort of run when fourth (promoted from fifth) to Illuminate in a Group 2 at Newmarket last time and she may well show her true colours here.
At bigger odds, though, I like the look of Kevin Ryan’s QUIET REFLECTION. She beat only five rivals at Hamilton last time, admittedly, but did it in the style of a very smart filly in the making and the five-length second Farkle Mingus has won since to frank the form. A daughter of Showcasing, who also sired the same stable’s Toocoolforschool, who won the Mill Reef by seven lengths last season, she’s clearly inherited a lot of his ability and may well outrun her bet365 odds of 12/1 (one quarter the odds).
3.05: Clipper Logistics Handicap
This is hugely competitive and that’s reflected in the betting with bookmakers going 6/1 the field. That brings in Godolphin’s Musaddas, who continued his progress when running second to Birdman here last month, and Lady Cecil’s Western Reserve, who looked a Listed performer in the making when winning at the Newmarket July meeting. Of the pair, Musaddas is just preferred as he will be less inconvenienced by any dig in the ground.
However, I’m chasing bigger odds with Hugo Palmer’s EXTREMITY, who is back on a winning mark and is sporting blinkers for the first time. I fancied him for the International at Glorious Goodwood only for him not to make the cut and I’m convinced that there is a big handicap in him. He looked sharply progressive in landing three races especially last term and looked on the way back to his best, after a spell in the doldrums, when finishing fourth at Nottingham last time.
Palmer ran four horses at last year’s Ebor meeting and three finished in the money, with Short Squeeze hitting the target. He’s likely laid out Extremity for this and I’m not going to be out off by his wide draw in stall 20. Granted, low numbers tend to be favoured on the round course here and the first two home in this season’s John Smith’s Cup were drawn one and two. But in bigger fields higher drawn horses can benefit if the pace is too strong and there is every chance some of these will go off too fast. Besides, the 25/1 on offer with Paddy Power helps to compensate for any concerns over the draw.
3.40: Darley Yorkshire Oaks (British Champions Series) (Fillies’ Group 1)
Given Hugo Palmer’s record it’s easy to side with his Covert Love, who has done nothing but improve this season, winning all four of her starts, including the Irish Oaks last time by a comfortable one and three-quarter lengths. The last four winners of that Classic to bowl up at York achieved finishing positions of 1221 and there is no obvious reason why the Curragh second and third, Jack Naylor and Curvy, should reverse the form. Especially when you consider the winner may not have finished improving.
Of the rest, Pleasach could leave her disappointing fifth in the Pretty Polly Stakes when last seen behind as she is likely to be refreshed after a break, but a bigger threat may come from French challenger SEA CALISI. She showed a smart turn if foot when winning a Group 2 at Saint-Cloud last time and this race was immediately singled out as her next target by her trainer Andre Fabre, whose runners on this side of the English Channel are always worth a second look. While Covert Love is put up as the most likely winner, I wouldn’t put anyone off having a few quid each-way on the French horse at 10/1 with bet365, who are a quarter the odds.
Back a winner at 4/1 or bigger in any of the above four Channel 4-televised races with bet365 and they will give you a free bet to the same stake (up to £50) on the next race shown live on Channel 4.