York 3.45 (Ebor) tips – Be Brave and back Mullins second string at 10/1

York 3.45 (Ebor) tips - Be Brave and back Mullins second string at 10/1

Wicklow Brave

Wicklow Brave

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Betting Tip: @ 10/1 with

It’s getting harder and harder for the progressive types to get into this race and improving three-year-old runners are as rare as hen’s teeth. That’s down to the fact three are so many older handicappers rated 100 or higher in training these days and, given most of these are fairly exposed, it’s becoming more about luck in running and what happens on the day, rather than form and ability. It’s no wonder the average winning SP this millennium has been over 20/1.

You’ve probably guessed I’m not feeling particularly confident about solving this puzzle, and I haven’t even got on to the draw. Just one of the last eight winners were drawn lower than 14 – the exception coming out of box 10 – but I’m not sure we can safely put a line through the lower drawn horses. The John Smith’s Cup, run over track and trip a few weeks ago, was fought out by horses drawn one and two, in which case anything can win and the best advice is to ignore the draw altogether.

Selection time and I’m making no excuses for putting up a couple, with Willie Mullins’ County Hurdle winner WICKLOW BRAVE catching the eye at 10/1. He’s not even the stable first string, with stablemate Clondaw Warrior preferred in the betting having got in as first reserve, but the layers may well have called it wrong. The six-year-old is potentially well treated on a mark of 102 (he’s rated 150+ over jumps) and can be excused his latest Royal Ascot run as he failed to stay the marathon trip of the Queen Alexandra. Over this shorter trip, he can use his turn of foot to good effect and his burden is lessened by Jack Kennedy’s 7lb claim.

Field Of Athenry, the sole three-year-old runner and current favourite at 11/2, has obvious claims and he will likely attempt to make all, as he did when bossing small fields on his last couple of starts. That won’t be so easy here, especially from his wide draw in 22, and I’d rather back ARABIAN COMET at nearly times his price (18/1 best with Paddy Power). William Haggas’ charge – yes, him again – has been running creditably in Listed/Group contests over shorter this term, shaping like she was crying out for a step up in trip. With her stable in flying, she must give us a good run for our money at least. Split stakes on her and Wicklow Brave.

Betting Tip: @ 10/1 with

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