I’ve long been waiting for the Ebor meeting and at last Day 1 has arrived. I am actually on the Knavesmire today and it is my first trip to York so I’m hoping for a few winners to make the trip a memorable one.
The opening sprint is a impossible race to pick apart and the bookies aren’t taking many chances with most of the field under 14/1. There are a few I like but with low numbers having an advantage in recent renewals I’ve sided with HURRICANE IVOR who is on a retrieval mission after a poor run on soft ground at Goodwood last time. His run prior to that at Ascot is top form as he pulled miles clear on the unfavoured side and also just got touched off to a progressive sort. He would probably appreciate an extra furlong here today but if they get racing some way out then he will be strong at the finish and could mow them down late on.
The Acomb is a small field event but it boasts plenty of class. I was super impressed with NOBLE TRUTH last time out who ate up the ground in the final furlong at Newmarket. Stamina seems to be his forte and although York is a ‘pacy’ track, non stayers do get found out so I wouldn’t be worried about him getting done for toe. I’d expect William Buick to sit handy, if not make all and take no prisoners in the final 2 furlongs.
I’m surprised Ryan Moore has sided with High Definition given how well SIR LUCAN ran last time out at Goodwood. Despite missing the kick he stayed on powerfully under Frankie Dettori, who keeps the ride today, and looked an unfortunate runner up at the line. He has won over further already this year and given this race is a key trial for the St Leger, you would hazard a guess connections are aiming for the final classic of the season with him. His ‘sexier’ stablemate has questions to answer and to me this is the most solid bet in the race.
The staying handicap is another competitive race and I’m going to have two darts at the board. ELYSIAN FLAME has proven to be a consistent performer this season and has certainly took his form to a new level. Having been placed in some hot handicaps, you would hope his day isn’t too far away but either way at 7/1 he rates a solid each way bet here.
Whether he may be vulnerable to a young improver is another question but if he is, the young improver could be PLATFORM NINETEEN who is fast making up for lost time. Michael Bell’s horse missed the whole of 2020 but returned with a victory at Beverley before a solid run at Goodwood last time. He travelled like the winner that day but perhaps didn’t quite see out the extended 2m 5f trip. Back down the usual 2 miles you would say he will be much more at home and should be in the shake up.
The 4.45 looks a bit of a filthy sprint handicap but looking at the early odds one did catch my eye. MID WINSTER looks over priced at 14/1 considering some of her form this season. She has already beaten some of these fillies including one who is a third of her price in the betting which makes little sense to me. Yes, she was beat last time out but it looked to me as if she was made too much use of early by a jockey who wouldn’t have ridden her before. On the whole she is a consistent sort and at a double figured price I’d be hopeful of a run for our money.
York 1.50 Hurricane Ivor
York 2.25 Noble Truth
York 3.00 Sir Lucan
York 4.10 Elysian Flame / Platform Nineteen
York 4.45 Mid Winster