The Betfred Ebor (3.35) is the richest handicap in Europe and of course, it is fiercely contested. It took a rating of 101 to get into the final field of 20 and it might well be that class is the key factor in finding the winner and Natural Scenery could well prove to be the best of them all. Saeed Bin Suroor’s four-year-old has been improving at a rate of knots all through 2017 and she may well not have stopped based on her fine run last time at Glorious Goodwood when she was an excellent fourth on her first start in Group company.
She travelled as well as any horse into the race, looking worthy of her place in group company, and the compressed nature of the race – just 9lbs between top and bottom – could be a great help for one of the many horses in the race that has displayed pattern ability. The time before, she has finished ahead of the favourite Flymetothestars in the Northumberland Plate and will get to race off just 2lbs higher here, on the same terms as Sir Mark Prescott’s horse. He’s as short as 7/1 whilst 16/1 is generally available about Natural Scenery.
The Elite Racing Club had an incredible day as they managed to win the Nunthorpe with Marsha and they also have a fine chance with Top Tug, who was a creditable fourth in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot. He ought to go very well and so should Star Storm, who was a very creditable third there despite getting blocked at the wrong time. For that run, he’s only gone up a solitary pound and whilst he does go up in trip, 1m6f ought to be perfect for him given how well he went into the race when last tried over two miles at Newcastle. The time before he’d finished a very creditable second to Desert Skyline in a Listed contest, form boosted by that one’s third in the Eclipse.
They are the two against the field, with Magic Circle (an easy winner here earlier in the week who has just got in), Battersea (fourth in this last year and now 2lbs lower and with David Egan taking 5lbs off), Lord Yeats (well overpriced off the back of one disappointing run at Goodwood last time), and Seamour (fifth last year in this and not badly handicapped at all here) others to make the longlist.
The Gimcrack (3.00) is tightly matched with several having a realistic form chance but Cardsharp is worth backing to defy the penalty he got for taking the July Stakes. He was behind Nebo in the Vintage Stakes at Goodwood there and now must carry 3lbs more but this surface ought to suit him a lot more here and he can take the beating. Headway hated the soft ground there and ought to go well although Cardsharp was well ahead of Rajasinghe in the July Stakes when he had Invincible Army well behind and on that form he will take a decent deal of beating. Frozen Angel was a running on fifth in the Phoenix and was behind Cardsharp in the Norfolk and if an unexposed horse is to take a step forward is Stormbringer, who bumped into the Listed horse Another Batt on debut and then won well at Redcar last time when giving over a stone to the runner up.
A lot of unexposed horses take the eye in the Melrose (2.25), but none are compelling enough to put forward as a selection here. The same is true of the Strensall Stakes (1.55), where Mondialiste holds a winning chance on his second in the York Stakes here for all that he has to back up that run back a t a mile in a race with little pace, Sovereign Debt is of interest despite his penalty (he’s had a decent break since his Ascot mile disappointment) whilst there’s got to be more to come from Mustashry and Master The World.
The Julia Graves Roses Stakes (4.15) looks to be another tight and trappy contest. Sound and Silence didn’t repeat his Royal Ascot win at the July Meeting but he’s back to the minimum trip and his Windsor Castle form is some of the strongest available on offer here at the minimum trip. He looks big at 9/1 if repeating that effort.
The closing Betfred Apprentice Handicap (5.15) is not a get out race but expect very bold bids from Holmeswood, Batten The Hatches, and Copper Knight especially.
1 pt each/way Natural Scenary, Ebor (16/1 general, 3.35 York)
1 pt each/way Star Storm, Ebor (14/1 general, 3.35 York)
1 pt each/way Cardsharp, Gimcrack Stakes (6/1, 3.00 York)
1 pt each/way Sound and Silence, 4.15 York (9/1 general)
For our full range of tips, join our Community for less than 40p per day.