Saturday brings down the curtain at York and Seymour Biz reckons the bookies’ favourite can defy a penalty and land spoils, in the feature. Here are his Lucky 15 selections. Find all previous UK racing previews in his weekly column: Saturday Horse Racing Tips.
It’s the final day of the Ebor meeting and we have two great handicaps on the Knavesmire with the Ebor and the Melrose. These two are backed up with a couple of Group races to round off the week. Television cameras are also back at Goodwood and cover two Group races from there to finish off the afternoon. Duke of Hazzard and Wissahickon should win during the course of the day but there is not much value to be had. So here are my thoughts for best of the value for Saturday’s racing.
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Starting at Goodwood with the 2.40, the Ladbrokes Prestige Trophy, a Group 3 race for 2-year-old fillies we have several young horses who are looking to follow up a previous victory. Andrew Balding’s Shadn is currently top of the betting and her latest win at Newbury was gained at the expense of the highly rated Misty Grey. Boomer was impressive for Tom Dascombe also at Newbury but is stepping up in class here. One who did not win last time out is Richard Hannon’s Dark Lady, but she has been plying her trade in an altogether higher grade of contest and has held her own to some extent. She was only two lengths behind West End Girl at Newmarket recently and fully deserves to add to her tally.
The first of York’s handicaps is at 2.25, the Sky Bet Melrose Handicap. It is no surprise to see John Gosden’s First In Line as the bookmakers choice after his latest victory at Doncaster earlier this month. That followed up his win on the all weather at Lingfield in June. But he faces some classy three-year-olds here including some who have rattled off a string if victories. Sir Mark Prescott has Land Of Oz in the lineup who has won his last four contests but is upped in class here. Universal Order has won twice at Bath this year for David Simcock but is another moving up to better company. I like the look of Kiefer from Eve Johnson Houghton’s yard. Although the grey has only got his head in front once this season he has been running in very good company and has run consistently well during that time. He has shaped like he is crying out for the longer distance and could well be the answer here.
The Sky Bet City Of York Stakes is at 3.00 and we can look forward to seeing Karl Burke’s Laurens sprinting down the Knavesmire. The trainer states she should have no trouble dropping back to seven furlongs but she takes this race on en route to the Prix De La Foret on Arc Day, with a fall back position of the Sun Chariot at Newmarket the day before. With that in mind it seems Burke is not totally confident about the filly’s chances. That said I must give a chance to Sir Dancealot who was a fine winner of the Lennox at Goodwood in July. He ran on unsuitable ground at Newbury last week but given a firmer surface he can go well here. Cape Byron comes into the reckoning after his two handicap wins this year, but he failed when stepping up in class last time and looks a horse for next season.
So we come to highlight of the afternoon at 3.40 the £1 million Sky Bet Ebor Handicap and what a classy field the prize money has attracted. Mark Johnson’s Kings Advice is the bookmakers choice and that is unsurprising given his fine form. His latest win at Goodwood sees him landed with a 4lb penalty but I cannot see that stopping Johnson’s top class individual. John Gosden’s runners always have to be respected and Ben Vrackie can go well for him but I also have a liking for his outsider, Weekender. Withhold looks a little high in the weights here and he has only had one run this year but that was a winning one at Newbury last month. I am sure Roger Charlton will have him spot on for this but I think Kings Advice will have too many guns for him.
Saturday Lucky 15
2.40 Goodwood. Dark Lady
2.25 York. Kiefer
3.00 York. Sir Dancealot
3.40 York. King’s Advice