Seymour Biz believes that John Gosden’s inmate can triumph at long odds, on what will be a big day for race-betting.
The great meeting at York carries on into Saturday with the biggest betting heat of the week, the Ebor. As usual, looking at the field it is shaping up to be a great race with all the top trainers sending their best distance horses to take each other on. The race is backed up by a fine card with Expert Eye due to strut his stuff on the Knavesmire in the City Of York Stakes at 3.00. I have given you thoughts on the other televised races below for the Lucky Fifteen. ITV are also covering Goodwood, who are putting up a good card at the other end of the country, They have a very competitive handicap at 3.15 that could provide some value for this weeks bet. Backing that up are two stakes races with some interesting contenders including Beat The Bank who should add the Celebration Mile to his list of wins provided Expert Eye goes to York.
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I will start with the 3.15 at Goodwood, the Ladbroke Bettors Of Britain Handicap. This is a very tight betting heat with most of the horses squeezed between 7/1 and 14/1, Cape Byron is at the top of the betting. Roger Varian’s charge ran fourth here at the big meeting at the beginning of the month behind Seniority. He has been lightly raced this year and looks like he has been laid out for this but has yet to win this season. Second to Seniority that day was Poets Society, he has had a very busy year and this could be a step too far. Burnt Sugar is on a hat-trick after fine wins at Ascot and Newmarket, but he has gone up 4lbs for those victories and that may anchor him. Another on a treble is Aces, he has not run since winning at Newmarket at the end of June and will be suited by a strongly run race. Saeed Bin Suroor has the horse at the top of the handicap, Top Score, who has been running really well this year after wintering in Dubai, where he won three times over 7 furlongs. He could defy top weight. I do like Vale Of Kent from record breaking Mark Johnson’s stable, a course and distance winner last time, he has the ability to take this valuable handicap. Another who could go well at a big price is also from Johnson’s yard, Masham Star. He has had a busy season without much reward but got his head in front in a small race at Redcar a fortnight ago and that could put him in good heart for this. He can get into the frame at a nice price.
Up north we move on to the final day of the big meeting at York and at 1.50 the first race is the Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strenshall Stakes, which looks a good betting opportunity. The current favourite is Lord Glitters trained by David O’Meara, he didn’t get a clear run last time in the Sussex Stakes, but this race is a furlong further and that may not suit. Last years winner Mustashry has been lightly raced by trainer Michael Stoute running only once and winning at Sandown. Stoute will have him spot on for this race once again. He also has what looks like the best of the three year olds in Zaaki who was third at Haydock a fortnight ago. The colt was hit on the nose by a rival jockey causing him to wander about a bit so he can be forgiven that run. He could take a place. Seniority is declared here and three wins from four runs show he is a force to be reckoned with, however those runs were in handicap company and this is a step up in class for him. Sovereign Debt won a listed race here over 1 mile in June and the extra furlong should not prove a problem for this versatile grey, however I do not see a nine year old taking this valuable Group 3. I will side with Mustashry to prevail.
At 2.25 the Sky Bet Melrose Handicap has attracted some good 3-year-olds prepared to take on 1 mile 6 furlongs at this course. The tipsters are all over Ben Vrackie from John Gosden’s yard, however his best runs have come on the all-weather including his latest at Lingfield. He won by 11 lengths that day over 12 furlongs so the extra two here should not be a problem, however he did not have very much to beat that day and a run on turf against better horses may be a different matter. Much preferred is Sir Michael Stoute’s Mekong, a Frankel colt who won on turf earlier in the season. His latest victory was on the all-weather but that was over 1m6f where he ran on gamely, that race looks better preparation for this contest. Mark Johnson’s Making Miracles won over this distance at Haydock in July and had a few of these behind him. The trainer then dropped him back in distance to 1m4f at Goodwood where he ran third to Soto Sizzler, again with several of today’s protagonists behind him. Second that day was Corgi who could find no more in the final furlong, I do not think an extra two furlongs will suit Hughie Morrison’s charge. Heart Of Grace is out of this class, the filly’s two wins have been in low class races. An outsider I will mention at a very big price is Lynwood Gold. The Mark Johnson colt was 18 lengths behind Making Miracles at Haydock but has improved since then after dropping in trip, he is ready to step back up to 1m 6f and can take a place.
And so we move onto the big race of the day, the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap, but first I want to tell you a little story. Many years ago a friend of mine once saw an advert in a racing paper for a guaranteed system to win money on the horses. He duly sent off his £5 note and about a week later received a grubby piece of paper. Typed on it was “Always back 4-year-olds carrying top weight in a handicap”. Underneath was a list of about ten races where 4-year -olds had won at big prices. Now this story was brought to mind when I looked at the declarations for the Ebor earlier in the week for lo and behold at the top of the weights is a 4-year-old I have been waiting for since he ran here in June. John Gosden’s Weekender was beaten a neck that day by Marmelo in the Grand Cup here at York. The course record was broken in that Class 1 Listed Race so a move to handicap company should not be a problem. However there is a hot favourite for this race, Willie Mullins’s Stratum needs three to drop out to get into the race. As five dropped at the overnight stage last year he should just make it. He was a three lengths winner at Newbury last time at just over 2 miles, the drop back in trip and an 8lbs pull for that put me off him at his short price. Blakeney Point has been laid out for this by Roger Charlton, he was fourth in a Group race at Goodwood last time in preparation for this. Crowned Eagle is well fancied after his good run at Haydock last time in the Old Newton Cup where he was second to Rainbow Rebel. Last years winner Nakeeta was fifth behind Stratum at Newbury last time and Iain Jardine’ s charge has 7lbs more to carry than last year which is a big ask. Saunter is on a hat-trick after his good win at Newmarket last week however this race may come too soon after that plus he gets a 7lb penalty. I will stick with top weight Weekender to take this big prize at a very nice price.
Saturday Lucky 15
3.15 Goodwood. Vale Of Kent
1.50 York. Mustashry
2.25 York. Mekong
3.40 York. Weekender
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