EBOR FESTIVAL DAY 4: OVERVIEW
Rail: Planned rail alignment for each day of the meeting, from 9f to entrance to home straight; Wednesday – True+10m (10 metres out from innermost racing line) Thursday – True (innermost) Friday – True + 3m Saturday – True +6m 15:00 +32 yards (approx) 15:35 +32 yards (approx) 16:10 +32 yards (approx)
Stalls: centre for sprints, inside for the remainder
Track Conditions: Good to firm, zero irrigation applied this month.
Expected advantage: wind gauge will be telling. York usually a hard place to win from 5L or more off the leader in the straight. Traditionally favours those on pace except for when northerly winds are present. Should a strong northerly of 25kmh or more be present, it may be shrewd to lay front-runners in-play. Dead-centre of the course usually prime real estate on day 3.
The Ebor is named after Eboracum, the latin name for York when conquered by the Romans some 2000 years ago. It’s evolved into the premier staying handicap of the northern hemisphere and there is a quite a strong supporting cast with Group 1 and 2 races aplenty across four days of late summer in Yorkshire.
Rain is forecast so keep your powder dry and hold fire on those wet trackers who have been heavily punted in advance of the weather.
BACK (WIN): RACE 4 | #15 Sweet William FOR 4 UNITS
SWEET WILLIAM looks the goods having won three on the trot and squeezes into this before his handicap mark is raised another 4lb. He was average as a 3yo but has exploded into life as a 4yo stayer and this looks well within his grasp. Added incentive is a golden ticket into the Melbourne Cup for winning here. He’s drawn well and should settle in the first half of the field, where 80% of Ebor winners come from.
RACE 1 | SELECTIONS
3. JIMI HENDRIX
2. EL DRAMA
4. SPIRIT DANCER
NOSTRUM perhaps didn’t get through the going at Goodwood and is taken to atone here on firmer footing. I’m expecting it to start odds-on so perhaps invest early. He was explosive fresh and this is an easier race than both those he faced this prep.
JIMI HENDRIX found the better horses too slick last time but he’s airborne and deserved his shot at G2 level. I expect him to run 2nd here from the soft draw.
EL DRAMA almost pipped Al Aasy last time and if the rain comes should be capable of winning if not at least running top 2 here. Just needs some positivity from the gate.
EL DRAMA without fav 2u
RACE 2 | SELECTIONS
13. ALHAMBRA PALACE
5. MIDDLE EARTH
William Haggas looks to have a double handful on this race through LORDSHIP and ALHAMBRA PALACE. There is next to zero weight on the back of the latter who squeezes in off a mark of 79 with an extra 3lb claim whilst the former has savaged the line every start to date and is ideally drawn for Marquand who is in fine form.
DENMARK gets blinkers, a trip and dry ground which will surely suit. He looked like a stamina-laden 2yo when winning over a mile and could bounce back to form here after a longish break.
MIDDLE EARTH will need some rain but looked really smart when kicking away on soft ground to break his maiden last start. If it arrives I’ll back him
Back LORDSHIP 2u
Back ALHAMBRA PALACE 2u if track stays good
Back MIDDLE EARTH 2u if track downgrades
RACE 3 | SELECTIONS
1. AL SUHAIL
10. ISAAC SHELBY
AL SUHAIL is something of a 7f specialist and returns to this trip after a bold showing in the Jubilee when 6th. I have that piece of form marked as 3rd, as the track was diabolical and he finished behind Highfield Princess and Artorius on the stand’s side group. He touched 1.1 in the run in the Al Quoz such was how well he moved and his last two runs at this trip were the easiest you’ll ever see at Meydan. He can outrun his price here and I expect top 3.
KINROSS had too much for Isaac Shelby at Goodwood and the pair meet again. My reckoning is that it isn’t soft enough for either of them at the moment and hold fire on the favourite to see if the rain comes.
Back AL SUHAIL 2u each way
Back KINROSS 4u IF TRACK DOWNGRADES
RACE 4 | SELECTIONS
15. SWEET WILLIAM
1. LIVE YOUR DREAM
Cracking renewal of the Ebor with a hot favourite that everyone has been climbing out of trees to back. SWEET WILLIAM looks the goods having won three on the trot and squeezes into this before his handicap mark is raised another 4lb. He was average as a 3yo but has exploded into life as a 4yo stayer and this looks well within his grasp. Added incentive is a golden ticket into the Melbourne Cup for winning here. He’s drawn well and should settle in the first half of the field, where 80% of Ebor winners come from.
LIVE YOUR DREAM exploded away to win at Newmarket and is the classiest horse in this field. As a result he’s got a hefty weight to carry but his consistency is impressive. His only poor run came in the Cesarewitch when injured and off for 600 days after that.
ADJUVANT chased home Sweet William at Goodwood and drops 8lb for that run whilst the winner drops 4lb. He’s a solid chance to turn the tables and always does his best work late and a busy jockey with plenty of vigor in the saddle suits.
SCAMPI is being aimed at a Melbourne Cup campaign so it’s no shock to see connections target a golden ticket here. He’s also due to rise in the weights after this and is well-weighted as a result.
Back SWEET WILLIAM 4u
Back LIVE YOUR DREAM 1u
Back ADJUVANT 1u
RACE 5 | SELECTIONS
9. ABERAMA GOLD
6. MUM’S TIPPLE
4. GALE FORCE MAYA
ABERAMA GOLD is airborne, winning four of its last six races and taking out some value prize purses. He’s a multiple course winner here and will prove hard to beat once more with Mark Winn’s claim assisting. Low draws have been the place to be all week and it should remain the same.
MUM’S TIPPLE’s best chance of winning is bouncing out to the lead and attempting to make all. Capable of doing so if not fluffing the start.
GALE FORCE MAYA has never missed the top three in 6 starts here and is a smashing chance to continue that record. Most recent start is much better than it looks.
MONDAMMEJ is on the quick backup and wouldn’t shock with a vastly improved showing. When backed up twice in under 10 days he’s run 2nd on 3 occasions and he could do that again at a massive price having crept down the weights this season.
Back ABERAMA GOLD 1.5u ew
Back MUM’S TIPPLE 1u ew
Back GALE FORCE MAYA 1.5u ew
Back MONDAMMEJ 0.5u ew
RACE 6 | SELECTIONS
6. MON NA SLIEVE
PUROSANGUE shouldve won at Goodwood and had to surrender the fast lane to the winner Big Evs. That horse was turgid in the Nunthorpe yesterday so the form is less than ideal, but this horse has far more upside and will surely go off favourite.
MON NA SLIEVE was electric here on debut after fetching a tidy price at the Breeze-Ups. Was the wrong side at Royal Ascot but still ran well and a flatter track should suit.
BAHEER just found goodwood too sticky and has been well-punted to bounce back here.
INQUISITIVELY has been taken off Ollie Sangster and given to Kevin Phillipart De Foy despite placing in the Windsor Castle on the worst part of the track with no cover. William Buick being booked is eye-catching.
Back PUROSANGUE 2.5u
Back MON NA SLIEVE 1.5u
BACK (WIN) #2 Battle Cry for 2 units
Race 7 | SELECTIONS
13. HAVE SECRET
3. HAUNTED DREAM
6. SYMBOL OF LIGHT
1. ASTRO KING
HAVE SECRET continues to run stormers without winning and is still treated fairly by the handicapper. He’ll run another great race here and is a good place chance once more, arguably finding his easiest race of the campaign.
HAUNTED DREAM was super on speed at Goodwood, just fading late and collared. Carries a hefty impost here but is the best horse in the field and will make his presence felt. I would hope Moore leads from the wide gate.
Godolphin gave up on SYMBOL OF LIGHT and he’s now joined Julie Camacho having had throat surgery. Was only narrowly beaten by handy handicapper Lattam first up and will no doubt improve for that run. I can see him shortening drastically from the $12 current quote.
ASTRO KING will get the tidy run along the rail and bounced back to form with a big 2nd last start. Hefty weight but Buick has a good record on high-weighted handicappers.
Back HAVE SECRET 1u win 2u place
Back HAUNTED DREAM 1.5u
Back SYMBOL OF LIGHT 1u (SCRATCHED)