Saturday 24th August 2019
Author: Jordan Yates
Image: Jordan Yates
It’s the final day of the York Ebor Festival and what a fabulous week it’s been. Day four kicks off at 1.50 with the Group 3 Strensall Stakes which is a race that takes place over a mile and a furlong. The race is headed by Wissahickon who sets a solid standard for Gosden & Dettori on the back of his exploits on the All-Weather in the winter and he’s also one that goes well fresh. Not far away from him in the betting is the Sir Michael Stoute trained Zaaki who’s the mount of Ryan Moore. He’s got solid form around this sort of level and shouldn’t be far away. I’m going to try and take them both on with one at a bigger price and that’s the Andrew Balding trained BANGKOK. He was disappointing here the last day when finishing fifth of six however he did travel well throughout the majority of that race and possible got found out in the ground. Before that he ran a cracker behind Japan at Royal Ascot and also won a Group 3 at Sandown, a return to either of those levels of form would see him come here with a major chance.
WIN: BANGKOK (6/1)
The second race of the day comes up at 2.25 and this is the Class 2 Melrose Handicap which is another one of those trademark York handicaps. First In Line is the hot favourite once again for Gosden & Dettori and arrives here off the back of a couple of wins in lesser company. He falls firmly in the could be anything camp but is a bit short for me in this type of contest. I’ve sided with a couple of each way alternatives here and the first of these comes in the form of Eve Johnson Houghton’s KIEFER who’s the mount of Charlie Bishop. He’s an ultra consistent sort that has been finishing off his races very strongly and gives the impression that this step up in trip will be right up his street. The second selection here is the William Haggas trained HAMISH who arrives here with just three runs under his belt. He won one of those three starts in novice company however failed to follow up when odds on the time after under a penalty. Despite that he gives the impression that there’s a lot more to come from him over this sort of trip and he could well prove to be ahead of this opening mark.
EACH WAY: KIEFER (13/2)
EACH WAY: HAMISH (9/1)
Moving onto the 3.00 which is the City Of York Stakes which is a Group 2 contest over seven furlongs. I’m going to dive in with my selection here and that’s the Karl Burke trained LAURENS who once again is the mount of PJ McDonald. There’s been a lot of noise about her tackling this distance which won’t be ideal for her which to some extent I agree with however finding what’s going to beat her in this field is the difficult question. She has won over this distance before albeit a long time ago and I think her class will get her through here and this multiple Group 1 winner can claim another Group race success here.
WIN: LAURENS (5/2)
The feature of the meeting gets underway at 3.40 which is course none other than the Ebor Handicap itself which is an monster of race which the calibre of horse involved has increased so much in recent times it really has the feel of a stakes race. There’s many horses in the line up that have made my shortlist however I have managed to narrow it down to just the one selection and I’ll go into who that is now. My selection for this year’s Ebor is the now William Haggas trained RAHEEN HOUSE who arrives here on the back of two solid efforts this season both at this track. He made strong headway here the last day in a Group 3 when just failing to pick up the market principals and if bringing that level of form to the table again in this race he’s got to have a big chance of playing a serious role. Those that made my shortlist are fellow York specialist Barsanti for Kevin Ryan & Andrea Atzeni as well as the Willie Mullins trained True Self who could bounce back to form here. A mention also has to be given to the John Gosden trained Ben Vrackie who could go well under Frankie Dettori.
EACH WAY: RAHEEN HOUSE (8/1)