Saturday 20th August 2022
Author: Jordan Yates (EvRacing_)
Welcome to my concluding preview for this year’s Ebor Festival, I’ll once again be kicking off with the 1:50 which is the Group 3 Strensall Stakes that’s contested over a mile and a furlong. I like the chances of Alflaila here at 4/1 for the team of Owen Burrows and Jim Crowley. I put him up on his most recent outing which came at Pontefract last month where he won a listed race in nice style, and I think that there could well be more to come from him. He’s also got some solid course form to his name having finished second in a Nursery Handicap at last year’s Ebor Festival. This is his toughest assignment to date but if he continues his progression I’d consider him as a serious player.
The 2:25 is up next which is the Melrose Handicap over a mile and six furlongs. We’ve got the 13 runners currently set to go to post here, which is some way short of the 22 maximum, however, we still have a very competitive renewal. I’m siding with Soulcombe here at 10/3 for Hollie Doyle and William Haggas. He’s a gelding by Frankel and is out of the mare Gibbons, and was last seen when running home very strongly at Goodwood to finish fourth in a hot handicap. If a bit closer to the pace that day, it’s likely that he would’ve finished considerably closer to the winner, and he’s only been nudged up a couple of pounds for that effort which I think gives him a big chance here. He’s already knotched up two victories this term and I think he’s every chance of putting in a bold showing for a fourth here.
Moving onto the 3:00 now which the Group 2 City Of York Stakes over seven furlongs. This is another competitive field where it’s currently 4/1 the field, my pick comes in the form of Kinross though at 11/2 for Ralph Beckett and Frankie Dettori. He’s been a regular in pattern company over the last couple of seasons and posted another impressive effort on his most recent outing in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood where he went down by just a neck. He’s also ran well in Group 1 company in the past, and whilst he’ll need to prove that he can handle the Knavesmire as this is his first start at York, he’s got more than enough ability in the locker to see him through. A repeat of his Goodwood run last time would see him go very close.
The 3.35 is the final race I’ll be taking a look at for this year’s Ebor Festival which is the big one itself, the Ebor Handicap which is a Heritage Handicap contested over a mile and six furlongs. The race is one of the biggest betting races of the flat calendar, due to it’s competitive nature and huge field size and this year’s renewal is no exception. I’ve taken a chance on Gaassee at 17/2 for Kieran Shoemark and William Haggas. He’s a four-year-old colt by Sea The Stars who’s progressing nicely and was even thought of as a potential St Leger horse at one stage. This term he’s had the two starts to date, he made his seasonal reappearance here at the Dante Meeting in May where he won a decent hanidcap in smart style, before being a bit too far back at Haydock in the Old Newton Cup where he stayed on to finish third. I think there’s a considerable amount of progression left in him, and connections have had some seriously smart types in the past which they’ve progressed through the ranks. If things fall right for him here I think he’s got a great chance of playing a big part at the business end of things.