It’s the first day of the fantastic Ebor festival at York, one of my favourite race courses and I have four selections that I am keen on.
There is some excellent racing on this first day and I have gone for three at big prices that look good value along with a short priced jolly who I think is as good an even money shot as you will find anywhere.
A fascinating sprint handicap to open the meeting where I think that there are several that look like good value including Arecibo, Watchable, Foolaad and Queen of Desire particularly with Paddy Power paying 6 places each way. The best of the lot though in my opinion is LORD RIDDIFORD who wasn’t beaten too far at Goodwood last time and crucially now has the assistance of young Cieran Fallon who takes off 5lb in addition to the 2lb that the handicapper has taken off since last time. That’s a 7lb swing which just can’t be ignored today when he is available at 16-1 with 5 and 6 places on offer from some bookies.
The next one that I like may seem completely obvious – he is of course the highest rated horse in training anywhere in there world – but I think he has been underestimated. I am of course talking about CRYSTAL OCEAN trained by Sir Michael Stoute and ridden by James Doyle. Today he tackles the younger generation of 3 year olds and has to give them some weight. That isn’t unusual and I was shocked to find that he can be backed at odds against when I would have him much shorter than that. He looks very good value to me at 11-10 in some places.
This is an attritional handicap run over 2 miles and I am torn between Carnwennan and EDDYSTONE ROCK. I actually wouldn’t put you off backing both of them if you fancy it but I am just siding in favour of Eddystone as my top pick. He thoroughly enjoyed himself at Goodwood last time with the step back up to 2 miles and assuming he is in similar form today I find it hard to seem him finishing out if the top 5. James Doyle is also an excellent jockey booking and quite noteworthy for me. Carnwennan can be forgiven his last run where we have to assume that the soft ground was the problem. If you do that he looks good value too.
Last but not least is a 6 furlong sprint for young 2 year old horses. I really like STONE CIRCLE in this and was surprised to see 16-1 and the like available. He was a bit unlucky to finish 4th last time when he was bumped around a bit during the race. The horse he beat the time before that has subsequently won and I think he has been underestimated here, coming out of a race at Goodwood that I think could have had some cracking horses in it. Take advantage of the extra places available from most bookies on this one too.
Good luck and enjoy the first day of the festival. I’ll be back later in the week with some more selections.
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