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Ey Up Its Mick was yet another well-backed selection, going off at 8/1 after being put up at odds of 16/1. He crawled out the stalls, which pretty much ended his chances of winning, but ran on strongly. For those who got 4 places, you will have gotten decent EW returns. Legendary Day simply didn't stay the new trip, and was a wasted journey for connections. As for Amourie, he clearly wasn't on the same level as he was last time, not sure about the jockey as well.
2020 – 1 (66/1 – last)
2019 – 0
2018 – 2 (50/1 – 5th, 33/1 – last)
2017 – 1 (25/1 – last)
2016 – 1 (25/1 – 2nd last)
2015 – 2 (16/1 – 14th, 20/1 – last)
2014 – 2 (8/1 – 10th, 12/1 – 13th) 15 in the race that year
2013 – 0
2012 – 3 (16/1 – 7th, 9/2F – 11th, 20/1 – 12th)
2011 – 1 (12/1 – 15th, 14/1 – 17th)
You might be thinking what are those numbers and odds above. Well, let me explain. These are the amount of runners, the odds and the places where they finished, of all 3yo runners in this race in the last ten years.
Now let me tell you why I'm mentioning this…
Even though there hasn't been a great amount of 3yo runners in this race, the ones who did run, didn't run very well. The main reason I'd say for that fact is because at this time of year, the 3yo runners only get 2lb for weight for age allowance. If you're not clued up with the weight for ace scenario, then let me help you out. When younger horses (2yo's, but most likely 3yo's) race against their elders, they get help by carrying less weight, as they are not fully matured horses and the older horses are, so it's a way of attempting to making it a level playing field, which is what the handicappers job is. The earlier in the year it is, the more weight the younger horses will receive from the older horses, and as the year progresses, those numbers get smaller (shown in the image below).
PLEASE CLICK ON THE IMAGE ABOVE TO ENLARGE IT
As i referred to earlier on, I'd say the reason why you don't see many 3yo's in this race is due to the fact they only get 2lbs for weight for age allowance at this time of year, meaning they are massively at a disadvantage when running against their elders. There are horses who are 4, 5 and maybe even older, and they are fully matured horses, arguably in their prime. It would need a big performance for a 3yo to put it up against the older horses, and they would need to be well ahead of their current handicap mark. As for this reason, even if it does seem that some of the 3yo's have a nice chance, I think siding with an older horse is the way to go, hence why LIVE IN THE MOMENT is my pick for the race. In this year, there are a couple of well fancied 3yo's, including the fav & second fav, at the time of writing. Whenthedealisdone was a close selection for me this race, as he is in good form and will enjoy this track/trip. However, the poor strike rate of 3yo's in this race put me off, also he is shouldering a 6lb rise in the weights.
Live In The Moment returned to the track at Chelmsford a fortnight ago, after a 317 break off the track. That was a very nice run on the back of a big layoff, as he finished 3rd, losing by 0.75 lengths. I think that this race today has always been the plan for this horse, and it was a smart bit of placing by Adam West to race him at Chelmsford. He had previously won at that track, so clearly was suited by it, they generally go a good gallop on the all weather, so it would've been a lovely prep for this race, as his fitness should now be spot on. I think you could tell that his fitness wasn't 100% that day, as his normal strong finishing effort wasn't quite there. Nevertheless, it was still a big run, and the Racing Post make it his career best, which shows a good sign that he has improved from last season.
I think this race is arguably tailor made for him. If you go back through the previous renewals of this race, other than Blaine who won it in 2014, the rest of the winners have all raced prominently. Live In The Moment is a horse who races up with the pace, and although sometimes he won't set the pace, he will be just behind, which is perfect. He clearly handles the track, as he is 2/2 at York, and he still appears to be unexposed, especially at this extended 5f, which looks sure to suit. If the ground gets really quick, that will pose a question mark, but he has won on Good before, and his sire, Zebedee seems to produce horses who handle every type of ground.
I've talked a big game about this race, and about this horse, so finger's crossed on a nice run in this competitive opener of the York Ebor Festival.
Not great odds on offer here, due to the size of field, but I am surprised that DUBAWI LEGEND is the favourite for this race, as he has only raced once.
I would've thought that Noble Truth or Ehraz would've been favourite, as Noble Truth clearly has the best form on offer, and there is a lot of hype revolving Ehraz. Despite this, I am still going to be backing Dubawi Legend, as I think this race could potentially be set up perfect for him.
With a small amount of runners in this race, there is a chance that there will be a lack of pace. Obviously, all of the runners in this race are extremely unexposed with virtually no runs under their belt, but Mark Johnston's horse is the only horse in the race who has previously raced from the front before. If that is the case again, then I can't see this suiting Noble Truth, who on pedigree should be better over further in the not so distant future, but also he is a keen going sort, so he wouldn't want it being slow. There is a strong possibility, that if Buick decides to not go forward, he will pull too hard and his race will be over. Charlie Appleby said this after his recent win, “Once Noble Truth hit the rising ground, he finished strongly. We don't have any immediate plans as he's been quite headstrong at home and we're taking each race to see which way he will go. This is traditionally a strong race. We might look to potentially work back from something like the Champagne Stakes in September, which will give him some time to hopefully show us the right things. I think we'll see him over a mile by the end of the season. He's a nice, scopey horse and could be one for the Vertem Futurity Trophy”. Ehraz was behind Noble Truth on his debut, but then went on to win at Ascot the time after, in a race which doesn't seem too strong. He won a race which has been farmed by Richard Hannon over the last 5 or so years, and has produced good horses, so the fact he won so easily, people are jumping on the hype train.
Dubawi Legend, though having a middle-distance pedigree, looks to have plenty of speed, which could be handy for this contest. He was extremely well backed on his debut, going off at 11/8F, and when that kind of gamble happens on debut for a yard like Hugo Palmer's, it needs to be noted. Sure enough, he won easily, but what was more impressive, is the fact he was so clued up on his racecourse debut. He seemed relaxed and not green, so it appears this lad could be a smart 2yo, who is mature for his age. Also, he showed a cracking turn of foot, which produced a final furlong of 11.11 seconds, which is impressive when he wasn't pushed out to full effect. Hugo Palmer continues to be in good form, operating at 21% SR in the last 14 days. He is also placing his horses well, including his 2yo's, as shown with Ebro River winning the Group 1 at the Curragh a couple of weeks ago.
HIGH DEFINITION is a horse who I still have faith in, despite the poor performance last time at the Curragh.
You'd have to say there were excuses for last time out. It might've been hard to spot during the race, but if you look back, it looked like he took a false step earlier in the race, and that must've done something to him, as he looked a shadow of the horse which were expecting him to be. I was confident last time in him, and I even tipped him up for the St Leger, in the ante-post market. I think they might've taken away his entry in the St Leger, but if he wins this, they might put him back in again. I think they will know more about him about this race, as this is probably a fact finding mission for Aidan O'Brien and Ballydoyle.
At the current odds of 4/1 I think he is definitely worth another chance. There is probably a high chance that he will drift in the market, due to the good run of his stablemate Sir Lucan, who ran a blinder at Glorious Goodwood, and Dettori takes the ride. However, I think there could be a strong pace on show here, and my reasoning for this is Yibir. I think it's strange that Charlie Appleby has entered him in this race, as I don't believe he is up to this level. He was recently Gelded, but still he pulls like a train, so I think he is in this race to be a pace maker for Kemari, who stays further than today's 12f. The problem with that is I think a strong pace will set it up for the hold up horses like High Definition, who gets the tag of being a “boat”, in other words, slow. There is a chance that if Yibir doesn't go forward, The Mediterranean will.
York is a track which should High Definition to hit top gear, as the straight is long, so being held-up shouldn't be an issue. Also, I'm not totally sold on the form of Kemari. He is the most unexposed horse in the race, and is owned/trained by top connections, but his form of his Royal Ascot win doesn't shout out to me. He beat Wordsworth, who was a tip for us on this page, but ran a stinker, and the rest in behind look like handicappers, so I wouldn't be backing him at a price of 5/2.
I'm going to play a couple of runners against the field, which probably seems the best idea with the extra places on offer.
My first selection for this race is PLATFORM NINETEEN. This lad was ultra-progressive in 2019, winning four times on the bounce, which saw his handicap rating go from 63 to 85. He then struggled in his final race of that year, but wasn't seen until mid-July, which was a 648 day break off the track. Despite that lengthy absence, he won by 5 lengths, which was pleasing to see, as he clearly retained his ability after such a long time away from the course. He was then tried in better company in the marathon trip at Glorious Goodwood. In my opinion, other than the winner, he travelled through the race the best, but ultimately probably didn't stay the 2m 4f out as well as some of the others, which is why the drop back to 2m will be better suited for him. His rating hasn't been changed by the handicapper, which gives him a strong chance of going close in this race. He is a previous C&D winner, so clearly handles the track, and he seems to handle any type of ground.
The second selection for this race, and one which could potentially go under the radar is David O'Meara's debutante, GET SHIRTY. David is notorious for getting these French recruits and winning handicaps with them, and I don't think this will be any different. The handicapper has given him a cracking chance, as he has given him an opening mark of 98, which could be extremely lenient based on his previous runs. This horse is a Class 1 Listed winner, and has been placed in a Group 2, which was contested by some of the strongest staying horses in France, such as Call To The Bar and Call The Wind. He is best when running on a sound surface, so he should enjoy the ground which York will have this week. His most recent run in France was arguably a good pipe opener, as it was on the back of a 200+ day break, and over a trip which is definitely too short. I think it's interesting that David has opted to race him in a big field handicap, which has good prize money, on his first start for the yard. He must clearly think he is well-handicapped, and is capable of running a big race first time out.
13:40 Exeter - Race: 2
13:55 Newcastle - Race: 3
14:10 Exeter - Race: 3