DEVIOUS COMPANY (2.15) is a fairly skinny price to beat 21 rivals in the valuable two-year-old sales race but sets the bar very high at York.
Tom Dascombe sent out the colt to win his first two races, both at Haydock, and Devious Company improved again to twice finish runner-up in Group 2 class at Newmarket and Goodwood. The old adage ‘bigger the field, bigger the certainty’ should be proved accurate on this occasion.
The 19-runner Clipper Logistics Handicap has the capacity to tie you in knots but top billing goes to TOP RANK (2.45), so imperious when trouncing his field at Thirsk (good to soft) at the end of July. Although raised a whopping 12lbs, unbeaten Top Rank appears to be improving leaps and bounds for James Tate. He wouldn’t want to be held up too far off the pace as yesterday’s winners all raced prominently.
Newmarket-based Yorkshireman William Haggas has plundered some big prizes here and he fields a worthy contender in Montatham. The grey was beaten by Dark Vision in the Royal Hunt Cup but took his revenge next time at Sandown. He is up another 4lb which makes life a bit more difficult. Course winner Prompting further exploited his lenient handicap mark by landing some big bets at Goodwood and his winning sequence for David O’Meara may not be at an end just yet.
Keith Dalgleish fields last year’s game winner What’s The Story and bottom weight Red Bond. What’s The Story is 3lb higher this year, while Red Bond is well treated with Silver Royal Hunt Cup winner Sir Busker and could go well at loud odds, especially with Soldier’s Minute and Broxi running big races for the yard yesterday.
Vivionn found Irish raider Search For A Star too strong in last year’s Galtres Stakes and will be fancied by many to go one better for Sir Michael Stoute. William Haggas saddles a trio of fillies and AWARD SCHEME (3.45) looks the pick. The Queen’s three-year-old strode right away when scoring impressively here last month and has since followed up with a second at Salisbury. Gold Wand’s second to Franconia on the Knavesmire last month puts her well in the picture.
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