With Royal Ascot just around the corner I'm looking to build up the betting bank with a couple of nice each way shouts on a decent card at York.
This is a race that appeals from a betting perspective because although there are plenty of runners I think there are quite a few that I can rule out and that leaves some nice each way options. The one that appeals most is GURKHA FRIEND who has improved a bit since being gelded and I think there could be a bit more still to come. Daniel Tudhope takes the ride for the first time and he is one of the most underrated jockeys in my opinion. That is a positive and so is the draw that the horse has been given in stall 1.
He is a horse who likes to lead or be prominent so this draw gives him the ideal opportunity. Although on paper he perhaps prefers a mile rather than today's 7 furlongs I think the way he was pipped late on last time suggests he should be fine with this trip if good enough. I give him a much better chance than the 14/1 that is available.
Ralph Beckett's abilities as a trainer are not to be underestimated and it might just be possible that he has managed to get a good chunk of improvement out of GOLDEN STUNNER over the winter. The horse emerged with a comfortable win here at York in May over 7 furlongs and he has previous good form over a mile so that won't be an issue.
He will need to improve again to win this but I think that's entirely possible – he improved over his first three runs last season before levelling off a bit later in the summer/autumn. I expect a big run today so with each way prices available it's an attractive bet.
- 2.20 York – Gurkha Friend – 1 pt each way at 14/1 with SkyBet, RaceBets and others
- 2.55 York – Golden Stunner – 2 pt each way at 15/2 with William Hill and Paddy Power
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