Model Guest ran a nice race for us on Saturday but unfortunately could only finish 4th. Skybet customers got paid e/w, but no other bookies had extra place specials. Zap never counted but he will undoubtedly bounce back at some point this season. The Dante Meeting kicks off at York on Wednesday and ITV4 will be broadcasting all the big races live. Dave Stevos has been busy studying the formbook, check out his York Day 1 tips for all live ITV4 races below…
York Day 1 Tips: 1.50 Ebor Jorvik Handicap (Class 2)
The first race on Day 1 of the Dante Festival at York is a typically competitive 12f handicap. This looks a wide open contest and a case can be made for plenty. The one that looks overpriced is Indianapolis for James Given and Barry McHugh. This son of Galileo shaped very nicely at a huge price in a Conditions race last time at Doncaster (12f gd), his first run on properly good ground.
Only Red Verdon beat him, a solid 110 rated Group level performer. Indianapolis was just over 2L behind the winner but he was closing on him and he gave the impression a faster run race would suit. Crowned Eagle, rated 106, was a neck behind the Given horse in 3rd. He was beaten 2L off that mark in a handicap next time out. Indianapolis was getting 3lb from both those horses, so on that run a mark of 96 looks more than workable. He should appreciate the quicker ground here and with a strong pace likely, he is worth an each way bet at 33/1.
YORK DAY 1 TIPS: INDIANAPOLIS E/W @ 33/1 5 PLACES
York Day 1 Tips: 2.25 – Infinity Tyres Handicap (Class 2)
It doesn’t get much easier in the second race on the card, a 22 runner 6f handicap. Tim Easterby is usually worth following at York and he runs three here. The early money has come for Staxton who was as big as 12/1 a few days ago. He was worth backing at that price but at 7/1 now, he looks short enough. He is the pick of David Allan. Stable and Ontoawinner stalwart Flying Pursuit would prefer an ease in the ground and he has a big pot in him when getting his preferred conditions.
The one that is overpriced is Golden Apollo, a former course and distance winner on good to firm. Pivotal has a reputation for producing soft ground specialists, but he has lots of progeny who relish it quick too. Golden Apollo disappointed in this last year, but that was his seasonal comeback. He has had a pipe opener on easy ground this time over 7f at Haydock and that should put him spot on fitness wise. Off his last winning mark and with Jason Hart a good booking, Golden Apollo is the e/w selection at 22/1.
YORK RACING TIP: GOLDEN APOLLO E/W @ 22/1 5 PLACES NB
York Racing Tips: 3.00 – Duke Of York Stakes (Group 2)
The first pattern race at the Dante Festival is the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes. Run over 6f, this valuable contest has attracted a field of ten sprinters who will scorch down the Knavesmire on the good to firm ground. Limato is a machine on his day and he has a win and a 2nd from two trips to York. However, he has tended to need his comeback in recent seasons and Henry Candy will have bigger targets later in the season in mind.
At a nice price, Major Jumbo could go very well. Jamie Spencer is mustard when riding from the front and he got a great tune out of this gutsy grey son of Zebedee at Royal Ascot. The pair were an arguably unlucky 3rd in the Wokingham (6f gd/fm), going down by less than a length for the win after attempting to make all.
He has 2L to find with Invincible Army on their meeting on Major Jumbo’s seasonal return at Doncaster. Kevin Ryan’s charge will be fitter now though and could close the gap, or even bridge it. At odds of 12/1 he makes plenty of appeal each way.
YORK TIPS: MAJOR JUMBO E/W @ 12/1
York Racing Tips: 3.35– Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (Group 3)
Young Irish trainer Jack Davison has some nicely bred horses at his disposal. Fresnel definitely fits that description, a daughter of Sea The Stars whose dam, by Duke Of Marmalade, is closely related to Profound Beauty. Fresnel not only has a very attractive page, her form has a very nice look to it too. Her easy 40/1 debut win hasn’t worked out, but the switch to turf has shown she is a force to be reckoned with.
On pedigree, quick ground should suit, so it was encouraging she ran well on soft at Naas. I was there that day and she looked like she might win 2f out, but her effort flattened out. On slightly better ground at Navan last time, she looked even better. Gary Halpin met all sorts of trouble in running at the worst time possible that day. Once she found daylight though she flew home, beaten less than 2L in 4th by Pink Dogwood.
That filly is 7/2 for the Oaks, while the third home Tarnawa, a neck ahead of Fresnel, won a Group 3 next time up at Naas and is very highly thought of by Weld. Fresnel is more than worth her place in this field and she comes into the race under the radar. Her trainer, Jack Davison, is virtually unknown in the UK, but this filly could put his name firmly on the map. She stays the trip and I think quick ground is going to really suit her. She is massively overpriced at 16/1 and if Halpin can avoid traffic problems this time, she can go very close.