Swerving the opener
Friday’s York card looks really tricky to me, and my eyes glazed over when looking at.
Just the 21 juvenile fillies (we already have one non-runner), all bursting with potential, fanning across the track – it is obviously very difficult to pick out where the pace will be with these inexperienced youngsters – made my head hurt, too.
To be honest with you, I didn’t spend too much time on the race, as I found it that unfathomable from the off.
For what it is worth, I thought Iva Go was maybe a touch over-priced at 20/1+, even allowing for the fact that she only scrambled home at Beverley at 2/9 last time, but I didn’t come close to having a bet.
Clerisy catches the eye in the fillies’ race
Theisn’t too easy either, as, again, most of the field are relatively lightly-raced and unexposed.
You can see why Twist ‘N’ Shake is the favourite at around the 3/1 mark though, as her narrow defeat at the hands at Maqsad at Newmarket last month has obviously been advertised by the winner since and she made no mistake in soft ground at Nottingham last time.
That price of 3/1 was probably fair enough, actually. Or it was until she was clipped into 5/2 across the board on Thursday afternoon.
But you don’t have to go too far looking for plausible dangers, as good juveniles like Sunday Star, Natalie’s Joy and Magnetic Charm are ranged against her, as well as promising maiden and novice winners like Clerisy.
I thought there was a twinkle in Sir Michael Stoute‘s eye when Clerisy won her maiden over 7f at the Craven meeting, and this Kingman half-sister to Expert Eye should be suited by the step up to 1m.
And this Coronation Stakes entry won despite being a massive drifter at Newmarket. I know the overnight markets mean little, but she was an early 2/1 chance before returning at a Betfair SP of [12.86].
That suggests she won there despite being far from wound up, so that is a positive if you fancy her.
I was tempted by an each-way nibble on her atbut the bare form of her neck success in that maiden does give her a lot to find and, looking at the video of her win, perhaps this extra furlong isn’t certain to suit, either.
On balance, I can leave her, and the race, alone, but Clerisy, each way at 10s, would be my idea of the best bet if you want an interest.
Stradivarius a potential lay in the Yorkshire
I tried to get Stradivarius (pictured, no9) beat a few times last season and I am still paying for it – not as much as the people who provided the £1m bonus he won, thankfully – but, knowing me, I will probably look to lay him again at odds-on in.
He is tremendously consistent and beat Desert Skyline by three lengths in this race last season on his reappearance, and he looks rock-solid.
But he does carry a 3lb penalty this time and meets some dangerous rivals like Ispolini, who is only 1lb shy of him on adjusted official figures after his second to Cross Counter in Dubai, and Southern France and Mootasadir.
Desert Skyline is probably too big at 25/1 on his second in this race last year (when he was giving the winner 3lb) but he was a bitter disappointment thereafter. If he has been sweetened up by a break, a win for him is not out of the question, but he is hard to recommend with any confidence.
I will probably lay Stradivarius to small stakes, but it is not a bet I am putting up here.
Two to back in the handicap
Thankfully, I have found a bet on ITV4’s races in York, courtesy of. Two, in fact.
You have to be concerned about UAE Prince – Roger Varian does so well with these types for the owner – but he hasn’t been missed in the market at all, and I am backing two last-time-out winners Grandee and Mythical Madness, win and place, at double-figure prices, instead.
Of course, both horses have paid for those successes, and Grandee was hit with a 9lb rise after his five-length win at Newcastle last time.
But he was clearly pretty impressive there and what was really encouraging was that he found when asked (he travelled well and didn’t pick up at Doncaster previously) and, despite the rise, he still started last season on a 10lb higher mark than this.
That was only his second start for Roger Fell too, so I can see him progressing again, and 5lb claimer Ben Sanderson again takes the ride, having ridden him at Newcastle. He may ideally want a bit more dig but he has form on quick ground.
Back him at [11.0] win, and [3.0] place – or bigger, obviously.
Mythical Madness only went up 4lb for his head defeat of Big Kitten last time at Chelmsford and he has won off this revised mark in the past.
He clearly comes here in good nick, fast ground is no worry, and I am willing to put to one side the fact this his four runs here have been less than spectacular.
Back him at.
Ice Age can send a chill through rivals
Newbury’sis also on ITV4, and a tricky puzzle it is, too. But Ice Age could be worth a small-stakes nibble, win and place, against the sexier sorts like Habub.
Back him at [8.0] win, and [2.5] place.
He was having his fourth start of the year when beating subsequent Ayr Gold Cup dead-heater Baron Bolt in this race last season and a couple of runs (which have seen him eased in the weights to 99 from a mark of 103, so that he is eligible for this 0-100 once again) have hopefully blown away the cobwebs this time around.
He ran pretty well when sixth at Ripon last time, too – he was probably disadvantaged by racing on the far rail, so you can mark up that run – but he was surprisingly dropped 3lb for it, so he can now race off the same mark as when taking this prize on fast ground last year.
That seems a very generous piece of handicapping to me – especially as he went on to win at Windsor off a 4lb higher mark and run some good races in defeat afterwards – and he also finished second to Blaine in this race in the soft in 2017.
He handles any ground, and you would have to think he has been primed for this race yet again. In fact, I’m very surprised he is a double-figure price.
The more I looked, the more I loved his chances, even at a lower price than he was earlier on Thursday.
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