Hemingway may well prove the answer to this tricky puzzle. He just got up in the dying strides at Pontefract last time to nail Peach Pavlova when partnered by Kevin Stott. He will have learned plenty for that experience and this step up in trip looks tailor made for this son of Dragon Pulse. Tom Eaves takes over in the saddle and with the yard already striking here yesterday in the juvenile ranks with a complete outsider, stable confidence will be high hoping for a repeat dose here.
Rainbow Mister was a winner at this track for Ann Duffield just over a month ago. He saw off the likes of Tahoo who has come out to frank the form subsequently. PJ McDonald retains the ride on the youngster and the pair look the biggest threat to the selection. Richard Hannon sends Stormy Clouds into battle yet again having seen him run two excellent races at Newbury on his most recent starts. Provided this run doesn’t come too soon he too should be capable of mixing it with the best of these.
Hemingway has a low draw in stall two and over this trip that looks to be essential given recent results at this track. Good to firm ground won’t pose any problems for Kevin Ryan’s charge and he ought to go extremely close.
Hemingway (E/W if 9/2+)
The second race on the card looks set to be dominated by the offspring of legendary, unbeaten “wonder horse” Frankel. The two horses at the head of the market are offspring of the aforementioned superstar as Queen Kindly and the red hot favourite Fair Eva look to bag a Group 2 success.
Fair Eva is unbeaten and scooped the Group 3 Princess Margaret Juddmonte Stakes at Royal Ascot last time out. The filly looked mightily impressive that day and looks to have a race like this well within her grasp. She is the deserved favourite and looks highly likely to keep her unbeaten record intact. That being said however at a best price of around 4/9 in an eight runner race I have to try and find an each way alternative.
Nations Alexander looks very overpriced at 28/1 after winning a Group 3 last time out however the Hannon yard don’t have a great record at York and was beaten convincingly by Ballydoyle’s Roly Poly who faces opposes again here.
Roly Poly is the only horse in the field already to win a Group 2 race and has put in some decent efforts in her last two outings. Any Ballydoyle runner has to be respected and although I’m not convinced anything can muster enough to topple the favourite I’m plumping for the Irish raider as an each-way bet with her best price currently sitting around 10/1.
Roly Poly (E/W)
Chil The Kite drops back to his last winning mark and comes here with every chance of defending his crown. He is certainly a quirky sort who has been racing in better races than this of late and a return to this grade will almost certainly see him in a better light. George Baker has partnered the seven year old to his last two successes and the stable continues to fire on all cylinders having sent out eight winners inside the last month.
David O’Meara saddles no fewer than five runners here and given his proximity to the the selection in this race last year, Alfred Hutchison may well prove the pick of them. He is proven over this course and distance and has won on similar ground in the past. The booking of Pat Smullen certainly catches the eye and he maybe just about ready to come to the boil this afternoon. Mustashry is a lightly raced three year old who won at this level in a race at Ascot last month. He is a rapidly improving sort and he too ranks highly on any shortlist.
Mustashry saw off the attentions of the well regarded Pirouette who like today’s selection is also trained by Hughie Morrison. That should give the handler a good idea of what he has to beat and with this likely to have been Chil The Kite’s main target all along, the decision to send him here commands respect.
Chil The Kite (E/W if 9/2+)
The showpiece race of day two of the festival looks to be dominated by the Irish powerhouse of Ballydoyle with four of the twelve runners hailing from the tutelage of Aidan O’Brien.
The favourite is Found who has done fantastic things in her career but always seemed to be the eternal bridesmaid when it came to the big Group 1 races and it looks like Ballydoyle may have found a top level race for her to finally be the star of the show. The inclusion of a few pacemakers seems that the team are doing everything in their power to give this deserving filly her day to shine.
This being said however they do send over the Irish Oaks winner Seventh Heaven who takes her chance against the older horses. She’s clearly a top quality runner however I wouldn’t say she’s one of the best of this years three year old crop and will likely find lacking when it comes to the older, more experienced and battle tested runners she has to encounter today.
Of the rest chances have to be given to Godolphin’s Endless Time who’s barely put a foot wrong in her career and returned this season by picking up a decent race at Haydock. She’s bound to improve for that run and more can be expected from her today but I just don’t feel this horse has the type of class to beat the favourite. Although I expect her to be up there come the business end of the race I feel she’ll probably find a couple too good.
I’m tacking a big chance on a horse that has put in two promising efforts at this venue and hails from the training yard of Luca Cumani who has a great record here at York. The horse needs to come on leaps and bounds to compete at this level but I don’t feel this race is filled with star quality (aside from the favourite) and it’s feasible an outsider could sneak into the places. Koora may have finished fourth last time out but the race was won by Minding on yielding ground at The Curragh so can be excused that run. A decent each way price is available at around 16/1 so if a few of the main protagonists falter I’m hoping Cumani’s first string can pounce.
Glamourous Approach has only ventured across the Irish Sea on one other previous occasion and that was a successful raid at Newmarket when landing the listed Zetland Stakes. Jim Bolger has been in terrific form of late and this daughter of New Approach can add to the excellent strike rate that Irish fillies have in this contest. She was not utterly disgraced when upped to two miles for the first time at The Curragh a month ago, but this step back in trip will certainly be in her favour and she commands utmost respect.
Abingdon is likely to prove popular given that she is trained by Sir Michael Stoute. She was beaten two lengths by Fireglow at Newmarket last time over this trip. She was staying on in the closing stages suggesting that a further step up in trip may be required. Favourites don’t appear to have the greatest record in this race though and she looks a bit too short. Tiptree may well prove the bigger threat as she enjoys a five pound pull in the weights with Abingdon. Jamie Spencer rides for the second time and the combination look destined to go well.
Jim Bolger is only bringing two runners over for the Ebor meeting and they both run today. Of the pair Glamourous Approach looks to have the more obvious chance on paper. Kevin Manning will be be trying to ensure that his mount can repay the bosses faith by making it two wins from two on his journeys over to England.
Glamarous Approach (E/W if 9/2+)
We end todays action from The Knavesmire with a very competitive seven furlong handicap that is dominated by three year olds with all bar one sitting at that age. (Only exception being seven year old Lil Sophella)
The current favourite Jadaayil won her maiden last time out at Newmarket and looks a progressive type. How good that maiden is is open to debate but trainer Charlie Hills is fond of bagging a winner at York so has to be respected. I feel this race is more competitive and although at 6/1 actually looks a relatively generous price I feel there’s a better alternative offered from the same owner.
There’s only two course and distance winners in the race and I’m going with the old adage of “Horses For Courses” and hope that Dawaa’s performances at York should stand her in good stead. Mark Johnston is based in Yorkshire and his horses ran well enough on day one so I’m hoping his yard are starting to hit a bit of form. With a win and a second placed finish in two starts here it shows she clearly relishes the ground and although not likely to be as progressive as some of her rivals I’m hoping her experience can count for something at a venue she seems to love.
The remaining runners have fair chances and Dutch Mist and Show Stealer could go well at each way prices but never the less Dawaa is the one I hope to close the show with a win.