The Ebor meeting at York starts today and it offers four excellent days of high quality racing, with the highlight for me being the Juddmonte which takes place today.
13:55 Symphony Group Handicap
We start off proceedings with a twenty runner five furlong dash, so let's hope things get a little easier! As you would expect this is a wide open contest and it is 10/1 the field. Dutch Masterpiece has been getting better with each race this season and was beaten only a short head by Secretinnthepark in the Shergar Cup as Ascot. The Gary Moore trained runner is a pound better off this time around and if he can settle a little better, has a great chance of reversing placings and taking this.
14:30 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes
This looks a pretty strong two year old Group 3 with all ten runners having already recorded victories. The William Haggas trained Reorder won a good looking maiden on soft ground and this son of Galileo will surely appreciate the better ground. The third and fourth in that race at Newmarket have both won since to uphold the form and he looks to have been aimed at this race. At best price 11/2 I think it represents great value and will be hard to beat.
15:05 Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes
This Group 2 has a lot of good horses who are just below top quality. Giovanni Canaletto was fourth and third in the English and Irish Derbies and is one of three entries for Aiden O'Brien. Bondi Beach is the preferred choice of son Joseph but doesn't look quite good enough as well second in a listed race over this distance before winning a Group 3 over two furlongs further. Aloft is the clear third string and this may be on the sharp side for him.
Richard Hannon's Tashaar won his maiden and a handicap in good style but this is a huge step up and although open to any kind of improvement, it will take a big step forward to win this.
Storm The Stars was third and second in the English and Irish Derbies, therefore beaten only by the excellent Golden Horn and Jack Hobbs (twice). He has the best form in the field and I would be surprised if he wasn't right there in the business end of the race.
15:40 Juddmonte International Stakes
The race of the meeting and all of the big guns appear likely to take part.
Gleneagles has looked superb over a mile this season, winning both the English and Irish 2,000 Guineas and then going on to win the St James Palace Stakes at Ascot. All of these races have been over a mile and although he was staying on strongly at the finish, the extra two furlongs here will really test him.
The Great Gatsby is a seriously good horse and pushed Golden Horn for a long way before being unable to stay with him over the final furlong in the Coral Eclipse at Sandown. He pushed the brilliant Australia all the race in this race last year has a chance to get involved again. The big minus against him is he is a four year old so the brilliant three year olds all receive eight pounds from him and that should again be too much.
Time Test was a very impressive winner of a Group 3 at Ascot and Roger Charlton thinks he is a Group 1 winner in waiting. This is a good deal better than what he has achieved so far but there is very chance he is a little bit special and can really push his mire illustrious rivals all the way.
It is impossible to get away from Golden Horn. He is still unbeaten after winning the Dante and then destroying a strong Derby field with the form being intactly franked with stable mate Jack Hobbs (behind him in both the Dante and the Derby) running away with the Irish Derby. Golden Horn then went on to win the Coral Eclipse (as mentioned above) and will certainly take all the beating again here and I expect Frankie Dettori to continue his excellent year with yet another Group 1 victory. You can get 6/1 here
16:20 Fine Equity Handicap
This is another wide open race as several of these looks capable of taking this two miler. A speculative vote goes to Teak, he was a good third in the Shergar Cup two weeks and a repeat of that run will put him right in the frame here. Taws is another who looks to have the opportunity to go close, this would be his minimum trip but there is certain to be a strong pace which will mean he will be staying on at the business end. He has useful claimer Tom Marquand on board taking five pounds off and that could prove crucial.
16:55 Betway Nursery
We finish with a twenty runner six furlong nursery so keep stakes to an absolute minimum. Whitman has already won two races in good fashion and will need to be out of the top drawer to win this given the weight he is carrying. However, that looks a distinct possibility given the way he has looked so far and is worth a few pennies to finish the day.
13:55 Dutch Masterpiece - 1 point win @ 10/1
14:30 Reorder - 1 point win @ 11/2
15:05 Storm The Stars - 2 points win @ 4/1
15:40 Golden Horn - 5 points win @ 8/11 (Get 6/1 with a new PaddyPower Account)
16:20 Teak - 1/2 point each way @ 16/1 (now a non runner). Taws 1/2 point each way @ 11/1
16:55 Whitman - 1 point win @ 9/1