Day one of York’s Ebor meeting has fascinating subplots at every turn, as the likes of Telescope, Toronado, Al Kazeem and The Grey Gatsby vie for the limelight.
The extended 5f handicap that gets the card underway is predictably fiendish, but a horse who I sided with last time out here once again gets the vote.
Lady Gibraltar finished a close up third on that occasion just over a month ago, but had to do most of her own donkey-work and was the only horse berthed in a single figure stall to finish in the first five.
That was her second time on the Knavesmire, following up her 33/1 third back in May, in one of the hottest sprint handicaps run this year.
At 14/1 with BetVictor, she is hard to knock out of the frame and stall 11 gives Michael Murphy options when it comes to tracking the pace.
The Grey Gatsby made a huge impression on me when winning his maiden and will be hard to beat in the Acomb Stakes.
While Secret Number is much the most interesting horse in the Great Voltigeur, and at 5/1 could represent a bit of value, as the hyped Telescope takes a large chunk out of the market.
The International will be a great spectacle, but is too tough to call as the tactics will be all important, and I’m far from certain who will do what.
The staying handicap at 4.20 looks a very similar race to the one contested by many of these 5½ weeks ago, and in which Brian Ellison’s Wyborne was a major eyecatcher.
Held up from a wide draw, he made rapid progress just as the race was being wound up in the straight.
Despite being granted the widest stall once again, connections will have learnt a lot from that run, and if Raul De Silva can time this well-related stayer’s run a little later, then at 12/1 he can hit the frame at least.
1.55: Lady Gibraltar (each-way) – 14/1 (BetVictor)
4.20: Wyborne (each-way) – 12/1 (Skybet, Paddy Power)