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Racing Preview: York Ebor Festival Day Four

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The curtain falls on an excellent four days of racing at York but not before the grand finale - the Ebor - and with 22 runners going to post, it looks a tricky puzzle to solve. Here we provide a betting preview for the showpiece handicap as well as the other big-race action on the Knavesmire...

13:50 York - Strensall Stakes

Lord Glitters heads the betting for this Group 3 contest that he won in 2018. He's only tasted victory once since, however, when popping up as a surprise winner of the 2019 Queen Anne. That being said, he’s been consistent at the highest level and this represents a drop in class for the seven-year-old, who is also the only course-and-distance winner in the field. 

Dark Vision has also been the epitome of consistency this season and the form of his victory and subsequent narrow defeat against Montatham has been well advertised this week. There would just have to be a question mark over whether the extra furlong will suit, especially if the forecast rain arrives on Saturday. 

If the ground really deteriorated then Miss O Connor would have to come into the equation and Epic Hero has the form, as well as the ability to go fresh, to be a factor. However preference is for Charlie Hills’ Pogo, who had some good horses behind when finishing third in a recent Group 1 in France. The extra furlong didn’t seem to inconvenience that day and he does have form with cut in the ground. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Pogo
  2. Lord Glitters
  3. Dark Vision

15:00 York - City of York Stakes

William Haggas will have his eye on the weather forecast for One Master, our current 3.0 favourite, who despite winning the Oak Tree on quick going last time, excels in tough conditions. The form of that Goodwood win received a timely boost with Breathtaking Look finishing runner-up in the Hungerford Stakes and it would be no surprise if she justified favouritism in this field. 

Safe Voyage has run some good races this year but has failed when upped to Group 2 level, while Escobar gets a change of pilot in a bid to get his head in front for the first time since beating a certain Lord North in the Balmoral last year. 

Shine So Bright won this race last year but that came on his reappearance and he’s found life tougher this season. Queen Jo Jo may represent some value at around 18.0 given she dispatched the aforementioned Breathtaking Look at this course last time but goes up in trip here which she may struggle with if the ground does deteriorate. 

Roger Varian’s San Donato certainly looks well placed to put it up to the favourite, stepping down in class after finishing behind Sussex Stakes hero Mohaather. He handles any ground, the drop to seven furlongs looks ideal, and he holds Lord Glitters on the form of this year’s Summer Mile. He makes plenty of appeal at around 6.0. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. San Donato
  2. One Master
  3. Queen Jo Jo

15:40 York - Ebor Handicap

Just the 22 runners to sift through in one of the season’s trickiest puzzles. Fujaira Prince looks set to be this year’s favourite - only one of which has won since 1999 - and currently trades at around 8.0. He’s still very lightly raced for a six-year-old and has never finished out of the front three including a convincing victory at Ascot last time over Selino, who looks a Group performer in the making. However he does have a lot of weight to carry as a result and is possibly set for minor honours. 

Monica Sheriff, a winner of five of her six starts, is tough to ignore on form and would have to make the shortlist if the ground was soft or worse, but as a four-year-old this sort of test may come a bit early in her career. 

Oisin Murphy tasted success in this contest in 2015 and his mount Shailene ran an eye-catching race at Goodwood last time, finishing as the eventual runner-up after starting slowly and encountering a difficult passage. She’s been raised 3lb for that performance but it would be no surprise to see her there at the finish once again. 

At bigger prices, Jeremiah has the services of in-form Jim Crowley and was well backed on his previous run. He has form over this trip and looked like there was more to come when a winner at Ascot earlier in the year. Meanwhile, if Glencadam Glory, now in the hands of Tim Easterby, can back up an excellent run at Ripon last time - fourth in a bunched finish - then he could be a real danger of his current mark. 

Smarkets 1-2-3

  1. Shailene
  2. Monica Sheriff
  3. Glencadam Glory

*Odds correct at time of publication


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