The feature race on the last day of York’s Dante meeting is the Gp 2 Yorkshire Cup – Wednesday’s rain cleared away from the track to give a fine day on Thursday but there is more rain due coming up from the south on Friday and conditions look sure to remain testing.
The Queen’s Dartmouth (3.30) won three Group races last season, including first time out, but escapes a penalty given they were gained before the 31st August and he can continue to give a good account of himself as long as conditions don’t deteriorate too much. The selection is 4/1 at BetVictor and with Ryan Moore booked I would be disappointed if he didn’t go very close.
In the listed Michael Seely Memorial for 3-year-old fillies, I hope to see On Her Toes (2.55) making a winning seasonal reappearance for proud Yorkshireman William Haggas who saddled a double on the opening day of the meeting. The selection is 11/2 at BetVictor, has winning form on soft ground and is another solid each way recommendation.
The ground has come right for Cymro (4.05) in the 12f handicap for Tom Dascombe and the selection can race off the same mark as when successful at Haydock back in September. The five-year-old kept on steadily over an inadequate trip (10f) at Pontefract on his reappearance and conditions this afternoon should be ideal. At 8/1 with BetVictor he is another each way recommendation.
Alan King’s Burguillos could be called the winner a long way out at Leicester on his reappearance and is 2lbs “well in” under a 6lbs penalty. I thought that was a weak event, however, and a bigger danger might come from Roger Varian’s Gibbs Hill.
Bedouin (5.40) can land the finale for Luca Cumani and Jamie Spencer. The selection was well backed on his seasonal debut over 10f but got going too late and was a fast finishing second. The hope is that today’s additional distance will help and it is interesting that connections reapply the blinkers the gelding wore on all three juvenile starts.
They go at Aintree this evening and Princess Roania (5.35) can land the opener for the father-and-son combination of Peter and Sean Bowen. The mare had a pipe opener on the level at Nottingham at the beginning of the month and the yard won this corresponding race three years ago. This evening’s 2m 4f trip on good to soft ground looks ideal and I would be disappointed if she didn’t go very close with recent Stratford scorer Black Tulip and Lets Go Duchess considered the main dangers.
The 2m 4f Handicap Chase is an absolute belter with last year’s winner Ashcott Boy able to run from a mark 3lbs lower than last term. A market move for Falcarragh coming back from a break would be worth noting but Aintree clearly suits the 11-year-old Baileys Concerto (6.05) who has every chance on his penultimate run when runner up to Lord Ballim at Carlisle. Do note the winner is now rated 16lbs higher whilst the selection can race this evening from the same mark.
Free Stone Hill (6.40) has won his last couple for Harry Skelton over the minimum trip but this additional half mile shouldn’t be a concern on decent ground and he can land the hat-trick despite this being a better race than his last couple of starts.
There is rain forecast at Newbury and John Gosden saddles his first two-year-old of the year in the shape of the Frankel newcomer Westerland (2.00). It is worth noting that the stable won this corresponding race last term with another Frankel newcomer (Cunco) and this beautifully bred colt gets the vote in the first 6f maiden (I think?) of the season.
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