York Ebor Festival Trends: DAY FOUR (Sat 24th Aug 2019)

The York Ebor Festival concludes on Saturday 24th August 2019, as the four-day meeting heads into it’s final day.

Four more LIVE ITV races to take in, including the Group Three Strensall Stakes, but the final day is always spearheaded by the Ebor Handicap – Europe’s most valuable handicap – did you know that 16 of the last 17 Ebor Handicap winners carried 9-4 or less in weight, while 14 of the last 17 winners came from a double-figure stall?

As always, we’ll be on-hand throughout the whole meeting to take you through the key trends for each day’s LIVE ITV races.

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DAY FOUR – Saturday 24th August 2019

 

1.50 – Sky Bet And Symphony Strensall Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 1m208y ITV

16/16 – Had won over at least a mile before
16/16 – Had won at least twice in the their career
15/16 – Had between 2 and 4 runs already that season
13/16 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
12/16 – Had won over a mile before
7/16 – Won by Godolphin
7/16 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
4/16 – Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor
4/16 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori
4/16 – Had won at York before
Lord Glitters (2/1 fav) won the race in 2018

Note: The 2009 running was a dead-heat

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: The 3 year-olds – Bangkok and Space Traveller – get a handy weight allowance from the older horses, but with 81% of the last 16 winners aged 4 or 5 then the stats look to be against them. It’s a race the David O’Meara yard have done well in recently – winning three of the last five – so his course winner, Escobar, will be hoping to add to that tally. He’s an improving sort still at 5 years-old, but the ratings still suggest he’s a bit to find on these terms. Wissahickon is another proven course winner that will be popular with Frankie riding for John Gosden. He’s the top-rated in the field and despite his absence has gone well fresh in the past – he can go well. Forest Ranger has to give weight away all-round so that makes life hard for him, so it might be worth taking a chance on the Sir Michael Stoute runner – ZAAKI. The yard won this race two years ago, plus will have Ryan Moore in the saddle. This 4 year-old ran below-par last time at Goodwood, but that track doesn’t always suit, while the drop back to 7f that day might not have been ideal. He’s back in trip here and prior to that last run had been running well this season – winning twice and then finishing a close second in the G2 Summer Mile at Ascot in July.

2.25 – Sky Bet Melrose Stakes (Handicap) Cl2 1m6f ITV

14/16 – Not raced at York before
14/16 – Had 4 or more runs that season
12/16 – Won carrying 9-0 or less
12/16 – Had won over 1m4f or further
12/16 – Returned 10/1 or shorter
12/16 – Had a top 5 finish last time out
10/16 – Drawn in stall 8 or lower
4/16 – Winning favourites (1 co)
2/16 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
2/16 – Ridden by William Buick
2/16 – Trained by Charlie Appleby (last two)
Ghostwatch (10/1) won the race in 2018

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: 13 runners heading to post here and some fast-improving 3 year-olds. The Haggas yard took this in 2012 and run Hamish, who is making his handicap debut here. But he was turned over a odds-on last time out so has a bit to prove for me. Universal Order has won two of his last three races and warrants respect. He’s up just 2lbs for the last of those wins and ticks a fair few of the main trends. The Gosden and Frankie runner – First In Line – is sure to be popular too having won it’s last two races. However, he might not be much value and it’s interesting that 12 of the last 16 winners of this race carried 9-0 or less. Seven tick that trend – Lariat, Universal Order, Skymax, Kiefer, Just Hubert, Land Of Oz and Starczewski. With 12 of the last 16 winners having also finished in the top five last time out then the two that I like are SKYMAX (e/w) and LAND OF OZ (e/w). The former was a good winner at Newbury last time out (7 lengths) and even though he’s up 7lbs here and in a better race this Ralph Beckett could not have been more impressive. Land Of Oz is a typical Sir Mark Prescott horse that’s run up four wins on the spin now. He’s another that is stepping up in grade and is 5lbs higher than last time. However, at least he’s proven over this 1m6f and only three in the race are. He also stays further – having won over 2m – so that proven stamina will be a big plus. In this better race he gets in with just 8-7 to carry and that makes him dangerous.


3.00 – Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 7f ITV

15/16 – Failed to win last time out
15/16 – Aged 5 or younger
13/16 – Drawn in stalls 4 to 8 (inc)
13/16 – Priced 7/1 or shorter
12/16 – Finished in the top 5 last time out
12/16 – Never run at York before
11/16 – Winning distance 1 length or less
11/16 – Had 4 or more runs that season
7/16 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/16 – Won by trainer Sir Michael Stoute
2/16 – Won by trainer Andrew Balding
1/16 – Placed horses from stall 1
Expert Eye (Evs) won the race in 2018

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: This has been a good race for the Sir Michael Stoute and Andrew Balding yards in recent years – winning it 5 times between them in the last 16 years. Stoute runs Eqtidaar and Balding has Shine So Bright. 15 of the last 16 winners were aged 5 or younger – that’s a plus for all bar the 11 year-old Gordon Lord Byron. For whatever reason the horses drawn in stalls 4-8 (inc) have a good record too – they’ve won 13 of the last 16 – Servalan, Eqtidaar, Laurens, Mr Lupton and Cape Byron are the ones that fit that draw stats. Of that lot, Cape Byron was a good winner of the Wokingham at Royal Ascot but failed to improve on that next time, albeit at a much higher level (G1, July Cup). The slight drop in grade will help, but he’s still got it to prove at this level for me. Le Brivido is a classy sort but just doesn’t win enough, while course winners Mr Lupton and Sir Dancealot have to be respected. Too. But it’s hard to get away from the top-rated in the field – LAURENS. Yes, she’s got to give a small bit of weight away to some, but she bounced back to winning ways last time out in France, so heads here in tip-top form. The drop back to 7f will be fine, while the drop back into a Group Two will also provide her with easier opposition.

3.40 – Sky Bet Ebor (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 1m6f ITV

16/17 – Carried 9-4 or less
16/17 – Aged 6 or younger
14/17 – Won from a double-figure stall
14/17 – Had won over at least 1m4f before
12/17 – Carried 9-1 or less
12/17 – Aged either 4 or 5 years-old
11/17 – Winning Distance – 1 length or less
10/17 – Had 3 or more runs already that season
9/17 – Unplaced favourites
8/17 – Had run at York before
5/17 – Ran at Ascot last time out
5/17 – Won last time out
4/17 – Irish-trained winners (4 of the last 9)
4/17 – Ran at Goodwood last time out
3/17 – Ran at Galway last time out
2/17 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
2/17 – Placed horses from stall 1 (third 2011, third 2013)
1/17 – Winning favourites
Just one winning favourite since 1999
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute won the race in 1980, 1991 & 1996
The average winning SP in the last 17 years is 21/1
Muntahaa (11/1) won the race in 2018

RACING AHEAD VERDICT: 22 runners heading to post for another super-tough renewal of the Ebor Handicap. The in-form Mark Johnston runner – King’s Advice – will be all the rage after winning 5 of his last 6. He’s got several key trends on his side – like draw and age, but with 16 of the last 17 winners carrying 9-4 or less then this 9-9 weight looks against him. That draw stat actually puts a line through the top 17 on the card – with only BARSANTI, DRAMATIC QUEEN, MAKING MIRACLES, CLEONTE, THE GRAND VISIR, plus the two reserves – Cypress Creek and Proschema the ones set to carry 9-4 or less. With 16 of the last 17 winners aged 6 or younger, this is bad news for Barsanti, Red Galileo and Max Dynamite. However, one horse that only falls down on the weight trend by a pound is the John Gosden-trained BEN VRACKIE. On a plus, he’s got a top draw in 22 and this 4 year-old also has Frankie Dettori riding, who would have probably had the pick between the other Gosden runner too – Weekender. Yes, the pick was well behind King’s Advice last time but has a 7lb weight pull here and I don’t think that was his true running anyway. He was slowly away and also didn’t get a clear run that day. Prior to that he’d run well at Ascot (2nd) and it might just have been the ‘bounce factor’ coming into play last time as that Ascot run came off a 252-day break. He’s been freshened up with 43 days off and the Gosden yard will be keen to win this race for a second year in a row. Recent Marsh Cup winner – Withhold – is another to note, but a 6lb rise makes life harder again, while course winner Raheen House can go well too. But, of those at bigger prices, DRAMATIC QUEEN (e/w), who is a proven CD winner here looks over-priced to me. She’s a Group Three winner but has been running in Group Two’s of late so the drop back into a handicap will be a lot easier. The in-form Danny Tudhope has been booked to ride and with just 9-4 and draw 11, this 4 year-old ticks a lot of the main stats. MEKONG (e/w) is the other of interest. Ryan Moore rides for his old boss – Sir Michael Stoute – here. This 4 year-old doesn’t have the best of draws in 3, but he’s another that’s been running in better races recently. He stays further than this 1m6f trip too so providing Moore can work a bit of magic from the draw he’s can go well too – the yard has won this race three times in the past.

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