Matchbook’s resident Horse Racing tipster Micheál Deasy previews Day One of the York Dante Festival.
13.50 – Race To The Ebor Jorvik Handicap
Indianapolis started off life as Gustav Klimt’s lead horse in Ballydoyle before being bought privately and moving to James Given last November with a staying career in mind. His new owners have already stated the Ebor is a long term target and he turns up here in the aptly named Race To The Ebor Jorvik Handicap. He put up a career best performance last time out at Doncaster when he was a 51.0 outsider, to chase home the 110 rated Red Verdon. Indianapolis lost by 2.25 lengths that day in receipt of 3lbs but in a handicap, he would have been getting 14lbs.
On this evidence, he should have a bit up his sleeve and he will need to go up the handicap to achieve his owner’s dream of getting a run in the Ebor.
Today could be the day he starts that climb. He is in off a nice weight, is the perfect age and will definitely stay. He can go well at a big price.
14.25 – Infinity Tyres Handicap
Staxton is a York stalwart. He has run at the course 5 times without winning but has never really run a bad race. He has posted his best and 3rd best runs on official ratings over course and distance in better races than this and will have nothing to fear from the hurly-burly of a 22 runner handicap. He is drawn near the pace in the middle and should get a nice pull into the race. His recent third at Ripon should have him spot on for this and he has a great chance of breaking his duck at York today.
15.00 – Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes
Yafta was desperately unlucky not to win at Newmarket on his seasonal reappearance when caught on the line by Keystroke flying down the outside. Richard Hannon’s sprint star didn’t get a clear run and had to check inside on his run in. Those few yards were probably the difference between winning and losing on the day.
He should improve for that run and has the scope to be a top-class sprinter this year.
The draw is a slight negative but there is a lot of pace on that side with Ornate and El Astronaute guaranteed front runners. This should give him a nice slipstream into the final few furlongs and with a bit more luck in running he can win today.
15.35 – Tattersalls Musidora Stakes
There is all sorts of potential in this race as usual but I am applying Occam’s Razor to it and going for the simplest solution. John Gosden has won this race 5 times in the past 10 years and the one thing linking them is they all arrived in York having had a run and this is also true for 3 of the other 5 winners since 2009. That narrows the field nicely and as one of those who have had a run Sparkle Roll stands out for me.
I loved the way she won at Sandown. She broke and found a nice position easily and was pricking her ears going round the bend into the straight before moving easily to the front and never looked like losing from there.
It looks like she will start at a short enough price but I think she’s a solid favourite and should give her trainer another win in the race.
16.05 – Christian Hobbs Gym Handicap
It’s not often you see an early season fancy for the Derby end up handicapping by mid-May. Space Blues will have disappointed anyone that got involved with him ante-post for Epsom with two poor runs this season, including defeat last time out at Nottingham at odds on. It was a much better run than his seasonal reappearance though and the front two finished well clear on the rest of the field.
Space Blues still looked a bit green and pulled hard at the start and this cost him at the end when he was outbattled close to the line.
He’s taking a step down in trip today and will encounter faster ground for the first time, both of which could be a positive. I think he could have a lot more class than many of his opponents today if he gets his act together and has a great chance to get his season back on track.
- 13.50 – Indianapolis (34.00) – 0.5pt Win, 0.5pt Place*
- 14.25 – Staxton (10.0) – 1pt Win, 1pt Place*
- 15.00 – Yafta – (5.5) – 1pt Win*
- 15.35 – Sparkle Roll (3.75) – 1pt Win*
- 16.05 – Space Blues (6.8) – 1pt Win