It’s a typically tricky card for layers at York, but with the sun shining with a vengeance, those who need to make a print are at a disadvantage, and I can’t see Great Prospector enjoying hearing his hooves rattle in the Infinity Tyres Handicap.
13:50 – SkyBet Race To The Ebor Jorvik Handicap
It’s tempting to field against Collide here given that the going will be getting faster all the time, and Hugo Palmer’s 4-y-o has been kept away from quick ground so far, looking well suited by the soft ground when bolting up at Nottingham in October. The reason why I’m keeping my powder dry is that I reckon he’d be a 7.0 shot if the going was on the easy side of good, and he’s now almost twice that price, so the conditions are being factored into his price, and I’m not in a hurry to chase that out any more about a horse with genuine group-race pretensions down the line.
14:25 – Infinity Tyres Handicap
Great Prospector looks way too short in this competitive sprint. He was a winner on good to firm ground on debut, but his form on a fast surface has got progressively worse, and he was tailed off over C&D last summer before running well below form at Doncaster on his latest start on a sound surface. Sure, he bounced right back to form last time, but that was over seven furlongs on a soft surface, which merely goes to highlight how unsuitable this test is for him.
The other one on my radar to lay for a place should he get short enough is Wentworth Falls, who is very effective at Doncaster, and ran really well there last time, but he was well beaten on his only start here, although that was on soft ground, which offers enough of an excuse for me to spare him (or my own blushes).
15:00 – Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes
Yafta looks the weak link here. The Abernant in which he was just in front of Brando last time was a messy race in which those played latest dominated, and while he was hampered as he made his run, I don’t think it’s a performance I’m comfortable marking up, and he’s better judged on last season’s form where his best effort was arguably when winning the Group 3 Hackwood Stakes at Newbury, but his main rivals on paper, which included Invincible Army, ran stinkers, and the form (aside from that pair who both bounced back to win next time) did not work out.
I think he’s a really genuine and consistent performer, but he’s got something to find with the likes of Brando and Limato and could run to form and finish fourth or fifth.
- 14:25 – Place lay Great Prospector @ 3.4 or shorter to win 10pts [max liability 24pts]
- 15:00 – Lay Yafta @ 5.4 or shorter to win 5pts [max liability 22pts]
- 15:00 – Place lay Yafta @ 1.9 or shorter to win 10 pts [max liability 9pts]