Too Darn Hot is the star of the show at York on Thursday, but the Ante-Post Guineas favourite had a setback earlier in the spring, and while he’s bred to stay, he looked very well suited by dropping to seven furlongs after his juvenile debut, and I think he will prove best at around a mile this year. He may get away with ten furlongs on fast ground at York, but I’m not backing him at close to even money to find out.
13:50 – Matchbook Betting Exchange Handicap
This is wide open, and I’m of the opinion that the stands side will come out best purely because I think Eeh Bah Gum has the brightest speed in the field, and he should drag the high numbers in his wake. I’ve already had a bet on Foolaad, and I’m happy with that, but there are a couple of others at really big prices who can repay place-only support, and may tempt the more adventurous in the place market.
Powerallied is too big at 40+ in the win market, and around 8.0 in the place, and while his chance is less obvious, I don’t think Outrage should be a 3-digit price on the back of one poor run given he’s normally very reliable. The former is arguably a Chester specialist, but the fact that he’s owned by Marwan Koukash explains his regular visits there, and I thought he ran really well when mid-field after missing the break in the Portland at Doncaster last autumn, and he was ridden with an eye to the future on his return at Pontefract.
Outrage is better known for his AW exploits and is on similar terms with Foolaad having beaten him at Newcastle in January. He’s won three of his eight starts over 5f on fast turf, so while it can be argued that this test doesn’t suit, the bare facts suggest otherwise. He has a bit to prove after his latest run but could run much better than his price suggests without quite being good enough to win from his mark.
15:00 – Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes
There is little doubt that Too Darn Hot has shown better form than any of his Dante rivals, but last year’s leading two-year-old has missed the 2000 Guineas with a setback, and is not in the same mould as his siblings who improved at three, being a more compact, precocious model who is undeniably exciting, but is very unlikely to stay the Derby trip. He could win this without fully staying either, but I don’t think his style of racing will make it that easy to ration his speed for this sort of test, and he has to be taken on at around 2.2 in the win market.
I’d also recommend laying him for a place at Epsom, liquidity permitting, as even if he does come through this test, the extra two furlongs at Epsom are going to ask questions he cannot answer, in my view, and the cautious words of the normally ebullient John Gosden would suggest he thinks the same.
- 13:50 – Back Powerallied to win @ 40.0 or bigger for 3pts
- 13:50 – Back Powerallied to place @ 8.0 or bigger for 5pts
- 13:50 – Back Outrage to place @ 18.0 or bigger for 2pts
- 15:00 – Lay Too Darn Hot to win @ 2.25 or shorter for 16pts [max liability 20pts]