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As always at this stage of the season, we’ve seen lots of top-drawer flat racing over the course of the last two to three months, but it’s not time to revert to the jumps just yet, oh no. There’s plenty more to come. This week, we have the small matter of the York Ebor Festival, which offers us four days of premier flat racing, to get excited about.
There’s plenty for punters to get stuck into on the first day of the Ebor meeting, though as is always the case at these big festivals, finding winners will be anything but a simple task.
Betting tips for day one of the York Ebor Festival
- 1 Betting tips for day one of the York Ebor Festival
- 2 13:50 – Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap
- 3 15:00 York – Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes
- 4 16:45 – Ire Incentive, It Pays to Buy Irish Fillies’ Handicap
It’s time to dig deep into the form book and see if we can pinpoint a few horses that represent some value in the betting ahead of the action on day one. Here goes:
13:50 – Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap
The first race of the meeting is certainly a competitive one, what with 20 runners going to post. Intrinsic Bond warrants lot of respect under Oisin Murphy, while Korker is bound to be popular too, though at bigger odds, Makanah appeals to my eyes.
The mount of Paul Hanagan ran well in this race last year, finishing fifth, running on well from the back, despite being hampered just over a furlong out. That run is eye-catching, especially as he’s now down in the weights.
The gelding didn’t fire on heavy ground at Goodwood last time out, but he can be forgiven for that and ought to be much more at home on this faster surface. We’re also talking about a horse that has placed three times at York before, a horse who tends to go close in races of this nature when racing from a mark below 100, as he does today. Don’t be surprised if he goes close. I certainly won’t.
Best bet – Makanah (each-way) @ 18/1
15:00 York – Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes
The third race on the card will be the Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes, which is an interesting little Group 2 race.
The early market makes this largely about Gregory, who arrives here with a perfect record having won three out of three, though I’m going to take on the favourite with the mount of Ryan Moore, Continuous.
Aidan O’Brian’s runner came second at this level last time out, though lost nothing in defeat to King Of Steel, who is every inch a Group 1 horse. Losing out to a 120-rated horse in the way that he did tells me that the unexposed three-year-old may just be a bit better than a current rating of 110, whereas Gregory didn’t appear to have much in hand when winning against a field of horses rated 102 or below.
Having run in some very hot contests this season, this is perhaps Continuous’ best chance of success and at the currently available odds, I’m backing him to secure that success.
Best bet – Continuous @ 11/4
16:45 – Ire Incentive, It Pays to Buy Irish Fillies’ Handicap
At 16:45, we have a competitive little 14-runner five-furlong dash, in which several naturally have chances.
Pinafore should be hugely respected for his powerful yard, while Designer is another who can be expected to go well. For my money, though, Pillow Talk is the one.
There’s lots to like about Karl Burke’s lightly-raced filly here. She was a solid third at Pontefract last time out, beaten less than three parts of a length, while she’s twice run very, very well at York before.
From 2lbs higher in the weights back in May, she finished second (of 10) in a Listed contest on good-to-firm at the North Yorkshire venue, while she also won a Listed contest at York on just her second start last year. Such form is hard to ignore, and it really would be little surprise if the three-year-old laid down a bold bid now back at a venue that she clearly likes.
Best bet – Pillow Talk (each-way) @ 6/1
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