York Ebor Festival 2020 Preview And Betting Tips – Day Four
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York Ebor Festival 2020 Preview And Betting Tips – Day Four

It's the fourth and final afternoon of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival at York on Saturday and the main event is served; the Sky Bet Ebor Handicap (3.40pm). A field of 23 will take to the Knavesmire in pursuit of this prestigious prize worth £140,000 to winning connections. Action at York runs from 1.50pm through until 5.10pm and there are excellent supporting acts via the Group 3 Strensall Stakes and the Group 2 City of York Stakes. Find out who the Racing Post are backing for the final day of what has been a thrilling York Ebor Festival.



Place a non in-play single bet of £/€10+ (£/€10+ E/W) on the Ebor Handicap and get a £/€10 free bet if your selection loses and Fujaira Prince wins the race.


1.50 - Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes (Group 3, 1m1f)

A wide open Group 3 to begin affairs and one in which MISS O'CONNOR might well bounce back from losing her unbeaten record on reappearance at Ascot last month. It was mildly surprising that she ran that day on good ground, given her clear preference for some give in the turf, and she looks set to get that here; with any further rain or easing in the ground in favour of William Haggas' mare.

She was gutsy in landing a Group 3 at Saint-Cloud to sign off last season and, after only five runs, has scope for better things. Pogo (may not want soft ground) made all for a Listed win at Windsor on penultimate start, while Prince Eiji has been known to race on the speed but, in the main, her rivals here tend to be held up and that will allow Tom Marquand to dictate things out in front. She could be hard to peg back if conditions are in her favour and she gets a handy 3lb from the boys to boot.

Despite that optimism, there are dangers aplenty. Last year's Queen Anne winner Lord Glitters highlighted his well-being when second in a Group 2 over 1m2½f at this track last month and ought to be suited to being dropped slightly in trip. Meanwhile, Hunt Cup winner Dark Vision stepped up on his previous efforts to hold off Beringer for a Listed win on quick ground at Pontefract last time out over a mile and has claims in what is proving a rewarding summer for him.

ZABEEL PRINCE is selected as the alternative however for a Roger Varian team boasting a strike-rate in excess of 28 per-cent lately. He was a winner on his only visit to York previously (1m, good) and can also boast a Group 1 win in France last year over this distance.

He was well held as favourite on return to action last month in Ireland but may come on for that. He raced keenly and didn't get much in running in a race where those racing prominently utterly dominated. With his yard now in suitable form, a much better offering should be coming from him and he's versatile in regards to the ground.

Selection: Miss O'Connor @ 8/1

Next Best: Zabeel Prince @ 6/1


2.25 - Sky Bet Melrose Handicap (1m6f)

Despite the possible danger of following him over a cliff, the urge to remain faithful with KIPPS is strong. His all-weather novice form from last winter stands to scrutiny (including finishing ahead of likely market leader Favorite Moon at Wolverhampton on debut when they finished second and third) and there has been real promise in three turf runs this season.

He somehow grabbed defeat from the jaws of victory on reappearance at Haydock then took second in the King George V Stakes at Royal Ascot, splitting subsequent Group 3 winner Hukum and Listed scorer Subjectivist in doing so.

A drop back in trip at Newmarket last month didn't seem to do him any favours, but he stayed on to be fourth in a strong contest behind the likes of Zabeel Champion (ran here Friday) and did so carrying 3lb overweight. The War Command colt is back on his rightful mark here and the blinkers he wore last time are dispensed with, while Ryan Moore remains faithful. He's going up in trip significantly and is given another chance to reward the faith.

The aforementioned Favorite Moon held off a reliable yardstick in Subjectivist at Haydock last month over this distance and isn't too hard done by going up 7lb with the winner having landed a Listed success next time and run with real credit in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood (not as good in Great Voltigeur here on Wednesday). He should give a good account again under Cieren Fallon.

ARTHURIAN FABLE, however, is preferred at an each-way price as next best. Brian Meehan's son of Sea The Stars has been an improved model this season since going into handicaps. He had a near miss at Newmarket on return and ran a cracker at Royal Ascot (just behind Kipps) over 1m4f before again showing up well at HQ last month. However, it was over this trip at Sandown (good to firm) that he put it all together for a decisive success 30 days ago. He's up 6lb and in a stronger grade here but is unexposed at the distance and strikes as one that may make progress now his stamina is being properly tested.

Selection: Kipps @ 6/1

Next Best: Arthurian Fable @ 16/1


3.00 - Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (Group 2, 7f)

A Group 2 contest that is not short on quality but one in which ONE MASTER is fancied to reward her backers again. The likeable mare has two Group 1 wins in France on her CV already (both over this trip with some give underfoot) and she confirmed the suspicion that a drop back to this level would be worthwhile at Glorious Goodwood last time out (good ground).

Of course, it wasn't without a scare as Tom Marquand had to sit and suffer before getting a hint of daylight to surge through and throw down a challenge. It looked as though the bird might have flown but One Master rocketed home and collared Valeria Messalina on the line, value for more than the short-head margin in the circumstances.

She stays further, acts on any ground and looks by some way the most likely winner of this contest. Indeed, her connections were probably breathing a sigh of relief last weekend when Dream Of Dreams turned the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury into a procession, as that race was also under consideration for the mare.

Last year's winner Shine So Bright joins Safe Voyage and San Donato (second to Mohaather last month at Ascot before well-held sixth behind that rival in Group 1 Sussex Stakes since) amongst the dangers but THREAT is one to keep onside.

An impressive winner of the Gimcrack here last year, he would add the Champagne Stakes at Doncaster over this 7f trip before running with credit in the Middle Park (6f) at Newmarket on his final start.

It hasn't happened for him in two runs this term but there is a big mitigating factor with both of those being Group 1s. The St James's Palace Stakes at Ascot was a red-hot contest and a return to sprinting in the July Cup afterwards may have caught him out. This trip should be ideal and he's easing in class here with an allowance against his elders. He should not be underestimated.

Selection: One Master @ 15/8

Next Best: Threat @ 9/1


3.40 - Sky Bet Ebor Handicap (1m6f)

The highlight of the four days at York and one of racing's toughest puzzles to solve; The Ebor has been won by an SP favourite only once this century, when Luca Cumani sent out 7/2 chance Purple Moon in 2007. That said, the winners are routinely well-found in the betting, with only the Oisin Murphy-ridden Litigant in 2015 starting at bigger than 20/1.

The class of 2020 is assembled and the market is likely going to be headed by Roger Varian's Royal Ascot winner Fujaira Prince. That was a first attempt at this 1m6f trip for the lightly-raced six-year-old and he clearly needs respecting despite going up 9lb in the ratings for his troubles. He'll act on any ground, has been saved for this target since and represents a trainer in scintillating form lately.

There are a host of viable alternatives and so it's worth putting forward a couple that ought to give good accounts of themselves.

The likes of Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson now routinely target this race and while the Seven Barrows handler has the smart mare Verdana Blue in the mix, it is his Irish counterpart that is fancied with last year's sixth TRUE SELF.

She has only had a dozen outings on the level (four wins) and was going as well as anything 2f out in this race last year before finishing 3L sixth of 22. That renewal was run on good-to-firm ground but things should be slower underfoot now and that will suit the Oscar mare. She has run in a pair of group events in Ireland this summer but this has likely been her target.

Rated 2lb lower than last term, she has an excellent partner in Jason Watson (rides York well, only out of the frame once in five appearances) and has plenty going for her in a first-time tongue tie for her master-trainer.

Alan King's Trueshan must be considered one of the more likely winners having picked up where he left off last season with excellent efforts in Listed company at Newmarket and Haydock (winner) this term. He's up to a mark of 109 now and amongst the market leaders.

RANCH HAND gave him 3lb and a beating over this trip at Haydock (soft) back in September and might be a lively outsider today. He was a disappointing favourite in the Cesarewitch on his final run last year and finished sixth behind Fujaira Prince on his return. After a decent effort dropped in trip at Haydock, he put up a solid effort over this C&D in a Group 3 last month.

He represents an Andrew Balding yard in excellent form coming into this contest and while he needs to improve, there aren't a lot of miles on the clock and the ease underfoot that is forecast will be to his liking. He can outrun his price.

Selection: True Self @ 10/1

Next Best: Ranch Hand @ 20/1

4.10 - Julia Graves Roses Stakes (Listed, 5f)

BEN MACDUI sets the bar after finishing closest to Steel Bull in the Group 2 Molecomb at Glorious Goodwood and the Kodiac gelding should give another good account, albeit he's short in the betting. Politics had a subsequent winner behind at Sandown when delivering a polished performance to win second time out and looks certain to improve again but he might not get things his own way today as he did last time.

Acklam Express was a decisive winner of a Glorious Goodwood nursery 23 days ago and will have more to offer but maybe it's worth forgiving WINTER POWER her run in that same race.

She carried a 6lb penalty into it after coasting home at Redcar only three days previous and she was much too keen early on in the race to have a chance. Goodwood perhaps was not to her liking either and this track may be much more so. On revised terms with the winner and with a short break since, Tim Easterby's filly makes some appeal at a generous price having started odds-on last time.

Selection: Winter Power @ 14/1

Next Best: Ben Macdui @ 5/2


4.40 - Sky Bet Handicap (1m2f)

The authority with which MAYDANNY scored at Glorious Goodwood last month isn't forgotten. Mark Johnston's son of Dubawi really seemed to appreciate the extra two-furlongs having made the running under Silvestre De Sousa and he didn't have to be shown the office in moving five-lengths clear of the field.

The handicapper has reacted with an 11lb rise in the ratings but the Middleham stable are so renowned for the improvement their horses can make upped in trip that he is fancied to remain ahead of the assessor. Another Johnston trait; he's likely to relish a battle if his rivals can close in on him at the finish.

That Goodwood race saw Sir Michael Stoute's DEREVO back in fourth and he's much better off with the winner having been left alone on his mark of 96. His Doncaster run behind Fifth Position was a promising one too and the open expanses of York are likely to appeal for Ryan Moore's mount; who should get closer to his Goodwood conqueror.

Selection: Maydanny @ SP

Next Best: Derevo @ SP


5.10 - Sky Bet Apprentice Handicap (5f)

An apprentice handicap to conclude the meeting over the bare 5f. A host of these like to lead and, with some relatively inexperienced riders, this could be a burn up. Wonderwork, Meraas and Sampers Seven are amongst those unlikely to be hanging around when the gates open.

LIVE IN THE MOMENT also like to race fairly prominently but doesn't necessarily need to boss things. Adam West's charge is 2-2 over this distance this season and was a good winner over C&D last month in a lower grade. Georgia Dobie rode a very good race on Lady Of Aran here earlier in the week and she's an asset now.

The aforementioned SAMPERS SEVEN was behind the selection in a hot handicap at Wolverhampton in June but has since won two of three starts. Mick Appleby's filly had three-lengths in hand on her rivals over C&D last month and while she's been hit with a fair hike for that, having Cieren Fallon on board in this sphere should be worth plenty.

Selection: Live In The Moment @ SP

Next Best: Sampers Seven @ SP



Place a non in-play single bet of £/€10+ (£/€10+ E/W) on the Ebor Handicap and get a £/€10 free bet if your selection loses and Fujaira Prince wins the race.






V: 1.22.1 All rights reserved. August 2021