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

Some of Flat racing's best and brightest are getting ready to strut their stuff at York this week at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival from Wednesday 19th through until Saturday 22nd August. The flagship meeting on the Knavesnmire is set to start with a bang on Wednesday afternoon with a seven-race card (1.45pm-4.50pm) headlined by a stellar renewal of the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes (3.15pm). The Racing Post bring you their preview and betting tips for day one of the York Ebor Festival.




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


1.45 - Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap (5½f)

A cautionary start to the Ebor Festival for punters given the nature of this 22-runner minefield sprint. Favouritism is likely to be held by the Michael Dods-trained Jawwaal, winner of both starts this season at Doncaster and Ascot over the minimum trip. He had the like of Jonah Jones (third), Aplomb (fourth) and more of these behind him last time and, despite his 8lb hike in the ratings, commands plenty of respect. Watchable and Only Spoofing also bring winning form to this race.

MAGIC J had been in excellent heart this season prior to a lesser effort at Ascot last month. Ed Vaughan's charge was impressive winning at Sandown on his penultimate start, travelling stylishly. He can be keen in his races and that cost him over a stiff 5f at Ascot since. Blinkers go on here and if Oisin Murphy can get him settled, double-figure odds are worth taking that he'll run a big race on a track that ought to suit his run-style.

Another with an each-way squeak could be David O'Meara's MUSCIKA, a winner over 6f on quick ground here last month. He did it well on that occasion and regularly goes with gusto on the Knavesmire. He wasn't at his best since at Thirsk, but takes his racing well and has quickly bounced back from a sub-par effort in the past. His visor goes back on now and, at big odds, he may go well for Silvestre De Sousa in a wide-open heat.

Selection: Magic J @ 12/1

Next Best: Muscika @ 20/1


2.15 - Tattersalls Acomb Stakes (Group 3, 7f)

A field of eight go to post for the Acomb, which will offer some solace for each-way players in a quality renewal. Karl Burke's Spycatcher is the only runner in the line-up without a win and, on form, should remain so today. Keith Dalgleish's Broxi has landed back-to-back wins at Musselburgh but is now facing some stern opposition in what constitutes a sharp rise in class for the Kodi Bear colt.

CLOUDBRIDGE, Gear Up, Praise Of Shadows and Royal Scimitar have all raced one and won and it is Charlie Appleby's Godolphin colt that makes the most appeal following his debut win at Leicester 17 days ago.

The Hard Spun offspring readily drew more than three-lengths clear of his rivals, runner-up Soft Whisper boasting racecourse experience. The third home River Alwen has since gone to Haydock and turned over Legend Of Dubai, Roger Varian's charge having placed in a hot Newbury novice on debut. Cloudbridge is surely going to improve from that debut showing and can be hard to beat in this Group 3.

Mark Johnston's Gear Up won over C&D last month on debut despite having got loose pre-race. That form isn't anything strong and he'll need to improve plenty. Praise Of Shadows was a good debut winner at Chester last week, though this much different test comes quickly enough.

Second choice, therefore, is reserved for ROYAL SCIMITAR, with Clive Cox's Newbury winner having seen three of his vanquished opponents win next time out. His stable are in good form and there should be a chunk of improvement in him; earning him the nod over Kevin Ryan's Thirsk winner Darvel.

Selection: Cloudbridge @ 2/1

Next Best: Royal Scimitar @ 9/2


2.45 - Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes (Group 2, 1m4f)

Aidan O'Brien's Mogul should start favourite for this after winning the Gordon Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last time out. He had Highland Chief (second) and Subjectivist (third) with a length or so and, on that evidence, very little splits the trio coming to York.

The unbeaten Darain represents John Gosden after successive novice wins at Newmarket last month over a mile and a quarter. The Dubawi colt had few problems conceding a penalty last time out but whether he can quickly make the step up in Group 2 company is open to debate. That said, he has to be greatly feared from this source stepping up in class/trip.

Roberto Escobarr is another exciting novice stepping into the major league now after a pleasing course success last month for trainer William Haggas. Both he and Darain are laced with potential.

PYLEDRIVER has a 3lb penalty to shoulder here by virtue of his impressive King Edward VII Stakes success at Royal Ascot in June. William Muir's charge went to Epsom for The Derby on the back of that success but, like so many, found that race didn't pan out too well.

He isn't harshly judged and can bounce back now under Martin Dwyer. Connections were very sweet on him following Ascot and he's a solid each-way player at the price available.

While Mogul came good last time, he didn't have all that much in hand over the second and third and so SUBJECTIVIST is the second choice. Like so many of Mark Johnston's horses, he has no problem doing it the hard way from the front and at double-figure odds, there's no certainty that too many will go by him.

Selection: Pyledriver @ 11/1

Next Best: Subjectivist @ 11/1


3.15 - Juddmonte International Stakes (Group 1, 1m2f)

A 'famous-five' of sorts are set to take the Juddmonte International challenge. Last month's Musidora Stakes winner Rose Of Kildare looks the outsider of the party and it's not a shock to see Mark Johnston's charge as big as 50/1 in the betting for what looks an arduous task ahead.

Ghaiyyath will attempt to continue an outstanding season, having won the Coronation Cup before lowering the colours of Enable in taking out the Eclipse at Sandown last month. Charlie Appleby's five-year-old won't need an autocue, with his racing style no secret. Can he burn them off from the front?

He's the one to beat but this rates his toughest challenge of the season so far. The likes of Stradivarius and Enable had valid excuses when beaten by him at Newmarket and Sandown respectively but there's going to be none of that now.

Prince Of Wales's Stakes winner Lord North is on the up this season and must command major respect after that Royal Ascot win; achieved with some authority on his first foray in Group 1 company.

Magical is 2-2 in Ireland this season and a thoroughly likeable mare from the top draw. Aidan O'Brien has plundered this prize three times in seven years and while this is tougher than the weak Group 1s she had bagged at the Curragh this term; the mare is almost certain to raise her game when asked. A big effort is expected from Ryan Moore's mount.

A big effort too is likely from the 2,000 Guineas winner KAMEKO and he may be the answer to this puzzle. His Classic success on the Rowley Mile was as determined as we've come to expect and he was backed into favouritism for The Derby at Epsom subsequently.

He shaped well in fourth, standing no chance with the principles, and confirmed his stamina in the process. He dropped back to a mile for a red-hot Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood since and came out of that race with a proper 'what might have been' story.

Oisin Murphy found himself trapped in a pocket with plenty of horse underneath him at the crucial stages and, as it so often does at Goodwood, that proved fatal to his chances.

With five runners in this field at York, it's improbable that Kameko will get stuck in traffic again. Given what transpired at Goodwood, it's even less likely the champion jockey will allow that sort of race to unfold. Kameko may be tailor-made for this distance now and can toe into the race powerfully before making a decisive move to go and get after Ghaiyyath, from whom he receives a 7lb weight-for-age allowance.

Selection: Kameko @ 4/1

Next Best: Ghaiyyath @ 5/4

3.45 - Sky Bet Handicap (2m)

Solo Saxophone was backed with real confidence at Ascot last month on the back of a hat-trick of wins to start his time with Ben Haslam after joining the yard from Dan Skelton. The last of those was achieved here over C&D in early July. Things didn't go his way at Ascot but it's probable that a slowly run race, as opposed to this mark of 94, did for him there. Back at York he's fancied to run a big race once more and is a viable contender.

So, too, is MAKE MY DAY for trainer Ralph Beckett. The Galileo gelding showed plenty promise in three runs for John Gosden as a juvenile, culminating in a maiden win at Goodwood in June 2019. That form worked out well and, after switching yard, Make My Day made a winning handicap debut at this track last month over 1m4f on the back of 393-days out. He's up 6lb and has his stamina further tested now, but that Goodwood win over 1m6f shows there may be plenty more to come from him.

Selection: Make My Day @ 5/1

Next Best: Solo Saxophone @ 8/1


4.20 - Sky Bet Fillies' Sprint Handicap (5f)

Having sided with DANCIN INTHESTREET for last month's Summer Fillies' Stakes over 6f here, this isn't the time to desert William Haggas' charge.

That Group 3 contest seemingly asked a bit much but her previous form in handicaps this term - particularly at Ascot (5f) and Newmarket (6f) - was very promising. Any rain that falls will be to her advantage, with some cut in the ground ideal, but she should have no concerns on good ground either. Back in a handicap, it will be a disappointment if she can't throw down a challenge from a mark of 87.

Glamourous Anna was a Goodwood winner last time and comes here searching for a hat-trick, though perhaps on revised terms and on this track, Electric Ladyland can give her plenty to think about.

Lady In France was a Listed winner at Ayr last season but hasn't sparkled in two runs since in France and, on seasonal bow, at Doncaster in June. She's into a handicap now for the first time but has a heavy burden to carry.

DANDY'S BEANO was three-lengths behind her in that Ayr race last September and may go well here at a price for Kevin Ryan and Kevin Stott. The latter is having a summer to remember and this mare was runner-up to a subsequent winner at Haydock recently. She's rising in class but looks a player in the each-way market.

Selection: Dancin Inthestreet @ SP

Next Best: Dandy's Beano @ SP


4.50 - Sky Bet Nursery (6f)

Perotto backed up his excellent second at Glorious Goodwood by landing a nursery at Sandown 12 days ago and attained a mark of 85 in doing so. He joins Line Of Departure, Mutazawwed and Churchill Bay amongst the likely contenders for this nursery finale on day one; with Roger Varian's Yarmouth/Ascot winner, in particular, deserving a good billing.

RUNNING BACK may however go well at a decent price. He was in front of the aforementioned Perotto on their debuts at Newbury in June and then ran well on the all-weather at Kempton when second in a four-runner heat. Richard Hannon's charge didn't appear to relish the quirks of Goodwood last time and could be lurking on a dangerous mark of 80 now as such.

Selection: Running Back @ SP

Next Best: Line Of Departure @ SP



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





V: 1.20.0 All rights reserved. August 2021