ORDINARILY, the York Ebor meeting is one of the best Flat meetings of the year. But this year the probable presence of the Epsom Derby and Oaks winners is poised to give it added lustre. Australia and Taghrooda are both promising to be exceptional Classic winners and their participation in the Juddmonte International and Yorkshire Oaks is eagerly anticipated. But the supporting cards at the York Ebor Festival are typically excellent with the usual fusion of class and competitiveness. Here are five horses to look out for…
PRINCE GAGARIN: (Acomb Stakes, Wednesday): Ed Dunlop has a highly promising colt in Prince Gagarin who won readily at Newmarket after a debut rich in promise at Newbury. The Acomb has thrown up some very good horses in the past and while he may be no Gorytus, he looks the type to progress to group company later in the season.
SNOW SKY (Great Voltigeur Stakes, Wednesday): Michael Stoute’s progressive three-year-old put up a remarkable performance to win the Gordon Stakes. On the face of it he looked workmanlike in his disposal of Windshear and Somewhat but he had sweated up profusely before the race and paddock observers had written off his chances beforehand. He has a bit to find with Eagle Top on Ascot form but I’m not sure he ran his race that day.
LIMATO (Gimcrack Stakes, Saturday): Three from three, Henry Candy’s unbeaten juvenile has been one of the brightest two-year-old stars of the season so far. The sharp 6f of the Gimcrack looks ready-made for this speedy son of Tagula and he can continue his progression.
RETIREMENT PLAN (Ebor, Saturday): Strictly on the book, Lady Cecil’s four-year-old has quite a bit to find with warm Ebor favourite Pallasator on Ascot form last month. But this scopey son of Passage Of Time has since won at Ascot on Shergar Cup day and strongly hinted that there was more improvement to come. He is very lightly raced and will stay every yard of the 1m 6f trip.
MUSIC MASTER (Nunthorpe, Friday): Music Master has never run over 5f so this is something of an experiment by Henry Candy. But he seems to be improving all the time. His race will be won and lost in the first two furlongs of this lightning quick dash and if he can trap quickly and hold an early position on the heels of the leaders, then he can use his impressive turn of foot to reel them in.