THE rain is coming. Beautiful weather is about to be replaced by a downpour that could have a profound effect on the Ebor, Europe’s richest handicap, on Saturday. The ante-post favourite Ivan Grozny is also out of the race after being found to be lame, leaving Northumberland Plate winner Antiquarium at the head of the market.
Shop around for the best prices and the various deals offered by layers including the Irish bookie Boylesports offer. Heartbreak City has clearly been laid out for the race by the shrewd Tony Martin. The gelding was an easy course winner last year but is now 21lb higher. However he has a very useful claimer on board in Adam McNamara and will relish rain softened ground.
Antiquarium mugged Seamour close home in the Pitmen’s Derby and is now 2lb worse off. SEAMOUR is a very talented horse and deserves to win a big race. He won’t mind any rain although he can throw in the odd stinker of a run. (He ran a flat race last time out). He is also drawn widest, which is not always a bad thing but it could be a hindrance.
Saturday’s card at York is excellent and here are a few other fancies…
1.45: BATHOS has been out of form but he has slipped to a handy mark, is well drawn and has the useful Cam Hardie on board. I think he needs to race handily to show his best and he won’t mind the rain.
2.15: Diploma and Scottish will be all the rage for the group 3 Strensall Stakes but there could be value to be had with the amazing GABRIAL. He is one of the few in the race with proven form on soft ground and this looks much easier than some of his more recent assignments. 12/1 looks good each-way value.
2.45: The Melrose handicap is typically competitive but JAAMEH stayed on really well over 1m 4f at Goodwood when he was given a bit too much to do. The extra 2f should suit and hopefully he can get a decent position from a wide draw.
3.25: The Gimcrack has a bit of a hottie in the market in Blue Point. Inexperience probably cost him victory in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood when he was collared by the more streetwise Mehmas. Being by Shamardal, he should handle the ground if the rain gets in. THE LAST LION is also effective on soft ground and I prefer the each-way value he offers.
4.35: Mark Johnston thinks a huge amount of SUTTER COUNTY who has been absent due to injury for some time and he can get the better of Final Reckoning.
5.05: CELEBRATION is guaranteed to handle rain-softened ground, unlike several other fancied contenders.