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Date of Tips: 17/08/2021
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (19:01 17/08/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
York’s Ebor meeting is a favourite of many an aficionado, and it’s easy to see why. High quality from start to finish, on one of the best tracks around, and in the height of summer (yes I know!) It is four days to sit back and enjoy, and try and chisel out a few winning bets.
The first opportunity is in the Sky Bet and Symphony Group Handicap at 1.50 on Wednesday, a fiendish looking 5½f bunfight down the straight course, that will be over in the blink of an eye. Usually, I’d be looking towards those horses drawn in the middle, as that always seems to be where the action unfolds on good ground.
But, with the main pace angles either being drawn very low or very high, it could be that the winner comes from anywhere, and the most important factor will be jockeyship and decision-making in the early stages, to gain the best position to strike from.
So having Tom Marquand on our side is just about as good as it gets at the moment, and gives me confidence that we can get a good each-way run for our money on Hurricane Ivor at 8/1 generally for six places.
Supported strongly for the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood last time, the soft ground, 6f and a middle draw all stretched his ability to the limit. Hurricane Ivor’s two runs before that, at Sandown and Ascot, suggested that he could easily make up into a listed class sprinter, if not better.
This intermediate trip on decent ground, with the prospect of a good pace to track could be just the ticket for Hurricane Ivor, and he is the sole bet at 8/1 each-way generally in the opener at 1.50.
The middle of the card is to be savoured and watched, as the Acomb, Great Voltigeur and Juddmonte International are all so far buried in the ‘too tricky’ draw, that it would be futile to try and draw them out. Luckily, they are also in the draw marked ‘excellent’ too, and will be tantalising viewing.
The Sky Bet Handicap at 4.10 over 2m features plenty of the usual suspects, seen to be prevalent in decent staying handicaps. Elysian Flame is the first dart, for Michael and David Easterby, who would love a winner at this meeting.
The handicapper has been chipping away at Elysian Flame on account of some good runs at the likes of Chester, Ascot and Goodwood, but it is notable that the last time Elysian Flame was faced with 2m on a flat and galloping track, he was a cosy winner at Newbury.
York will suit him perfectly, and as long as the ground doesn’t dry out overly, he’s a great each-way bet at 9/1 with Paddy Power.
A flat, galloping track are also exactly what Rajinsky needs, and following an unlucky run in the Northumberland Plate, he returns to the scene of his runner-up finish in this race last year at an inflated price of 16/1 generally, due to runs at unsuitable tracks at Newmarket and Goodwood.
Richard Kingscote gets back on board too, for the first time in a while, so Rajinsky can easily run a big race at massive odds of 16/1 each-way.
The final wagers on the card come in the closing Sky Bet Nursery Handicap at 5.20 over 6f. We may get some clues earlier on the card as to where you need to be drawn, but for now I’m going to presume that the middle is definitely no negative, (and hopefully a significant positive.)
Jadhlaan at 9/1 each-way with Sky Bet, who offer 6 places, is worth supporting to continue his good record at York. Since a win in a good time in a novice event here, a midfield run in the Group 2 July Stakes seems to be better than it looked at the time, with the form being franked nicely elsewhere since.
Also, midfield in that July Stakes was Kevin Ryan’s Aleezdancer, who has since chased the euros by running in a valuable sales race at Naas. In finishing tenth, many will write him off, but he was drawn on the far side and had to do much more running than the principals to get near the action on the near side, and subsequently only being beaten just over 4 lengths was a big run.
At 16/1 with Sky Bet also in the 5.20, Aleezdancer is another big priced each-way bet to be had on a mouth-watering opening day of York’s Ebor Festival.