Horse Racing

York Ebor Festival Friday 20th August

Thursday 19th August 15:35

WhichBookie racing analyst Will Smith provides his thoughts on day three of York's Ebor Festival, and a couple of each-way bets.

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Bookie Selection Best Odds Market Bet
Winter Power 11/2 each-way
York 15.35
Place Bet
Herbertandflorence 11/1 each-way
York 16.10
Place Bet

Date of Tips: 19/08/2021

Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (18:52 19/08/2021) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.

Day two didn’t go according to plan, enough said. I could bemoan certain factors, but this is the lot of the punter – sometimes things which you had envisaged beforehand as being predictable are soon rendered anything but, and it’s best to park any frustration and move on to the next opportunity.

So, to day three of York’s Ebor Festival, and without doubt the highlight on the card is the mouth-watering Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at 3.35, where it’s feasible that we could see records broken, given the likelihood of fast ground and a light tailwind.

On the evidence of the first two days, anything drawn near the stands rail may as well start now, and given the fancied and fast horses are drawn in low numbers mainly, Suesa is at a serious disadvantage on ground she may not enjoy too, from stall 14.

Dragon Symbol is rock-solid, but might just find 5f at York on the sharp side for him, and the likely favourite Golden Pal is highly touted and has improved as a three-year-old on his US form.

But he would need to have improved plenty on what he did in the UK as a two-year-old, as the Norfolk Stakes (in which he was runner-up) has worked out terribly. Plus, his draw in stall 1 is probably on a decent part of the track, but being out on a wing is never ideal for a sprinter.

So, it’s left to the Knavesmire-loving speedball filly Winter Power to blast out from stall 6 and for Silvestre De Sousa to point her at the finish line and shoot! At 11/2 generally, she is the each-way bet of the race for four places, or 5/1 with SkyBet for five places.

A drastic improver into her three-year-old season, she is 2 from 2 at York this season (in good times), will love the drying ground, and could prove very, very hard to catch, and continue Tim Easterby’s profitable meeting.

Our old pal Wink Of An Eye nearly made the list as a bet in the opener at 1.50, but he’s just too skinny a price now at 100/30 in places. For all that he’ll improve again upped to 1m4f, and as an improving three-year-old, he takes on plenty of exposed older horses here in preference to Saturday’s Melrose Stakes. It does look like William Haggas has chosen the right race. But at that price, I can watch him win.

Price has also put me off recommending Spanish Mission in the Lonsdale Cup at 2.25, as he was available at 5/1 not long ago, and with doubts about the ground for Trueshan and general form of Stardivarius, Spanish Mission could have been the ‘wise-guy’ bet, but plenty have cottoned on too. I can leave him alone at 5/2.

Eldrickjones in the Gimcrack Stakes at 3.00 and Aldaary in the closing handicap at 5.10 also nearly made the cut, but just doubts about their hold-up run style have swayed me against recommending them.

So, on a quiet betting day, the other bet on the card is in the British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes at 4.10 – a hugely valuable maiden, with just over £36,000 to the winner.

Plenty of connections will have earmarked this, and there are some interesting debutants. But I think Mark Johnston’s Herbertandflorence can leave his Musselburgh debut effort well behind, and is overpriced at 11/1 for four places each-way with Paddy Power or Sky Bet.

Tardily away at Musselburgh, he was then squeezed for room when making a challenge, and having been switched to the outside, he eventually belied his greenness and track position, to hit the line very hard in third.

Herbertandflorence will have learnt a fair chunk for that and granted a decent break, the reassuring jockey booking of William Buick can combine with natural improvement to work the oracle.

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