2.00 York: Raise a glass to Classic Vintage at 28/1
Classic Vintage would have a major shout if bouncing back to his best and looks worth chancing at a massive looking 28/1.
Amanda Perrett’s gelding has performed consistently well in strong handicaps and broke a long losing run when getting the better of Granston by a neck over 1m 3f at Haydock last month.
He had subsequent Northumberland Plate winner Tominator (to who he was conceding 2lb) a further 3/4 lengths back in third, and showed plenty of guts and determination to get back up and score.
Things didn’t go according to plan on his latest start in the Old Newton Cup at the Merseyside track, where he was held up off a muddling pace and got caught flat foot before staying on well to finish just under a four length 7th of 13 to Halicarnassus.
He was then far from disgraced when finishing 7th of 14 to Petra Bay at Glorious Goodwood over 1m 6f where after hitting the front two form home he weakend approaching the final furlong to be beaten just over 5 lengths.
The trip was clearly against him that day, and although he didn’t really sparkle when only sixth to Averroes at Ascot last time out he is now back down to his last winning mark of 92.
He is also 1lb lower than when a cracking fourth of 22 to to Times Up in last year’s November Handicap at Doncaster, and that form is rock solid as the winner has this season gone on to land a Listed event at York before being beaten just a short-head by Watar in a Group 2 at Longchamp.
The gelding has his optimum conditions this afternoon, and could well spring a surprise.
Recommended bet: 2pts each-way Classiv Vintage (28/1 Coral)
2.30 York: 5/1 Reply has to be the answer
Aidan O’Brien has enjoyed no success so far this week, but Reply has every chance of notching a belated big race success for the Ballydoyle maestro.
The son of Oasis dream showed bags of promise on his debut when a keeping on thirds to the very useful Requinto and duly stepped up on that when opening his account on his next start at the Curragh by four lengths.
He was then upped in class when taking part in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes, and although beaten just over four lengths into fifth was far from disgraced.
The colt finished just 1 3/4 lengths behind the more experienced and battle hardened Lilbourne Lad, and on 3lb better terms is expected to gain his revenge today.
In my eyes he has more scope than Richard Hannon’s charge, and in what doesn’t look the strongest of Gimcrack’s he looks the one they all have to beat.
Recommended bet: 2pts win Reply (5/1 Stan James)
3.05 York: 8/1 Biondetti the one to beat
The boys in blue struck with Blue Bunting in yesterday’s big one, and Biondetti looks solid value at 8/1 to give them another winner on the Knavesmire.
The Godolphin owend colt looked a smart prospect when winning his first three starts last season, including Group 1 Gran Criterium in Milan on soft going.
He was also far from disgraced on his final start in the Breeders Cup juevenile when fourth to Uncle Mo, and made a promising return to action when making a belated seasonal reappearance in the Group 3 when runner-up in Prix Messidor last month.
Despite looking in need of the run he kept on well to be beaten just a neck by Vagabond Shoes, suggesting that a step up in trip should suit.
He gets that today, and with ground conditions holding no fears looks the one to beat if progressing as expected.
He biggest danger could be Tazahum, who was unsuited by the slow early gallop when finishing fourth at Goodwood last time out.
Recommended bet: 2pts each-way Biondetti (8/1 Coral)
3.40 York: Hoof It banker material at 3/1
Lee Westward may be struggling a bit on the golf course, but his Hoof It has certainly got the winning bug and looks impossible to oppose.
Westward owns the gelding with his manager Chubby Chandler and trainer Mick Easterby, and he proved himself one of the tops sprinters in the land when landing the Stewards Cup at Goodwood in terrific style under the welter burden of 10st.
The manner of his victory had to be seen to be believed as he had the race won fully two furlongs from home.
Kieren Fallon only had to push him out to score by a very easy 2 1/2 lengths, and although dropping back in trip to 5f today that should not present an problems to the rapidly improving four year-old.
The fact that Mick Easterby has put his hand in his pocket to supplement him for this speaks volumes, and he also has a fine record at the track.
nd the fact that he has good form at the track is another plus.
Other pluses are that he handles cut in the ground, has a good draw in stall 10 and is best off a strong pace which he is guaranteed to get today.
I also think that he is still open to further improvement, so with everything in his favour he cannot be opposed and should take this step up into Group 1 company in his stride.
The one to chase him home could be French raider Wizz Kid, a lightly raced filly who is improving and put up a career best last time out when beating Prohibit by a head in a Group 2 contest at Chantilly last time out.
She looks solid each-way value at 12/1 with Stan James, but for win purposes the selction has to be Hoof It.
Recommended bet: 5pts win Hoof It (3/1 bet365, Paddy Power, Hills – BOG)
4.15 York: Cross can Run them Ragged at 25/1
A whole host of newcomers make this race a really tricky contest to fathom out, but it could pay to take a chance with Rugged Cross who showed plenty of promise on his debut and looks overpriced at 25/1.
Henry Candy’s charge made good late headway without being knocked about to finish a never nearer fifth of 9 to Jungle beat at Newbury and looks a sure fire improver.
It’s difficult to know what he is up against here, but with Goldophin saddling two potentially nice types along with Sir Henry Cecil who apparently thinks alot of Thomas Chippendale.
However Rugged Cross could make his experience tell on this occasion and looks nicely drawn in stall 6 to play a major role.
I don’t think he is a 25/1 shot by any means, and at those odds looks worth a small each-way punt.
Recommended bet: 1pt each-way Rugged Cross (25/1 generally available – BOG firms)
4.50 York: 10/1 Jeannie Galloway handicapped to strike
Jeannie Galloway has shaped as if coming back to her best and makes plenty of each-way appeal at 10/1
Richard’s fahey’s charge really caught the eye when finishing sixth of 18 to Grissom in a decent 7f contest at Doncaster, racing handily throughout and keeping on at the same pace to be beaten just 3 lengths.
Now 1lb below here last winning mark, she has a good draw in stall 2 for one that likes to race prominently and on a track which should suit could take some pegging back.
Results have shown this week that you need a horse that stays the trip well, and unlikely many others in the line-up, she has winning form over 7f.
Her last victory came off a mark of 83 last August where she battled on tenaciously to beat Gap Princess by a short-head over today’s trip.
She is certainly handicapped to take all the beating, and with her team having scored with a similar type on the opening day with Our Joe Mac looks great each-way value.
Recommended bet: 2pts each-way Jeannie Galloway (10/1 Paddy Power – BOG)
By Dave Metcalf