By Aodán Boland
It’s Day One of the iconic Four Day York Ebor Festival. The highlight race this afternoon is the £1 Million Juddmonte International at 3:35. Let’s get straight into the action as we pick out the horses you should be following today.
1.35pm SKY BET AND SYMPHONY GROUP HANDICAP
The hat-trick seeking, Dakota Gold makes plenty of appeal after bolting home to win the Great St Wilfred at Ripon on Saturday. He should be in the mix if coping with a 5lb penalty. At longer odds, 2015 winner Caspian Prince, Arecibo, Camacho Chief and Justanotherbottle are others to keep a close eye on in a very competitive sprint handicap.
2.25pm TATTERSALLS ACOMB STAKES
A case could be made for the majority of these 2yo. Persuasion and Vitalogy were both impressive winners on their debuts but I’m going to take a chance on one at a bigger price. Ropey Guest hasn’t been great in his last two starts but his sixth place finish in the Grade 2 Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot is the best form in the race and if he can reproduce a similar performance than there isn’t any reason why he shouldn’t be involved.
3pm SKY BET GREAT VOLTIGEUR STAKES
Logician has won all three of his starts thus far and I wouldn’t bet against the son of Frankel to snatch his fourth after his easy victory at Newbury in July. Nayef Road and Constantinople can fight it out for second place.
3.35pm JUDDMONTE INTERNATIONAL STAKES
It’s a stellar line up for the £1 million prize. Crystal Ocean is hands down the classiest horse in the line up. He battled hard to finish second behind the Queen of Racing, Enable in The King George at Ascot. If he shows the same kind of guts that he showed that day, he’ll be very hard to beat. His biggest threat could be Epsom Derby third, Japan for the Aidan O’Brien yard. He won a group One in France on his last start and could be up to the task of pushing the favourite at a each way price.
4.15pm SKY BET HANDICAP
Charles Kingsley, Dubawi Fifty and Infrastructure should all run their usual solid races in this wide open handicap but I’ll take a chance on Carnwennan. He ran a stinker last time out at Newbury but won three on the bounce prior to that and should be in the mix of things this afternoon.
4.50pm SKY BET NURSERY HANDICAP
Oti Ma Boati, Homespin, Pop Dancer and Troubador have all been in the winners enclosure recently, but it’s a big field and most bookmakers are paying out 5 places so it may be worth sliding with one at a bigger price. I suggest taking a chance on Richard Hannon trained, Hard Nut. He has two wins under his belt already and has top class jockey, Ryan Moore on his back so I’ll go for him, each way.