14:15 York (Acomb Stakes Group 3) — Gear Up 11/2 0.5pt E/W (3 Places)
Race two from York’s Ebor meeting, a tricky 2-year old Group 3 with the majority of these coming in off the back of just one run.
I will be siding with the course and distance winner Gear Up, to get the meeting off to a winning start for trainer Mark Johnson. He played up at the start on debut, reportedly getting loose prior to the off.
I’m a big fan of the way he raced despite the antics at the start, held up by De Sousa who nursed him through the race, he made smooth headway and looked to be learning plenty throughout. He found top gear late and ran on strongly to the line to win by just over a length.
I think he will be sharper for the experience and there could be any amount of improvement providing he doesn’t play up.
Both Cloudbridge and Darvel will be tough nuts to crack, the pair of them ran to a good level on debut and the form of the races are looking strong as well. I would be more worried about Cloudbridge who is yet to have been given a mark, his win did come on fast ground at Leicester and I think this ground could definitely be on the soft side.
14:45 York (Great Voltigeur Group 2) — Mogul 15/8 1.5pts Win
Race three on the card is a Group 2 middle distance contest for 3-year olds. Many of these would’ve met in the Derby this year, a few also met at Goodwood for the Gordon Stakes. I like this race a lot, especially because there is plenty of form that intertwines with one another.
After giving me a much-needed winner at Goodwood I will be renewing my faith in Mogul who I think if finally finding his feet. He was badly in need of the run at Royal Ascot where he started his season, this was well known going into the race with Aidan O’Brien who noted this was not the ideal prep for the Derby.
He was still carrying plenty of condition when going to the Derby, he’s clearly a horse who takes a lot of training to get fit. His run in the Derby wasn’t all bad, the race was messy with the front runners ‘stealing a lead’.
His most recent run at Goodwood was more than what I expected, not looking in love with the track but sticking out very stoutly to get up close to him seemingly with plenty in the tank. I think York will be a track that suits him, I think he’s a horse than needs to be run given his build and I think he will benefit for this 20 day turn around.
Darain is one of the possible improvers in this field, off a mark of 92 after just two runs I can’t help but think they should be trying there hand at a lower level still. Coming up against some more streetwise opposition might be his undoing. I’m also not completely sold on the form of Roberto Escobarr’s win, he’s stepping up in trip and he won’t be getting any weight this time around.
I think the main danger comes from Highland Chief, he put up a good fight the last day at Goodwood. As I think the ground will be on the slower side that will really suit this one.
15:15 York (Juddmonte International Group 1) — Magical 7/2 1pt Win
Race Four, the main event on York card today, the Group 1 Juddmonte International and it looks a fantastic contest.
I will be siding with Aidan O’Brien again as he sends over the ever consistent mare Magical. I cannot believe the price on her, for al Ghaiyyath has looked world class this season I would have the pair of them a lot closer in the betting.
My thought process is if an 80% fit Enable was only beaten 2-lengths and on both occasions, Enable and Magical have raced over 1m2f there has been less than a length to separate them then with the pair coming here finely tuned it should be very close.
I think Magical is a much better horse over 1m2f and as she’s normally ridden up with the pace there should be no reason to Ghaiyyath to get an easy time of things.
This is a bet really because I think the prices are all wrong.
Rest Of York Card (NOT SELECTIONS)
13:45 — 1) Jawwaal / 2) Aplomb / 3) Amomentofmadness
15:45 — 1) Rochester House / 2) Eddystone Rock / 3) True Destiny
16:20 — 1) Dancin Inthestreet / 2) Mighty Spirit / 3) Lady In France
16:50 — 1) Churchill Bay / 2) Mutazawwad / 3) Perotto