Best bets for the York Ebor Festival day three Friday 24th August

Day three on the Knavesmire is a day of extremes with a Group One 5f sprint and the G.2 Lonsdale Cup over two miles. So far so average for me with two winners from six bets over the two days on the Knavesmire thus far. 

At 2.25 Stradivarius will be bidding to win the £1million Weatherbys Hamilton Stayers’ bonus on Friday. John Gosden’s four-year-old started his season by winning the Yorkshire Cup in May and he has since added the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and the Goodwood Cup. If he can win the Group Two Lonsdale Cup connections cop for what is a pretty decent Brucey bonus. Torcedor won’t line-up as he is of course off to Germany to be trained by Andreas Wohler the Te Akau syndicate having received what they described as ‘an enormous offer for a six-year-old gelding’. Gosden has given Stradivarius a clean bill of health as he aims to land a famous four-timer. He said recently: “He is in great nick and has come out of Goodwood fine. He is still heading to the Lonsdale at York.” He is long odds-on and un-backable at those odds but that is no surprise.

The two-year-old colts and geldings go over the six for the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at 3.00. Shine So Bright has been in with some good’uns in his fledgeling career and is fancied to get back to winning ways here at 4-1 there being nothing of the class of Calyx and Advertise in this line-up. Space Traveller deserves his chance at this level arriving two for two.

The five furlong Group One Nunthorpe Stakes has been won by some greats down the years. It’s hard to believe it was 1993 when Lochsong won! The year before of course the two-year-old Lyric Fantasy had won, a filly famously introduced to her owner Lord Carnarvon by trainer Richard Hannon when he said ‘There you go, my lord, she’s got the face of a model and the backside of a scullery maid’.” Battaash has been odds-on for this since destroying the opposition in the G.2 King George Qatar Stakes at Goodwood. That was certainly visually impressive and on that form he’ll take all the beating. That said Blue Point did beat him fair and square in the G.1 King's Stand Stakes at Ascot and at 5-1 the Godolphin owned colt can be backed as an each-way bet to nothing. The Charlie Appleby trained four-year-old does appear to save his best for Ascot but did win the Gimcrack Stakes in 2016 on his only visit to the Knavesmire. Obviously, on a good day he is more than capable of beating the odds-on jolly, but worse case scenario he should be the one chasing him home. They face the starter at 3.35.

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