So far so rubbish on the Knavesmire for me this week; four bets and the closest I've been to the pay-out counter was yesterday with Sandrine second. I am staying selective on day three as even though there is plenty to get stuck into, I can only fancy a couple at York but there is also one to be backed at Salisbury.
Best bets for the racing at York Friday 20th August
I can’t back Stradivarius for the Group Two Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes at such short odds; he should win but he isn’t that far clear of the rest these days and clearly aint been the horse he was. He might turn it into a procession but he is too short for my liking.
I can make a case for several in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes and have decided not to bet on that race either, Lusail and Berkeshire Shadow being the two I really can’t split.
Race of the day is the Group One 5f Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes at 3.35. A very interesting runner is two-year-old colt Chipotle having just 8-1 to carry, 19lb+ less than the rest of the field. Winner of the Listed Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot he got no sort of run in the Weatherbys Super Sprint Stakes after that and was then sixth in the G.3 Molecomb Stakes effectively blowing his chance out of the gates. Cheek pieces go on and Hollie Doyle rides. I have tipped Winter Power already this season, including when winning here over track and trip in May, and the Easterby-trained three-year-old has strong claims in this with the sex and age allowances a big plus. She has actually won here twice this year at Listed level and she was a fair ninth in the G.1 King's Stand Stakes in-between those two runs. She will need to improve but won’t be far away. Dragon Symbol and Liberty Beach have chances as does French raider Suesa who won a G.2 at Goodwood impressively. Wesley Ward has sent Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint winner Golden Pal over the pond again, was second in the G.2 Norfolk Stakes as a two-year-old last season caught on the line. He won a G.3 event on Turf at Saratoga as a warm-up on his first start at three recently very comfortably. Coolmore owned, I couldn't help but notice Aidan O’Brien has no entries from Ballydoyle - nudge nudge wink wink. The three-year-old colt will be ridden by Frankie Dettori and has a tongue-strap on for the first time. He simply has to be on any shortlist and having watched the way he won at Saratoga last month he looks in fine form. I took 5-2 on Wednesday lunchtime, he has drifted a a bit annoyingly.
The lucky last is the mile Sky Bet Mile Handicap at 5.10. Royal Fleet has three 1’s next to his name having been brought along slowly by Charlie Appleby and the team at Moulton Paddocks. He won at Kempton over seven furlongs as a two-year-old, despite being fairly green, before coming out at three and winning a Novice Stakes at Yarmouth over a mile and then a handicap at HQ over the eight furlongs again, still showing some greenness pulling hard and edging left. He has risen 7lb in the ratings for that win at Newmarket but looks the type to keep progressing and as he learns with every run there should be a fair bit more to com yet. Godolphin had a few entered up across the card for Friday and interestingly this one is the only one to stand his ground. At 7-2 overnight he looks worth a bet to stay unbeaten.
Best bet for the racing at Salisbury Friday 20th August
Although I have been concentrating on York you have to keep your eyes wide-open in this game and there is one to be backed away from the main meeting Friday evening. I have tipped Albahr on all three starts to date, third on debut and won last two, both at Haydock over 7f. He runs Friday evening in the 6.53 at Salisbury the Listed Longines Irish Champions Weekend EBF Stonehenge Stakes over a mile. As I have mentioned before he is a son of Dubawi out of Falls Of Lora making him a half-brother to some decent ones and has been progressing nicely, he was gelded in June after his first win at Haydock. He is strongly fancies to is complete his hat-trick and I have the 6-4 Thursday evening.Be lucky