Following on from all the spills and thrills at Chester last week we have the Dante Festival at York on the Knavesmire this week, The meetings come fast and furious at this time of year and let’s be honest we wouldn’t have it any other way.
The going is good-firm, good in places with the forecast set to be fine all week.
They get underway on the Knavesmire at 2.20 with the Sky Bet First Race Special Jorvik Handicap. Charlie Appleby will be saddling Hamada for the Godolphin team and the four-year-old intrigues me. He ran three times in 2016, third of five over 1m at Newmarket (good to firm) on his debut he followed that up with a runner-up effort at Sandown next time over the same trip and was off the mark over 1m2f at Pontefract in the October of that year. Absent through 2017 he made his 2018 debut, having been gelded over the winter, in April winning a 1m4f handicap at Wolverhampton. Clearly rated by the team at Moulton Paddocks to have been kept in training he may prove to be a pattern class horse in a handicap. William Buick rides and I have the 9-4. Stablemate Banksea is considered a danger as is Now Children.
The Group Two Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes over the six furlongs at 3.30 sees the seasonal reappearance of the Clive Cox trained ‘once in a lifetime’ horse Harry Angel. The Godolphin owned speedster should be comfortably too quick for the opposition here, rated as he is 10lb clear of them all on OR’s, and that is why he is a shade odds-on at 4-5 despite having a penalty to carry. Tasleet won this last year, and did finish ahead of the selection in the Champions Sprint Stakes, so is the danger if the favourite misfires.
They go over 1m2½f for the Group Three Tattersalls Musidora Stakes at 4.05. Highgarden had been heading the ante-post market but a few bob has come for Ceilidhs Dream and the Ralph Beckett trained filly looks likely to go off favourite now. It’s as much about potential as it is the actual form with both of them though. The roan coloured filly (you don’t see many of them) Lubinka was third behind Soliloquy in a Novice Stakes race at Ascot as a 2yo before she was thrown in at the deep end somewhat when running in the G.1 Fillies Mile last back end at HQ but wasn’t disgraced in sixth. She won a little heat at Lingfield without breaking a sweat last month on her 3yo bow and does have the best form in the book. She runs today in the colours of Qatar Racing who now own the majority share with Woodcote Stud and I think she should prove too good for this line-up. 7-1 is available and that looks value to me – Paddy Power know they are as short as 9-2!