Sovereigns to be crowned sprint King
Steve Hughes looks ahead to another great York card on Friday
The unofficial 5f sprint championship, the Nunthorpe is the undoubted highlight at York on Friday. Given the superiority of 3yo’s of late, especially in the sprint division, it looks hard to get away from the favourite. I have selections from two other races on the York card. Headline selection Search for a Song was a winner yesterday (SP 3/1).
York 1.55: Eynhallow & Mandarin
Another trappy start to the day, but two horses lower down the weights appeal.
Eynhallow was given a sympathetic ride on his return to the track from over a year out at Newmarket last time. Fourth over an inadequate 10f, he showed enough to confirm he retains his old ability. He really looked to be going places when with Roger Charlton as a 3yo, winning twice that season, but being placed on several occasions including a second in an ultra valuable Newmarket handicap. He has not really had the chance to prove what he can do since joining Godolphin, but can reward connections patience today.
Mandarin did not get the best of rides from an unfamiliar jockey in the Shergar Cup, but did well to come from last to third in the straight and I am sure his winning is not done for this season. He had won his previous two starts by 3l on each occasion, the latter on his first attempt at this 12f distance. He remains unexposed at the trip and should love this galloping track and quickening ground.
York 3.35: Ten Sovereigns
The 3yo generation have had the upper hand in the sprint division all season, none more so than when Ten Sovereigns led home a 1-2-3-4-5 for the younger age group against their elders in the July Cup. He can make a winning debut at the minimum trip.
Aidan O’Brien rarely gets it wrong once he has marked down one of his charges as a pure sprinter and the selection thrived for a positive ride at Newmarket, making almost all the running. He does not have to lead though and may not be quick enough to get to the front with such a pacy line up.
However his proven stamina will come to the fore late on and he has shown enough natural pace in past races to be able to lie up with the early gallop before pouncing late on.
York 4.50: Edaraat
He is pretty quirky and arguable still quite green, however Edaraat is an improving horse at the right end of the handicap and could be the answer to the finale.
After a very promising first run at Yarmouth in April he had two moderate runs thereafter to qualify him for a handicap mark. That opening rating of 74 proved to be woefully inadequate as he is 2-2 in handicaps since.
He won cosily despite veering markedly left to the nearside rail at Kempton last month. He again wandered in front at Redcar last time, but that served to limit his winning margin to just a half-length. As a result that might have concealed his true ability and a further 6lb rise might not be enough to halt him.
1pt each-way – Eynhallow – 1.55 York -10/1 general (Skybet 1/5 odds 1st 6)
0.5pts each-way – Mandarin – 1.55 York – 9/1 general (Skybet 1/5 odds 1st 6)
2pt win – Ten Sovereigns – 3.35 York – 6/4 general
1pt win – Edaraat – 4.50 York – 9/2 general
Next column – Saturday 24th August – York final day