Kiefer has the class for York
Steve Hughes previews the fourth and final day of the York Ebor meeting where the race that gives its name to the fixture takes place.
Another cracking day at York and perhaps today’s card offers the most enticing betting opportunities of the week with a mix of top handicaps and group races. I have selections from four of the bigger races. Eynhallow scraped into a place for the each-way bet yesterday (10/1)
York 1.50: Wissahickon
Whilst he is without the benefit of a recent run, Wissahickon has been ready to run for a while, only missing an engagement at Haydock two weeks ago due to heavy rain. He looks the class act in the opener.
Whilst most if his winning form has been on the All Weather, highlighted by victory in the Winter Derby earlier in the year, he is also highly capable on turf. That included two wins last summer.
The first was over this course and distance in a small field, the second and far more significant was in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket. He is versatile tactically, which could be of use given there is no obvious pace. It would be no surprise to see Frankie Dettori grasp the nettle here and get first run himself on this proven stayer.
York 2.25: Kiefer & Land of Oz
I am picking two here but the rock solid option at an each-way price is Kiefer.
He has been running consistently well all summer since being stepped up to 12f. That includes a Newbury handicap win, a second in the Bibury Cup at Salisbury and most recently a third at Ascot on ground probably softer than ideal. What has been notable has been his strong effort at the finish of races, especially ones where there has been a strong pace. That bodes especially well for this step up in trip in a big field where a decent gallop looks assured. He is well related to some useful stayers including Bauer, a runner-up in the Melbourne Cup a few years ago.
A saver on Land of Oz looks in order though. Once Mark Prescott’s horses get on a winning roll it is difficult to know when they will come to an end. As usual this colt has been well placed to win his last four, the last three all at odds on. This represents a big step up in class, but he is a strong stayer and is only 5lbs higher than when comfortably winning at Salisbury last week, so the handicapper might not have caught up with him just yet.
York 3.40: Kings Advice & Raymond Tusk
This might just be the classiest handicap ever run in Britain with the lowest rated horse racing off 105. As such this will be won by a class act who can cope with the hustle and bustle of a big field.
Kings Advice has certainly proved himself in big fields, and produced one of the gamest efforts of the season to see off allcomers at Glorious Goodwood last time. 14F seems to be his optimum trip and a 4lb penalty need not stop him. He is 8-9 for the Johnston yard, the only defeat coming when poorly drawn and positioned in the Northumberland Plate. Jockey Joe Fanning is unbeaten on the colt.
Raymond Tusk was put in at the highest level in the Ascot Gold Cup last time but that was probably a step too far over too long a trip at this stage in his career. He is better judged on two placed efforts in Group 3 contests in the spring. What I am sure he will enjoy is plenty of cover and a strong pace, something he does not always get in those group races. Clearly well regarded by connections this looks an ideal contest for him as rated 111 there are not many handicaps for him in the calendar.
York 4.45: Furzig & Tudor City
I am looking at two horses lower down the handicap in this.
Furzig takes a big step up in grade here but is clearly improving and loves this galloping track. He did well to win over as short as a mile at Thirsk in the spring, but needed every yard of the trip to get as close as second over 9f here in June. He was again finishing strongly when second here last month and built on that to win at Newcastle last time. He looks to have been ignored by the bookies because of a hefty 8lb rise, but give his fine record here he could be worth chancing at big odds.
Tudor City is best known as a hurdler and finally got his day in the sun when winning the Galway Hurdle last time out. However he has solid form on the flat and can make use of his relatively lowly rating whilst he is in top form. He has often raced over longer trips on the flat, but given his fine turf of pace and high cruising speed I can see this 10f on a flat track and likely strong pace suiting perfectly.
1pt win – Wissahickon – 1.50 York – 7/4 Bet365, Ladbrokes, Coral
1pt each-way – Kiefer – 2.25 York – 13/2 general
1pt win – Land of Oz – 2.25 York – 9/1 Bet365, Paddy Power
0.75pts each-way – Kings Advice – 3.40 York – 8/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 7)
0.75pts each-way – Raymond Tusk – 3.40 York – 20/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)
0.5pts each-way – Furzig – 4.45 York – 14/1 general
1pt win – Tudor City – 4.45 York – 11/2 general
Next column – Sunday September 8th – opening day of Listowel Festival