York selections Thursday 19th August
The Group 1 action is the Yorkshire Oaks on the Knavesmire on Thursday, but with Snowfall in the field, this looks best watched purely for enjoyment rather than as a betting medium. Instead I am focused on two other races for the fillies later in the card, plus the mile handicap. We had something of a score draw on day on with Arcadian Sunrise a winner (advised 7/2) and Mondammej placing for the each-way bet (12/1)
York 3.00: Magical Morning & Baashir
A wide open contest, made even more complicated by the fact most of the fancied horses are drawn very high, thus at a probable slight disadvantage.
Despite this I make MAGICAL MORNING a first choice. He travelled well enough for a long way at Goodwood last time, but seemed ill at ease ultimately on the soft ground and undulating track. He should be more at home on this more conventional track and faster going. He can race off the same terms against Maydanny, the Goodwood victor, when putting that horse in his place at Sandown last month.
Magical Morning looks the sort to progress through handicaps into pattern company, but he has the right attributes for this with a high cruising speed and the ability to stay one mile well.
BAASHIR has his stamina to prove over a mile, but was a good second to Cruyff Turn on his one previous try at the distance at Nottingham in May. He has been very progressive over 7f since, including a win here and then at Doncaster last time out, both on fast ground. One thing potentially in his favour is the inside draw which should enable jockey Dane O’Neill to get him plenty of cover to help preserve that stamina for the extra furlong today.
York 4.45: Pennymoor
A would not normally be looking at a horse outside of maiden/novice company for the first time going straight into listed company, but PENNYMOOR merits close consideration here.
This is not the strongest of pattern races with several coming out of novice/handicap company. As a result this probably won’t take as much winning as normal. Pennymoor was most impressive when winning by 9l at Kempton a couple of weeks ago, proving her stamina for 12f in the process.
This daughter of Frankel had already run well when second at Pontefract, so stamina is clearly a strong suit and her ability to travel up with the pace might be put to good use on a track which front-runners can take some pegging back, especially on fast going.
York 5.20: Agincourt & Spirit of Bermuda
The final contest might only be a handicap, but it features a mare who has been racing at the highest levels of action for the past two years.
AGINCOURT was beaten 3l into fifth in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes last year, has already won a listed race at Newmarket and was narrowly beaten into second in a Group 2 at Royal Ascot last year. She might not quite have been in the same form in 2021, but she has twice been second in listed contests already, so is no back number just yet. Her official rating though has dropped back from 109 to 101 and that means she is able to run in handicap company for the first time since being beaten a head in this race in 2019.
She does have 9lbs more to carry today, but is far easier than the type of opposition she has been facing since. She also enjoys York has she had already won over course and distance earlier in 2019. A horse with a high cruising speed, I expect to see her delivered late and she is the choice of stable jockey Danny Tudhope over two other stable companions.
As an alternative the chances of SPIRIT OF BERMUDA cannot be ignored. She has looked a reformed character since refusing to come out of the stalls at Redcar in April. Retirement to the paddocks could have beckoned after that, but connections have persevered and she has repaid that efforts with handicap wins at Leicester and Newmarket on quick ground since. She looks something of a 7f specialist and remains feasibly treated off 89.
1pt each-way – Magical Morning – 3.00 York – 12/1 Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 6)
0.5pts each-way – Baashir – 3.00 York – 12/1 general (Skybet 1/5 odds 1st 7)
1pt each-way – Pennymoor – 4.45 York – 7/1 general (Skybet 1/5 odds 1st 4)
1pt each-way – Agincourt – 5.20 York – 14/1 William Hill, BetVictor (1/5 odds 1st 4)
1pt win – Spirit of Bermuda – 5.20 York – 5/1 Paddy Power