York selections Thursday 18th August
Two big field handicaps come under the focus for the second day of the York Ebor meeting. We had a couple of each-way places on the opening day, Zoffee (11/2) and Atalis Bay (advised 10/1).
York 3.00: Echo Point & Northern Express
Some old favourites line up here but it is two of the 4yo’s that are fancied.
ECHO POINT has been running over as far as 12f earlier in his career, but he looked well suited by a mile at Newmarket when chasing home stablemate Noble Dynasty at the July meeting. He travelled strongly that day, something that he can use to his advantage around this flat track.
He had won on his only previous start at a mile on his racecourse debut at Kempton, beating a useful yardstick in Glentaneous, but whilst his form at 10f and 12f was solid, he was never quite finishing off his races. It looks like that was largely down to a lack on stamina on recent evidence. Very much at home on fast ground, he looks well drawn too in six.
NORTHERN EXPRESS is one stepping up in distance, but looks well worth a try at a mile. We last saw him finishing well for fourth in the International Handicap at Ascot last month, but prior to that he had put together a fine series of results at this track.
Notably he beat Orbaan over 7f here, that rival having since gone onto big wins at Goodwood and Ascot. He finished strongly off a fast pace over 7f, but there are grounds to think he should be at least as good at a mile. He has scraped into this race as the last of twenty entrants and still remains feasibly treated off 95.
York 5.20: Mobadra & One Small Step
I will be looking to take on the likely short priced favourite in Queen Aminatu and have two alternatives against her.
The obvious one is MOBADRA, a lightly raced 4yo who made an impressive return to the track at Chelmsford when winning over this 7f trip last month. She took a while to get going around that tight track, but was running on strongly at the finish and she appreciate this more galloping track.
She has already won at a mile, but a strongly run 7f suits well and a 4lb rise for that most recent victory looks very fair. With three wins from her last four starts it is far from certain that the handicapper has her in his grip just yet.
ONE SMALL STEP makes the trip over from Ireland, representing the Kevin Coleman team who have had success in Britain with the likes of Only Spoofing. She only made her debut for the yard on the first of this month at Naas. Having been badly in need of the run that day, she left that form way behind to win at Gowran last week, her first go at 7f for almost two years.
She did not lack for pace, but given she has already won over as far as 10f, a likely strong run race will help bring her stamina into play.
1pt each-way – Echo Point – 3.00 York – 8/1 Bet365 (1/5 odds 1st 6)
0.5pts each-way – Northern Express – 3.00 York – 10/1 Skybet (1/5 odds 1st 7)
1pt win – Mobadra – 5.20 York – 9/2 Paddy Power
1pt each-way – One Small Step – 5.20 York – 20/1 Skybet (1/5 odds 1st 5)