Majestic to bounce back

York selections Friday 19th May

The final day of another informative Dante meeting at York and the puzzles do not get any easier to solve today. There are plenty more handicaps to get stuck into and once again I have chosen two to focus on. Both Northern Express (advised 6/1) and Astro King (advised 20/1) were placed for the each-way bets yesterday.

York 3.00: Majestic

Despite the presence of some unexposed and potentially classy individuals lurking amongst this line up, I am going for the proven form at this level, and guaranteed fitness of MAJESTIC.

Jack Channon’s charge landed a big day during his first season of racing when taking the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last September, and I am expecting him to take a further step or two forward during this campaign. Things started well with a very meritorious fourth in the Lincoln at Doncaster back at the start of spring in testing conditions.

However he was undoubtedly disappointing on that wet Guineas weekend at Newmarket recently, only finishing in mid-division. He did stay on late however and I suspect this 10f trip will be his ideal now. He struggled to get out of the gluey conditions on the Rowley Mile and should find this faster going far more to his liking.

York 4.45: Gioia Cieca & Ataser

One of the lower grade handicaps of the week and there might be one or two plotted up for this.

GIOIA CIECA was a very promising horse back in 2021, landing a novice at Newcastle and a handicap at Musselburgh on fast ground, also managing a fourth in a listed prize at Lingfield and second in a classy handicap at the Doncaster Leger fixture, again on quick going.

Last season though was a virtual write-off. His one decent run came early at Haydock on the only occasion he encountered genuine fast going, a fourth to Boardman off a rating of 96. After than though he barely beat a horse home. Wind and gelding ops followed over the winter and they appear to have had a positive effect.

He was a much better third at Musselburgh on his return and then did better than fifth suggests back at the same track last time having been knocked back to the rear of the pack at the start. Now only rated 83 the prevailing fast ground is to his advantage and this flat 7f should suit well too.

If you look back at the profile of ATASER it is 7f on fast ground that brings out the best in him. His record under such conditions reads 11515, including a valuable pot in a nursery here at the Ebor meeting. His last five runs have come over a variety of trips, but all on soft ground – on each occasion he has been well beaten.

That means he is rated much lower now, down below his last winning mark at Newmarket last June for the first time since. The booking of Tom Marquand looks interesting but back on a sounder surface he surely will have more to offer.

Recommended bets:

1pt each-way – Majestic – 3.00 York – 10/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 4)

1pt each-way – Gioia Cieca – 4.45 York – 11/2 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)

0.5pts each-way – Ataser – 4.45 York – 22/1 BetVictor (1/5 odds 1st 5)


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