Sub is the first choice

York selections Wednesday 17th May

The Dante meeting at York is always fiercely competitive and this year’s meeting looks to be no exception. We get underway with huge fields for two handicaps that kick off proceedings on the Knavesmire and form my selections for the day. Our two each-way fancies for the Victoria Cup were placed with Vafortino (advised 16/1) and Baradar (advised 17/2).

York 1.50: La Yakel & Crystal Delight

Two unexposed individuals look following in the opener.

LA YAKEL showed distinct promise in novice company during the first half of 2022, notably when third despite running very green at Nottingham on debut. However it was once he was stepped up in trip that he really came into his own. He won with plenty to spare on the All Weather at Southwell over 11f, but then also scored on handicap debut at Ascot over 12f, achieving far more in the process.

He then went to Newmarket for one of the most valuable 3yo handicaps of the season off today’s mark of 92, shaping well when fourth to Al Nafir. As that was only his fifth career start it is reasonable to assume there will be further improvement to come, especially hailing from the William Haggas team, so astute at bringing along horses gradually.

CRYSTAL DELIGHT has the benefit of a recent run, a fine second to Teumessias Fox at Newmarket over this 12f trip. A prominent racer, this flat track should bring out the best in him and he remains unexposed at this distance. There was a fair bit of cut in the ground that day and I think he will be better suited by a sounder surface today.

He displayed progressive form on the All Weather over the winter, winning a Lingfield novice, and then finishing second in a valuable handicap there in February before being rested for a turf campaign.

York 2.25: Lethal Levi & Gis A Sub

It usually pays to race handily at York on fast ground, especially on the straight course. Both my two hopefuls ought to be thereabouts throughout.

LETHAL LEVI had a profitable midsummer during the heatwave, winning back-to-back Newmarket contests on the July Course from the front. His rating suffered as a result and he struggled at the back end of the campaign. He missed the break at Goodwood and never recover thereafter. He ran well enough to be sixth here at the Ebor meeting off a 3lb higher mark after which he was put away for the year.

He was ultimately well beaten on his return at Newmarket a couple of weeks ago, but the gluey ground would have been against him and he is certain to have come on for the outing. The handicapper is beginning to relent now and I am sure this sort of track will play to his strengths.

GIS A SUB caught my eye despite finishing down the field in the Ayr Gold Cup last year. As so often happens with sprinters, he found his 3yo campaign tough having looked classy as a juvenile.

His best performance was a second over this course and distance in the Gimcrack and the nearest he got was a ninth here at the Ebor meeting off 99. He is all the way back down to 88 now and I though he shaped well enough when eighth at Newmarket recently for his comeback. This faster ground will be more to his liking and I am sure he will bounce back to form sooner rather than later. I am confident it could be as soon as today.

Recommended bets:

1pt win – La Yakel – 1.50 York – 3/1 general

1pt each-way – Crystal Delight – 1.50 York – 11/1 general (most bookies 1/5 odds 1st 5)

1pt each-way – Gis a Sub – 2.25 York – 9/1 Bet365, Paddy Power (1/5 odds 1st 6)

0.5pts each-way – Lethal Levi – 2.25 York – 16/1 general (many bookies 1/5 odds 1st 6)


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