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York Ebor Meeting Day 1 Preview - (charlie mccann)

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York Ebor Meeting - Day 1 Preview, by Charlie McCann.

York's August Ebor meeting is my favourite Flat racing meeting of the season. The pomp of Royal Ascot and panamas of Glorious Goodwood are replaced by the pragmatism of the Northern race-goer and three wonderful days racing. We at are offering 1/4 odds on all 21 races at the three-day Festival and will be offering Best Odds Guaranteed on all races on the Knavesmire.

Tuesday's highlight is the Group 1 Juddmonte International Stakes run over an extended ten furlongs. The race is one of the most prestigious and valuable on the racing calendar and has been won by such greats of the turf as Roberto, Dahlia, Triptych and in recent years Giant's Causeway, Halling and Sahkee. This year we have the Derby winner Authorized locking horns with the brilliant King George and former Irish Derby winner Dylan Thomas, and the unfashionable yet highly proficient triple Group 1 winner Notnowcato who won the corresponding race last year.

Aidan O'Brien has three of the seven runners in the event and Song Of Hiawatha looks sure to take the field along at a good clip although I believe we shall see a much improved run from Asiatic Boy (currently 11/2 at trained by South African legend Mike De Kock who was done for toe over the mile in the Sussex Stakes last time. He looks sure to race prominently for Jamie Spencer and his handler is confident we shall see the real Asiatic Boy over 10f.

Authorized (9/4 with ) is trying to break the hoodoo of Epsom Derby winners stretching back to High Chaparral in 2003 who was the last winner of the race to land a subsequent prize. Some have been moderate horses but the connections of both Motivator and now Authorized have been seduced by the stallion dollar in nominating suitable engagements for their wide margin winners.

Peter Chapple-Hyam insists his Epsom winner is back to the form he showed prior to his Classic success and he did win his race on the far side in the Eclipse last time, but will he be have the speed to cope with his elders Dylan Thomas (15/8 favourite with and Notnowcato (11/4)?

The Gt Voltigeur also on the first day is widely considered the premier trial for the final Classic of the season the St Leger which returns to its spiritual home of Doncaster next month. Once again Aidan O'Brien has a very strong hand in the race with four of the nine entries in what looks an excellent renewal despite the defection of Aqaleem. Mahler was an impressive winner of the Queen's Vase although the form is nothing out of the ordinary. Connections have given the colt two months to get over his exertions and jockey bookings would suggest he is first choice from the Ballydoyle quartet.

Lucarno and Boscobel head the home challenge although Mahler's biggest dangers may come from within his own stable via Macarthur and Yellowstone. The former was very well backed for the Derby prior to flopping in the Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial whilst the latter was a good winner of the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood last time.

Eight of the nine runners in the Acomb Stakes won their previous start and this looks a very good renewal. Barry Hills is represented by Tajdeef who created such a favourable impression at Newbury on debut. Given the plum draw in stall 1 Tajdeef will be hard to beat although Fast Company and Lucifer Sam are also both highly regarded by their respective connections.

In what could be an Aidan O'Brien benefit day Septimus is a fascinating contender stepped up to 2m for the first time in the Lonsdale Stakes in which Sergeant Cecil must give at least 5lbs away to all his rivals. Distinction looks sure to come on for his belated reappearance but the Coolmore raider will win…if he stays!

The 20 runner nursery looks a nightmare for punters but do watch out for a much improved show from Walter Swinburn's Shifting Star who had to use too much energy from his poor draw at Goodwood over 7f last time. He ought to be able to cope with the drop back in trip and Kerrin McEvoy is a significant booking.

Tuesday's finale is another 20 runner sprint handicap. Dandy Nicholls saddles three including the frustrating Buachaill Dona who is certainly capable of better than he showed so far this season. His last win came at the corresponding meeting last year. Watch out for a much improved show on Tuesday.


Posted at 15:07, Monday, 20 August 2007 by the Sandracer

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