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Nunthorpe Day at the Knavesmire along with the Group 2 Lonsdale & Gimcrack Stakes on a 7 race card.
Yesterday we saw Swingalong win the Lowther Stakes at 25/1, the Yorkshire Oaks went to Favourite, Alpinista & the Listed F&M race was won by Haskoy….
Neil joins the team today, along with Rich & the in-form Jamie…
3:00 – Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Gimcrack Stakes (G2)
Selection: Royal Scotsman
Royal Scotsman didn’t let me down at Goodwood last month and I see no reason to jump ship today. The son of Gleneagles brings in the best form to the Gimcrack courtesy of his Richmond win and Coventry third at Royal Ascot, which has worked out particularly well. At Goodwood, Royal Scotsman was doing his best work in the final 100yds which bodes well for this 6F test at York. It won’t be easy under the 3lb penalty but everything is set for a bold bid on suitable ground. At an each way price I think Chateau could go well. He wasn’t far behind Little Big Bear in the Windsor Castle at the royal meeting and that form doesn’t look bad at all right now.
3:35 – Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (G1)
I’m going to put up another Jim & Fitri Hay owned horse here as Khaadem tackles the Nunthorpe. My selection has put together a nice campaign to date. After a couple of decent performances in Dubai Khaadem has really come into his own this past 4 months on British soil. Winning both the Palace House at Newmarket and the King George Stakes at Goodwood last time out, which is a strong piece of form. I think there is more to come from him and with Ryan Moore in the saddle again, a big run is on the cards over his preferred 5F trip. He’s drawn in the centre which is a handy place to be this week at York.
1.50 York, 1m4f Handicap, 3yo+
An afternoon which features some of York’s famous races like the Nunthorpe and the Gimcrack begins with a typical headscratcher of a handicap as nineteen horses will face the starter.
For myself I often like to keep an eye on any lightly raced horses at this time of year as many others become a bit exposed and wait for the handicapper to relent and drop them a few lbs and i do like to try and source value for ew punters and I think I’ve found one in the John Butler trained Farhan for Neil Callan.
Just two runs this year have yielded a fourth and fifth placed finish but he does seem to come to form in the second half of the season with some decent runner up spots finally turning to a win when he landed the November Handicap on the final day of term last year
His trainer has followed the same path as last year when he had two runs in the spring, he didn’t see the track at all through June and July and now comes back for a late summer and autumn campaign hoping to repeat the same again, I think he’ll be in the shakeup of this race.
3.35 York, 5f Nunthorpe Stakes, Group 1, 2yo+
One of the feature Group 1 races of the meeting is a pretty wide open renewal with a mix of regular performers at the top level, developing sprinters and a promising two year old bidding to join the small list of juveniles who have taken the Nunthorpe.
It can often pay to look at previous experience in races like this and while Royal Aclaim is a very short priced favourite i think he can be opposed in this instance.
A horse who I think is very overpriced is the Roger Varian trained Dragon Symbol who ran in the race last year and was only beaten a length and three quarters behind winner Winter Power.
Last seasons winner has really struggled this year and you wouldn’t necessarily rule out a revival from Tim Easterby especially as he’ll be wanting to make sure the prize stays in Yorkshire again but Dragon Symbol has acquitted himself very well, just touched off in a Listed race at Haydock back in May he had a confidence boosting win at Hamilton last month and while he has run a couple of poor races too they were both over 6f but he is a 5f horse and if fully wound up he should be able to go two places better this time around.
5.20 – Mile Handicap – Class 2 – 3yo Only – 7f 192yds…
Golden Voice – Havana Gold X Granola Gelding.
Has won 3 of his 5 starts this term, including on season return at Newcastle on the all weather back in April. He was runner up by a head over C&D on handicap in a class 3 debut in May, from an opening mark of 79. He has since won a pair of class 3 7f handicaps at Sandown in June & July, which took his handicap mark to 95.
His last run was at Redcar in a 7f Class 2 Handicap finishing a 1/2 length runner up on August 6th. Runs from 96 today – Each Way
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Good Luck – The AOLR Team