We’re continuing our York races tips for this year’s Ebor Festival by posting seven strong selections for day three at the Knavesmire.
After a couple of winners on the opening card, we had two more scorers on Thursday, including 6/1 stunner Zain Claudette.
The Group One Nunthorpe Stakes is Friday’s feature event, while the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup and Gimcrack Stakes are other highlights.
1.50 WINK OF AN EYE
Her Majesty’s runner has been on a steep upward curve this term and arrives here on a four-timer, having struck gold at Haydock, Newmarket, Sandown and Goodwood – progressing from a mark of 70 to his new perch of 91.
His latest win in Sussex suggests Wink Of An Eye may not have reached the peak of his ascent just yet and he still looks to be on a handy mark in what is a thoroughly competitive heat.
With the ground likely to still be riding on the quick side, John and Thady Gosden’s stalwart gets the vote to prove the fire burns as brightly as before in the Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup.
Winner of the race twice in the past, he looked good on his comeback in the Sagaro Stakes and then met trouble in running in the Gold Cup, even though he still would have been only second at best.
With Royal Ascot star Subjectivist sidelined through injury and Trueshan needing plenty of cut, Spanish Mission may be the toughest opponent.
3.00 BERKSHIRE SHADOW
Andrew Balding’s hot prospect can defy a penalty in the Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes.
Having won the Coventry Stakes, it was disappointing to see him beaten at Goodwood next time out – especially because he had accounted for the winner Angel Bleu so comprehensively at Ascot.
That was over seven furlongs, though, and the ground had turned into a quagmire – which suited Angel Bleu, who had far more experience and a win on soft to his name.
Back down to six furlongs and on a sound surface, Berkshire Shadow can confirm the impression he made at the Royal meeting.
3.35 GOLDEN PAL (nap)
Can break Wesley Ward’s duck in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe Stakes.
The American trainer is famed for his ability with real speedsters and has made a name for himself at Royal Ascot in the last decade.
However, there is one race that he has openly stated he would love to win – and that is this five-furlong Group One test on the Knavesmire.
Part of the reason is that, along with Frankie Dettori, they thought they had won it in 2017 when Lady Aurelia flashed by the post together with Marsha.
Dettori famously saluted the crowd thinking he had got the nod, but they came out on the wrong side of a photo finish.
Ward had been tempted to run Golden Pal in the race as a juvenile last year, but having seen his Acapulco finish second as a two-year-old, despite all the allowances, he felt it better to give him another year to mature.
While Golden Pal was beaten at Ascot last term, he went on to win at the Breeders’ Cup and, with the ground in his favour, he gets our vote over French challenger Suesa, who was perhaps flattered by a flashy success at Glorious Goodwood.
4.10 VINTAGE CHOICE
This Middle Park entry cost 310,000gns as a yearling and is a half-brother to four winners, who all scored as juveniles, so let’s back him for a successful debut in our York races tips.
Trained by Dermot Weld in Ireland, the Galileo filly broke her maiden at the eighth time of asking at Ballinrobe in June and moving up to 12 furlongs here looks sure to suit.
Following a couple of encouraging all-weather efforts, this three-year-old gelding beat four rivals at Newmarket on his first start on turf, with the second and third franking that form by prevailing since.
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