Ebor Festival Day Four Preview: Stratum Set To Storm Home In The £500,000 Ebor Handicap

Stratum and Robert Winston wins from the field in the JLT Cup

Sky Bet Ebor Handicap

The final day of the Ebor Festival is set to be another exciting day of top-class racing action. The £500,000 Sky Bet Ebor is Britain’s richest handicap and is staged over a mile and five furlongs and welcomes a full field of twenty runners.

Stratum is a name of interest among punters. As the ante-post favourite, the son of Dansili will have to overcome an unfavourable draw from stall four.

Trained by Willie Mullins, Stratum has topped the market for the historic handicap after a comfortable performance to win the JLT Cup (handicap) at Newbury last month. Connections of the five-year-old will be eager to see his form continue to improve enough for him to return to the winners’ circle again.

Champion jumps trainer Mullins has another strong contender in the race with well-fancied Whiskey Sour. The five-year-old is set to be ridden by William Buick and connections will be hopeful he can improve from his last outing at Galway where perhaps the soft ground conditions got the better of him.

Last year’s winner Ian Jardine-trained Nakeeta is set to be steered by Callum Rodriquez and the son of Sixties Icon will be aiming to become only the second horse to win the race on consecutive occasions after Flint Jack won back-to-back renewals in 1922 and 1923. On his last outing, the seven-year-old finished fifth to favourite Stratum.

Roger Charlton’s Blakeney Point is another strong contender and the five-year-old will be partnered with Jamie Spencer. The son of Sir Percy has shaped with promise recently including when he finished a staying-on fourth is a very competitive Group 3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood earlier this month.

Others to keep an eye on include: Weekender and Crowned Eagle.

Selection: Blakeney Point

Above The Rest and Clifford Lee wins from Steady Pace at Newmarket last season

Sky Bet City Of York Stakes

The Group 3 Sky Bet City Of York Stakes is run over seven furlongs and is open to horses three years and older, where this year hosts a field of nine runners. One of Sir Michael Stoute’s stable stars Expert Eye is the favourite and the son of Acclamation will be all out to win the seven furlongs contest. The three-year-old colt ran on strongly to finish second in the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood earlier this month. That run comes off the back of the colt winning a seven-furlong trip at Ascot last June and although this will be his first time running at the York track, connections will be confident in his ability.

David O’Meara-trained Suedois is another strong contender and will be ridden by Daniel Tudhope. The seven-year-old ran a game race on his last outing to finish second in the Group 2 Qatar Lennox Stakes at Goodwood and connections hope he will be on top form for this Group 3 contest.

Above The Rest is another worthwhile contender as the David Barron-trained seven-year-old recent impressive form has witnessed great improvement on his last two starts winning the Group 3 Chipchase Stakes at Newmarket at the end of June and the JCB handicap at York previous to this. A tough contender and will be one to keep a close eye on.

Selection: Above The Rest

Threading and James Doyle wins The Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York last season

Symphony Group Strensall Stakes

The Group 3 Symphony Group Strensall Stakes is the first race on the card of the last day of the Ebor Festival. It hosts a field of nine runners who are all set on competing to win the one mile and one-furlong contest.

David O’Meara’s stable star Lord Glitters is the favourite and the strong traveller has gone from being a smart handicapper to a strong Group horse this year. The son of Whipper will be ridden by Daniel Tudhope and connections will be optimistic of a win here. Tudhope partnered the five-year-old to finish third at Goodwood last month in the very competitive Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes.

Mustashry is another who has a strong possibility of winning and is expected to put on a strong performance. The five-year-old won this race at York last year and partners with Jim Crowley yet again. The geldings last outing may have been the first of the season but one he took in his stride to win a one mile and two furlongs Listed race at Sandown. Trainer Sir Michael Stoute will be hopeful he will make it back to back wins in the race.

Trainer Mark Johnston has made racing history this week at York as he recorded his 4,194 winners in Britain, making him the most prolific trainer in Britain after Poet Society’s impressive win on Thursday. The Middleham based trainer runs Threading who will be steered by Silvestre De Sousa. The three-year-old filly was below form on her last two runs but prior to this ran an excellent race at Ascot to finish second to superstar Alpha Centauri in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes and it is possible she can return to this strong form here.

Selection: Threading

Melrose Handicap

The Melrose Handicap takes place over one mile and six furlongs and hosts a field of sixteen runners. Hughie Morrison-trained Corgi will certainly be one to watch in the betting market as the colt may have only had seven starts to date but has never finished lower than the fourth position. The son of So You Think will be a strong contender and one not to be overlooked.

Sir Michael Stoute is represented by Mekong in the handicap and is another strong runner. The son of Frankel is set to be ridden by Daniel Tudhope. A colt who is constantly improving, it is hoped he will continue his good form as on his last trip to the track he ran gamely to win at Chelmsford at the start of the month.

Silvestre De Sousa takes the ride on Mark Johnston-trained Making Miracles. The son of Pivotal may just make all the running as on his last outing at Goodwood he ran a strong race to finish third, just behind Corgi and connections will be hoping for an improvement following that run.

Selection: Corgi

Beat The Bank (Ryan Moore) winning the Bonhams Thoroughbred stakes
Goodwood last season

Group 2 Celebration Mile Stakes

Goodwood Racecourse welcomes the Group 2 Celebration Mile Stakes to its track this weekend. With eight runners set to go to post, this one-mile contest is set to be an excellent showcase of some top mile performers.

Oisin Murphy’s mount Beat The Bank is the favourite and will be the horse all eyes will be focused on in this one-mile contest. Andrew Balding-trained son of Paco Boy is set to make an impression as his current form would suggest.

The four-year-old won the Group 2 Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot last June. The gelding stayed on strongly to win cosily at the Ascot track and connections are hopeful he will return repeat this at Goodwood. On his last outing, the gelding finished fifth in a tough Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes at Goodwood but he is a top-class horse and should put on a stellar performance in this Group 2 race.

Roger Varian-trained Altyn Orda is another big player and the three-year-old filly will be partnered by David Egan. The daughter of Kyllachy finished second to superstar Alpha Centauri in the strong Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket last month. This performance was her last outing and connections will be hoping she can continue to improve and win this Group 2.

Ed Walker’s stable star Stormy Antarctic runs in the one-mile contest and will be ridden by Liam Keniry. The five-year-old has had a series of good runs this season and has notched up two wins on the continent this season. His last outing witnessed the gelding finished second in the Group 1 Grosser Dallmayr Preis – Bayerisches Zuchtrennen at Munich last month. He may struggle slightly but is still one not to be forgotten about.

Others to keep an eye on include David Simcock-trained Arod and Clive Cox’s stable star Zonderland.

Selection: Beat The Bank

Ebor Festival Day Four Preview: Stratum Set To Storm Home In The £500,000 Ebor Handicap
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