It’s the opening day of the York Ebor festival where Dakota Gold looks to land another big handicap having won at Ripon last weekend. There are some very nice types to keep on eye on in the Acomb and Crystal Ocean will take all the beating in a vintage-looking Juddmonte International.
Dakota Gold landed a real punt in the Great St Wilfrid at Ripon on Saturday and gets in here off the mandatory five-pound penalty. If that runs didn’t take too much out of him then he’ll be difficult to beat.
Paul Midgley does a fantastic job with his sprinters and Final Venture has been in good form this season without getting his head in front. He went up a pound for his recent near-miss and must enter calculations.
Justanotherbottle was well fancied in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood where he wasn’t beaten overly far and off a one-pound lower mark he can feature.
Of the outsiders, the title-chasing Danny Tudhope rides Arecibo who’s an improving sprinter and could surprise a few.
This race went the way of the classic winning Phoneix of Spain last season and Charlie Hills holds strong claims of back to back victories with the once-raced Persuasion. The well-bred colt looked very good on that sole start and is an exciting prospect.
John Quinn has enjoyed a fine spell with his flat runners in recent seasons and Cobra Eye looks like a smart type for the yard. He’s got two runs under his belt and can continue to progress.
Joseph O’Brien sends over the once-raced Vitalogy and the son of No Nay Never outran his odds on debut in a good looking Naas maiden. This represents a huge step up in class but Joseph knows what he’s doing, so don’t rule him out.
Just the five go to post for this Group 2 contest which has been won by the likes of Rainbow Quest, Milan and Postponed down through the years. The unbeaten Logician made a mockery of his opening handicap mark most recently and deserves the step up in class now. I think he can progress again and maintain his unbeaten record.
Aidan O’Brien runs the top-rated Constantinople who’s already proven himself in Group company and will make the favourite work hard but will come up short again.
The only other runner with claims is Nayef Road who beat Constantinople in the Gordon Stakes at Ascot. In typical Mark Johnston style, he’s been heavily campaigned this season including a fine third in the Queen’s Vase. This is strong from and should prove to be a good barometer.
This looks like a great renewal of this Group 1 contest with Crystal Ocean looking the pick of them on form. He’s only defeat of the season came in a great battle with Enable in the King George and if he arrives here in the same form he should be winning this.
The classic generation would seem to hold the strongest claims of upsetting the favourite with the improving King of Comedy who just failed to beat the re-opposing Circus Maximus in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Ascot. He’s very light;y raced and is open to further progress.
It’s slightly surprising to see Japan dropping back in trip given that he was beaten in the Dante and has won twice in Group company over further since then. I’m not one to question Aidan O’Brien but I think he’ll be better when stepped back up in trip.
Selection: Crystal Ocean