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Ebor Handicap preview

The eponymous race of the week and a capacity field - good luck if you need this one to break square for the week. Plenty of angles here to look at, the trend for younger horses, many runners mixing hurdling and flat campaigns. To unravel the form, we turn once again to Darren Goodbody, @DarrenPGoodbody. Read more of his work here.

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Betfred Ebor Handicap
Heritage Handicap
£275,000, 1m6f
1545 local, 0045 AEST


With twenty-one entries holding their ground with the only absence being Quest for More at this stage, please make sure you look around with the high street bookies that are paying on the 1-2-3-4-5 place market as many will.

On to the race and this year's renewal has produced a strong field especially from Ireland. Aidan O'Brien has had to sit back this year with most of his entries being pulled from the meeting due to ground conditions he saddles the only three year old in the race in Fields of Athenry. With four solid runs under his belt this year he was seen winning on good to soft ground at Leopardstown by ten lengths, the third from that race Drifting Mist has a form line through Bondi Beach who equipped himself well when just failing to win the Great Voltigeur Stakes at York this week.

His first taste of pattern company came on good to firm ground when landing the Group 3 Ballyroan Stakes at Leopardstown and stayed on well over the twelve furlong trip to record a one and three quarter length victory. It is questionable form in how good is he now stepping up in trip, but he is sired by Galileo who despite having sired great winners he has never produced a Ebor winner. Three year olds though have had a good record in this race especially in the place market.

Out of the Willie Mullins pair Frankie Dettori has chosen Clondaw Warrior over Wicklow Brave. Clondaw Warrior was last seen when winning the Guinness Handicap at Galway that was over twelve furlongs, but he has also been running around the hurdle sphere competing at the top level festivals which included a third in the Greatwood Hurdle an ran into a place at the Punchestown festival this year

He just scraps in off a reasonable weight, but I feel he is vulnerable to better handicapped entries. Tony Martin's Quick Jack landed the Galway Hurdle this year when beating Max Dynamite by two and a quarter lengths. That form got a welcoming boost with Max Dynamite landing yesterday's Londsdale Cup in fine fashion and a horse that has gone on my radar for the 2016 Cheltenham festival.

His last run on the flat came in the Chester Cup when finishing runner up to the smart Trip to Paris, he has form to find with Wicklow Brave after he defeated him in the County Hurdle this year at Cheltenham, Max Dynamite was back in fourth that day over ten lengths off the pace.

This brings me on to the selection this afternoon in WICKLOW BRAVE. He was beaten out of sight by Quick Jack in the Galway Hurdle, but his two wins on tacky ground at Galway and Listowel has to bring him into the equations.He has bags of stamina in the tank and round soundly when finishing fourth in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at the royal meeting. Winner of the County hurdle this year at the Cheltenham festival by a comfortable eight lengths, bringing him back to the dead two miles and on tacky ground he has to be the one to beat for me.

WICKLOW BRAVE : 2pts each way @10/1 BOG

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