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Gimcrack Stakes preview

The final day of the Ebor Festival has a great spread of races, and just one of them could be described as having a clear-cut favourite. A solid reward for anyone who can find a winner.

The 2yo feature of the day is the Gimcrack Stakes, and saddling up again for the preview is Darren Goodbody, @DarrenPGoodbody. You can read more of his work here.

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Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes
Group 2, 6f, 2yo C&G
£220,000
1510 local 0010 AEST


What a week it has been on the Knavesmire, some impressive juveniles to keep on the note book especially Tasleet of William Haggas's and Wesley Ward's Acapulco who impressed me taking on older horses, but even though with the 29lb allowance he could not over come proven Group 3 winning sprinter Mecca's Angel.

Mark Johnston has not improved on his six percent average here at York and I have reservations that it is going to improve with Buratino or Ode the Evening. The Listed Woodcote Stakes and Group 3 Coventry Stakes winning juvenile Buratino looked like the season was catching up with him when only third in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh twelve days ago, looking very one pace in the closing stages and his short odds of 11/10 was very tight going up against Washington DC and Air Force Blue.

Wesley Ward would not be that disappointed by losing with Acapulco yesterday after his smart juvenile was taking on some proven pattern sprinters, he will be searching some compensation when he saddles his second raider Finnegan. It is good that he has decided to bring over Edgar Prado to ride the son of Unbridled's Song who was very impressive when winning at Pimlico on fast ground back in May. There has to be concerns though coming off a three-month lay off and attempting tacky ground here at York. The tactics will probably be the same, get out and blast a fast pace and hope he holds on, but very vulnerable under these conditions. (Consider setting up a pre-race lay at around 1.2 if you fancy risking him)

William Haggas comes here double-handed with Raucous and Ajaya, the latter won here over five and a half furlongs last month when winning readily under today's pilot Graham Gibbons. He was stepped up immediately in to black type company when finishing runner up to Richard Hannon's Guitifan who was partnered by Frankie Dettori that day going down by a head. On that though it is interesting that Dettori has overlooked Ajaya for King of Rooks.

Raucous is double the price of Ajaya for this, the lightly-raced son of Dream Ahead who did not mind a bit of juice in the ground was impressive when winning at Newmarket on tacky ground, he had to come off a very slow run race that day but picked up well in the closing stages to just get up on the line beating Orvar by a head, that form is still holding after the runner up ran well enough this week.

Frankie Dettori stays loyal to King of Rooks after the retirement of Richard Hughes two weeks ago, his second to Kachy at Goodwood last month in the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes, he looked very out paced over the optimum trip and would relish the step back up to six furlongs here which should give him a shout.

Saeed Bin Suroor's Steady Pace has been running well all season, held by King of Rooks and Buratino from the Listed Capital National Stakes he went into Ascot as the favorite for the Windsor Castle Stakes and failed to justify those odds when beaten by Washington DC and Areen who had reversed the Sandown form. The form was boosted when Washington DC ran a blinder to finish runner up in the Group 1 Phoenix Stakes. He then bumped into the smart improving Shalaa twice in the Group 2 July Stakes and last time in the Richmond Stakes with the runner up being Tasleet who won the Yearlings race here on Thursday, you would have to give him a chance on paper with the form being extremely strong, my major concern is the ground as this will be the first time he encounters softer conditions.

There are cases to be made for a few of these, Finnegan, Buratino, Ajaya and King of Rooks all have claims with probably the obvious one being the latter, but I am going to stick with RAUCOUS here, he looks to have a good engine in him and I would not say he is second string in this field, King of Rooks looks to be the interesting danger.

RAUCOUS : 1pt each way @ 12/1 BOG
king of Rooks : 1pt each way @ 13/2 BOG


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