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York Dante meeting Day 1 preview

 YORK Wednesday

Ah, what a glorious meeting. The finest track in the country - spacious, flat, quality racing and punters don't get ripped off at the gate!


Previewing the ITV races with more detailed emphasis on the opening race...


1415 Jorvik Hcp

Klondike - handy colt with Magnier and Tabor in the ownership group. After an impressive win on debut last season, he subsequently ran in pattern company, only failing in his last start, when he was soon despatched for wind surgery and a break. Holds an entry in the Hardwicke at Royal Ascot so they've obviously got a high opinion of him. Haggas has a great record here (18% Win SR) and Haggas/Marquand strike here at 15.6%, and 22.5% overall.

Track of Time - interesting runner making his debut for Ian Williams and Fitri Hay. Formerly trained in France, he's won at Longchamp, Lion d'Angers (gorgeous little track in central France - worth a visit!) and Chantilly (AW), so he's no slouch. Wintered in Dubai, finishing in the front half in a couple of handicaps after drawing wide and not having a great deal of luck - especially at the most recent run. Drops 3lbs in ratings on his last run, could be a decent price. Spencer & Williams combine with a 21.7% winning strike rate.

Marhaba The Champ - talented but inconsistent (recent runs 1-8-1-6-10-1-9) galloper who has paid the price for his form, losing his cojones over the winter. Won at both the Dante and Ebor meetings last season, two from two on the Knavesmire, and one of those with Buick aboard. Might be good enough anyway but Galileo progeny only have a 10% winning strike rate at their first run after being gelded. 

Kihavah - a winner of three from five here, including the last two Dante meetings. Has been in the market both runs this season but beaten 10L each time, two of the worst runs in his career, but they were after seven months and three months off respectively, and will be fitter here. Jockey Oisin Murphy is flying at the moment, will be competitive.

Crystal Delight - won impressively at Epsom on their opening day of the season, and goes up a hefty 9lbs. That was his first win in nearly 18 months, and both victories were after long breaks. Can he retain that form? Trainer and jockey both having lean runs but did pair up for that win at Epsom. Worth a look.

Chillingham - close up recently in a decent Cl2 race at Ripon and decent form in northern staying races. In the mix here, quite a handy trainer and jockey combination (winning 21% at all tracks).

Flash Bardot - talented filly with good strike rate, winning five times from 16 starts, including three of her past four. For that she rises 8lbs for winning a Premier Fillies Handicap at Doncaster 18 days ago. This will be much firmer than last time but she has won across the board on track ratings. Probert and Channon form a profitable partnership, winning at 29% and earning more than one unit profit per run. 

SUMMARY

A tough race to open what is always a difficult festival to decipher.

Watch the betting but I'm prepared to take a punt on Track of Time at 16-20/1. Few people will bother doing the replays from Meydan, he might sneak through unwanted from various tipsters. Flash Bardot looks progressive and Chillingham is never far away.

TRACK OF TIME, Flash Bardot, Chillingham

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1445 Churchill Tyres Handicap

Hispanic - former Aidan O'Brien-trained colt now in the stable of Michael Appleby, a trainer who revels in winning races that are making their stable debut. Big price...

Lethal Levi - beaten a neck into second here last year, he's off 5lbs lower this time. While he only has one placing from five starts here, most of those runs have been close up, just outside the placings.

Lakota Gold - drops a hefty 18lb from his first-up run at Beverley three weeks ago, and last season won at his second start of the season off this exact mark. Worth a look in a wide open race.

HISPANIC, Lethal Levi, Lakota Gold

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1515 Duke of York Clipper Stakes

Swingalong - 2-2 over the course and distance, winning a G2 and G3. Finished fourth in both the Sprint Stakes at Haydock and Champions Sprint at Ascot, beaten no more than 2.5L in both G1s, after running third in the Commonwealth Cup behind the outstanding Shaquille. Karl Burke and Clifford Lee are winning at almost 23% this year.

Azure Blue - won this race last year, ahead of the ill-fated Highfield Princess. Exceptional record over past couple of years, winning five of her past seven, failing only in the July Cup, her first run at the elite level. This is her go and will love the dry ground.

Cold Case - won the Commonwealth Cup Trial last season but then went off the boil. After a spell, he finished close up in the G3 Hackwood and G1 Prix Maurice de Gheest. Runs well fresh, decent price.

SWINGALONG, Azure Blue, Cold Case

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1545 Musidora Stakes

Classical Song - resumes seven months after her 2yo campaign, when she held the best form of this field. With any reasonable measure of maturity and improvement, she's right in this.

Friendly Soul - impressive when winning on her seasonal debut at Newmarket, but now she's odds-on. She might be too good for these, but with so much natural improvement to come from the whole field, is it worth taking odds-on?

Sinology - had a few pennies on her winning at Newbury last month, she will keep improving with experience.

CLASSICAL SONG, Friendly Soul, Sinology

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1615 Conundrum Handicap

Ziggy's Condor - handy juvenile sprintter last season, running two placings here including second in the big 2yo sales races during the Ebor meeting. Has been gelded during the winter and gets a nice weight advantage over some of his rivals here. Right in this. 

Fire Demon - a maiden in three rund at two, he has turned a new leaf this year, winning three times from four runs, including the AW Championships 3yo race on Good Friday. No reason why he can't transfer that form to turf. 

Respectful - found form in the autumn winning his last two starts as a 2yo. In a top stable and any natural progression will see him right in the finish here.

ZIGGY'S CONDOR, Fire Demon, Respectful


Back the top picks, use the other tips for placepots and other exotics. Good luck!

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