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25th July 2021

York Ebor Festival Trends: DAY FOUR (Sat 22nd Aug 2020)

The York Ebor Festival concludes on Saturday 22nd August 2020, as the four-day meeting heads into it's final day.

Four more LIVE ITV races to take in, including the Group Three Strensall Stakes, but the final day is always spearheaded by the Ebor Handicap - Europe's most valuable handicap - did you know that 17 of the last 18 Ebor Handicap winners carried 9-5 or less in weight, while 14 of the last 18 winners came from a double-figure stall?

As always, we'll be on-hand throughout the whole meeting to take you through the key trends for each day’s LIVE ITV races.


DAY FOUR - Saturday 22nd August 2020


1.50 – Sky Bet And Symphony Strensall Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 1m208y ITV

17/17 – Had won over at least a mile before
17/17 – Had won at least twice in the their career
16/17 – Had between 2 and 4 runs already that season
14/17 – Aged 4 or 5 years-old
13/17 – Had won over a mile before
7/17 – Won by Godolphin
7/17 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
4/17 – Trained by Saeed Bin Suroor
4/17 – Ridden by Frankie Dettori
4/17 – Had won at York before
3/17 – Trained by Sir Michael Stoute (2 of last 3)
3/17 – Trained by David O’Meara (3 of last 6)
2/17 – Trained by Charlie Appleby
Zaaki (7/2) won the race in 2019
Lord Glitters (2/1 fav) won the race in 2018

Note: The 2009 running was a dead-heat

LORD GLITTERS (e/w) won this race in 2018 and I feel he’s got another leading chance this year. This 7 year-old is the only proven CD winner in the field and hinted at a return to form last time out with a staying on third here at York in the Group Two York Stakes. This drop in grade will help and he’ll be fine down to 1m in what’s likely to be slightly softer ground. Zabeel Prince, Dark Vision and Pogo are others that have won at the course before so command respect. Miss O’ Connor should be better for her recent return run at Ascot too and getting 3lbs from the others should be involved. But the second pick in the race is the Simon Crisford runner – EPIC HERO. This 4 year-old was last seen running away with a handicap at Meydan (Dubai) and looks the sort to have more to come. Yes, this is a step up in grade and he’s also back from a long break. However, we’ve seen a 4 or 5 year-old win this race 14 times in the last 17 years and the horse has also gone well off a break in the past. Oisin Murphy booked to ride is a further plus.

2.25 – Sky Bet Melrose Stakes (Handicap) Cl2 1m6f ITV

15/17 – Never raced at York before
14/17 – Had 4 or more runs that season
13/17 – Returned 10/1 or shorter
13/17 – Had a top 5 finish last time out
12/17 – Won carrying 9-0 or less
12/17 – Had won over 1m4f or further
11/17 - Drawn in stall 8 or lower
4/17 – Winning favourites (1 co)
2/17 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
2/17 – Ridden by William Buick
2/17 – Trained by Charlie Appleby (2 of last 3)
2/17 – Trained by William Haggas
Hamish (7/1) won the race in 2019
Ghostwatch (10/1) won the race in 2018

Several in-form handicap stayers on show here – including the William Haggas-trained FAVORITE MOON. This William Haggas runner looks ahead of the handicapper still despite going up 7lbs from his last win. He beat a fair sort in Subjectivist that day by a length on his first try over this 1m6f trip and with only five career runs can be expected to have more in the locker. Cieren Fallon rides too and is still able to claim a handy 3lbs – and the Haggas yard also won this prize 12 months ago. He also had the Queen's Punctuation back in third that day so should easily have that one’s measure again. With 12 of the last 17 winners carrying 9-0 or less then the top three on the card – Mambo Nights, Eastern Sheriff and Arthurian Fable might have this as a negative to overcome. The Andrew Balding runner Coltrane, who heads here on a three-timer, has to be considered too, while the likes of King's Charisma and Fishable also come here in winning form. But the other pick is the Alan King runner – MIDNIGHTS LEGACY (e/w). This 3 year-old has won his last two races, but the fact he’s only just got home means the handicapper has only raised him 2lbs from last time. The step up to 1m6f for the first time could also bring out more improvement and in this better race gets in with a much lighter actual racing weight (8-12) than his had in recent races.

3.00 – Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 7f ITV

16/17 – Failed to win last time out
16/17 – Aged 5 or younger
14/17 – Priced 7/1 or shorter
13/17 – Drawn in stalls 4 to 8 (inc)
12/17 – Finished in the top 5 last time out
12/17 – Never run at York before
12/17 – Winning distance 1 length or less
11/17 – Had 4 or more runs that season
7/17 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
3/17 – Won by trainer Sir Michael Stoute
3/17 – Won by trainer Andrew Balding
1/17 – Placed horses from stall 1
Shine So Bright (6/1) won the race in 2019
Expert Eye (Evs) won the race in 2018

Trainer Andrew Balding has won this race twice since 2014 and also saddle last year’s winner Shine So Bright. This one has to be considered being the current champion, but he’s not won a race since (5 races) and that’s a small worry. Queen Jo Jo and Escobar are past course winners at the track, but with 16 of the last 17 winners aged 5 or younger then the likes of Brando, Escobar, Safe Voyage and One Master have this age stat to overcome. 13 of the last 17 winners have come from stalls 4-8 (inc), so that is a plus for Safe Voyage, San Donato, Queen Jo Jo, One Master and Threat. I feel One Master can go well after getting back to winning ways at Goodwood last time, but this is higher graded race, so a chance is taken on the Richard Hannon runner – THREAT – to bounce back to form. This 3 year-old has Ryan Moore booked to ride and also gets weight from all the others due to his age. He’s been running in much better races than this so the ease in grade will help – he’s also a course winner and draw 8 looks fine. The Hannon yard also run Beat Le Bon.

3.40 – Sky Bet Ebor (Heritage Handicap) Cl2 1m6f ITV

17/18 – Carried 9-5 or less
17/18 – Aged 6 or younger
15/18 – Had won over at least 1m4f before
14/18 – Won from a double-figure stall
12/18 – Carried 9-1 or less
12/18 – Aged either 4 or 5 years-old
12/18 – Winning Distance - 1 length or less
11/18 – Had 3 or more runs already that season
10/18 – Unplaced favourites
8/18 – Had run at York before
5/18 – Ran at Ascot last time out
5/18 – Won last time out
5/18 – Irish-trained winners (5 of the last 10)
4/18 – Ran at Goodwood last time out
3/18 – Ran at Galway last time out
2/18 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
2/18 – Placed horses from stall 1 (third 2011, third 2013)
1/18 – Winning favourites
Just one winning favourite since 1999
Trainer Sir Michael Stoute won the race in 1980, 1991 & 1996
Mustajeer (16/1) won the race in 2019
Muntahaa (11/1) won the race in 2018

22 runners head to post here, but some key trends to help whittle the runners down. With 17 of the last 18 winners carrying 9-5 or less, then this looks to be a negative for the top 8 on the card – Deja, Communique, Trueshan, Fujaira Prince, Pable Escobar, True Self, Ghostwatch and Pondus – there’s some well-fancied runners in that bunch too! 17 of the last 18 winners were also aged 6 or younger – this is not great news for the likes of True Self, Stargazer, Scarlet Dragon, Verdana Blue and Euchen Glen – 12 of the last 18 winners were actually aged 4 or 5. Having a double-figure draw has also been a help in recent years, while winning form over at least 1m4f in the past is a plus. With all that in mind, the William Haggas runner – MONICA SHERIFF (e/w) – could be the answer. Yes, she’s not been out since October, but heads here having won her last five races and would have been well tuned-up for this. She was last seen winning a G3 in France and is a horse that’s won over this 1m6f and also acts with a bit of cut if any more rain comes. Draw 21 looks ideal and she gets in her with a fair weight of 9-2. I was also taken with the way ISLAND BRAVE (e/w) won it’s last race at Ascot and even though is up 6lbs for that, we know he stays further than this 1m6f trip and that will help in the closing stages. The final one I’ll be playing is the Andrew Balding SHAILENE (e/w), who ran well (2nd) at Goodwood last time out. She wasn’t beaten far that day (1/2 length) and is only 3lbs higher – jockey Oisin Murphy gets the leg-up.

4.10 – Julia Graves Roses Stakes (Listed Race) Cl2 (2yo) 5f ITV

10/10 – Ran in the last 6 weeks
9/10 – Won between 1-2 times before
8/10 – Returned 13/2 or shorter
8/10 – Didn’t win last time out
7/10 – March foals
7/10 – Won over 5f before
6/10 – Ran at Goodwood (3) or Newmarket (3) last time out
4/10 – Drawn in stall 9 (2) or 10 (2)
3/10 – Ridden by Jamie Spencer
1/10 – Winning favourites

The Andrew Balding yard are 0-from-19 with their 2 year-olds at the track so their runner POLITICS has this stat to overcome, but the horse could not have been more impressive when winning at Sandown last time out and I think he can go well again. Oisin Murphy rides this speedy sort and with only two past runs should have more to come. The slightly softer ground could be a slight worry as both runs have been on quick turf, but I feel connections wouldn’t be risking him if they didn’t feel it would suit. The horses from stalls 9 and 10 have a good recent record too so Mamba Wamba (9) and Queen Of Rio (10) have this as a plus. Ryan Moore riding Lauded his sure to attract support and has already set a good level of form – he can go well too. Acklam Express and Winter Power are two others that have run well to date and Blackberry is the only unbeaten runner in the field (2 runs) but has more on her plate here. The other pick though is the Kevin Ryan runner – BEN MACDUI. This juvenile ran a blinder to be a close second in the G3 Molecomb Stakes at Goodwood last time, behind a useful sort in Steel Bull. That form looks rock-solid and if able to run to that level again would surely have a big chance.

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