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Angus McNae's top tips for Sunday: Dakota can strike gold again at York

By Angus McNae
Sun 6 Sep 2020

The Racing TV presenter has four fancies for the racing action on the Knavesmire, including a course specialist in the Listed feature.

Native Tribe was a winner for this column last week and I am hoping to end this week on a high with the four selections below at York which will be shown live on Racing TV. Best of luck.

1.30 York: St Just at 11-1 with Paddy Power and Betfair

This horse still has some handicapping scope and has been placed on his first two starts for Jedd O’Keeffe since leaving William Haggas.

On both of those starts, he has run very well despite being hindered by finding himself in steadily-run contests.

Essentially, he is a hold-up horse who needs a strong gallop to aim at and given that this contest promises to be strongly run, he must have an outstanding chance.

His trainer is in good form as two of his past five runners have won, and two have been placed.

I think he is 10lb or more the right side of the handicapper off a mark of 77 and as long as he gets a decent gallop, he can prove that he is ahead of the game.

2.00 York: Dakota Gold at a general 11-4

Watch how Dakota Gold landed the Beverley Bullet last time out

This horse is very well suited to York. He has run six times on the Knavesmire, and has won on four occasions, been second once and only unplaced once.

That good record can be extended here, particularly as he was seemingly back to his best in the Beverley Bullet last time out.

He won the Bullet in a fast time, typically finding plenty for pressure and holding on gamely from two closers.

The two horses that disputed the lead with Dakota Gold dropped right away, adding to the impression that this was the Dakota Gold of old , the one that won five competitive sprints on the spin in 2019.

Now he’s back to that sort of level, he will be very hard to beat at a track that really suits him.

3.40 York: Royal Context at a general 9-2

This is just the sort of horse that Michael Dods does well with, and this could be another step on the ladder towards much better things.

He is lightly raced and open to improvement as a sprinter, and his win in a fast time last time out tells us that he has already achieved a smart level of form.

That form has already received a boost too, with the fourth winning at Southwell and the second running a fine third in a competitive class 2 Handicap at York.

Michael Dods is operating at a strike-rate of 18 per cent and I am hoping that after Dakota Gold has won earlier on the card, this horse can initiate a double. He is well worth supporting in this competitive event.

4:10 York: Firlinfeu

This horse absolutely bolted up at Ayr last time out and an 8lb rise in the weights will not be enough to stop him.

He was very well backed that day and in first-time cheekpieces, he surged clear of his rivals to win by five lengths.

A strongly run race brought his stamina into play, but he also travelled like the best horse throughout.

That win came in a class 5 handicap and now in a class 4, he is going to have to be right on his game but given the way he demolished his opponents at Ayr, he is surely capable of being more than competitive here.

The step up in trip is of no concern, nor is the rise in the weights and a big run is very much on the cards.

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