The week ahead is one of my favourites of the season and the added spice of the first £1million Sky Bet Ebor at York has increased the anticipation for the meeting.
There will be several star performers on show through the week with the headline acts being the likes of Enable and Crystal Ocean who fought out a great finish to the King George plus the outstanding stayer Stradivarius who bids for another big payday in the Lonsdale Cup.
The speediest speedball around, Battaash, looks to finally put it all together in the Nunthorpe as well.
The thought of all of that to come makes Monday’s action seem pretty mundane but there are winners to be found and the four selections below are my fancies for the best bets of the day.
Deeds Not Words tends to hold his form once he finds it – the eight-year-old - has racked up hat-tricks on three separate occasions in his career – and having bounced back to form last time, he looks one to be with.
That latest improved performance coincided with the reapplication of cheekpieces that he has worn for each of his last nine victories but were on for the first time since joining his current stable and the fact the headgear is retained is a big plus.
Another positive is an attractive handicap mark that has dropped some 12lbs lower than for his last handicap success and with the ground conditions up in the air at this stage, his versatility as regards conditions is appealing.
He has a length and three quarters to find with Night Law who beat him here last time but has a 5lb pull at the weights and didn’t enjoy the best trip when posted wide and losing ground throughout.
Hopefully can turn around that form from a good draw in stall two.
Amelia R was unable to build on her wide-margin Nottingham win at Doncaster last time but shaped better than the bare result there and can get back on the up as she drops into a weaker race here.
The suspicion is that she did too much too soon at Doncaster as she disputed an overly strong pace and, given two of the three horses she matched strides with early won next time out, there may be some weight to that theory.
The winner at Doncaster came from the back of the field having not travelled early and had previously been behind Amelia R at Nottingham so gave her form a boost, while the time of that victory suggests Ray Craggs’ filly is potentially well ahead of her rating of 60.
Having made an encouraging start behind an experienced short-price favourite at Chelmsford, Lost In Time took a sizeable step forward to finish third in a strong maiden at Goodwood last time out and should be up to winning this if matching that form.
A well-bred son of Dubawi, he moved through the race like a horse with plenty of talent at Goodwood and only dropped away late on with the race eventually going the way of one who had shaped well on debut when narrowly beaten.
With the second and fourth horses home coming out wo win since, the form is working out well and with his stable firing in the winners - and jockey’s championship leader Oisin Murphy booked for the ride - he looks likely to prove hard to beat.
Chris Wall’s horses have hit top form recently with four winners from their past seven runners and Black Lotus looks the type who could add to their recent tally.
A dual winner at the height of summer last term, she went on to hit the frame behind some very well-handicapped horses prior to scoring again at Doncaster in May.
The manner of that victory suggested she was one to keep on the right side of so, while it’s a shade disappointing she hasn’t fired on two subsequent starts, she remains with potential.
The ground was probably too testing for her when last seen at Ripon so conditions drying out further is a plus and there’s every chance a two-month break could be the tonic to see her get back to form.
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