Dave Nevison's best bets for the first day of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Wed 19 Aug 2020

There is cracking stuff on the Knavesmire for the next four days and as normal the meeting begins with an impossible sprint handicap.

I cannot resist having a play, though, and can hopefully get off to a flyer.

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1.45 York: Jawwaal

Having looked like he might be a bit special in two wins for John Gosden, Jawwaal didn’t go on and found himself with Michael Dods for the start of last season.

Things didn’t really work out for him but it now looks like he was getting acclimatised to his new surroundings as he almost looked like a Group horse in a handicap when winning last time at Ascot, so well did he travel.

He would still have won that race off Wednesday’s 8lb higher mark and he looks the improver here in a field of good but largely exposed sprinters. He has a good draw near the pace in the middle of the track and though he has never won at this track he has run very well on occasions, plus 5½ furlongs here is probably similar to the 5f he tackled at Ascot last time.

 Jawwaal was impressive at Ascot and can defy an 8lb rise (Focusonracing)
Jawwaal was impressive at Ascot and can defy an 8lb rise (Focusonracing)

3.45 York: Make My Day

Another former John Gosden inmate. He made his debut over 12 furlongs and won his only race for his previous trainer over 14f so is clearly felt to be a stayer.

On his first run for Ralph Beckett he won very well back down at 12f at this track so clearly retains his speed but I have no doubts he will prove suited by this step up to two miles.

This is a competitive handicap and one which is set to be truly run, which will surely suit given how well Make My Day settled last time out. There are very few in the race that could be ahead of the handicapper. I certainly think he might end up rated higher before long.

4.20 York: Dandy’s Beano

Had been highly tried since she won small-field nurseries this time last year and had not quite cut it, though there were valid excuses as well.

She showed that she was heading back to form last time out at Haydock when second to Glory Fighter - a very well-handicapped horse who was due a win and has since followed up.

I feel she might well get the lead here, which suits her running style and the track. Her mark of 84 is just 1lb higher than her latest winning mark, plus her trainer and jockey are in excellent form.

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