Horse racing tips: Dave Nevison's bets for York on Wednesday

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Tue 10 May 2022

Our top tipster has three selections for the opening day of York's Dante Festival on Wednesday, live on Racing TV.

The Tattersalls Musidora Stakes (3.35) could be a really significant Cazoo Oaks trial this year, with the unbeaten Emily Upjohn, who is trained by John Gosden, heading the five-strong field.

However, both Charlie Appleby and Aidan O’Brien supply interesting rivals and it is sure to be an informative contest. I will be watching that Group Three feature closely, but my bets for Wednesday are in three seriously competitive handicaps. Best of luck!

Dante Festival Preview: Tom Stanley, Dave Nevison & Niall Hannity look ahead to three days of brilliant racing action on the Knavesmire.

1.50 York: Gaassee

This is always one of the key handicaps of the spring and it is likely that some of these contenders will be contesting Group races later this season. The market is clearly an excellent guide to this race as favourites have won five of the past ten renewals, and William Haggas trained last year’s winner, Ilaraab, so it seems very likely that Gaassee will go off favourite here.

Gaassee completed a hat-trick after his debut on the all-weather last year, culminating in a pretty effortless five-length defeat of Trevoli, who won his next three starts following that run.

The selection has been rested for a turf campaign since, but his trainer is in excellent form and targets this meeting. He was obviously set a very lenient mark for his handicap debut last time out but, despite the fact he has been raised 9lb, he is only off a rating of 94 here and looks a colt on the up, so should still be followed this season.

2.25 York: Nomadic Empire

Nomadic empire was gelded over the winter, and it certainly doesn’t look to have set him back, based upon his reappearance at Ripon where he was unlucky not to score after getting hampered at the start plus met trouble in running.

That defeat may be a blessing here as he only went up another 1lb in the weights and would surely have gone up more had he won.

David O’Meara’s four-year-old has plenty in his favour here, despite this being a fiercely competitive handicap. He is a course and distance winner plus has gone close on numerous occasions at York, so clearly likes the track, and he is drawn low, which appears the place to be nowadays in these big field sprints. Most of the pace is drawn over the far side here, too.

His regular rider, Jason Watson, is banned on Wednesday but Neil Callan is an excellent replacement and the ground will be just on the quick side, so a good run looks assured.

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4.45 York: Highwaygrey

This six-year-old looks well handicapped as he is now 6lb below his last winning mark, but he probably should be having been beaten 12 times since his latest victory in April last year.

He has been dropped pretty slowly by the handicapper, largely due to his consistency since and although unplaced in two outings this season, it is easy to see those as warm-ups for this meeting.

It has been notable that he wasn’t given the hardest time under pressure at both Doncaster and Thirsk having been dropped out on both occasions before travelling well and looking like he may get involved before failing to make any further progress.

It would be a real surprise if this handicap has not been the target and I expect a much more positive showing from him here.

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