Today sees the start of the fantastic Ebor festival which is four days of top quality racing.The word Eborecum was the Roman word for York which is how the great race received its name. The Ebor handicap is one of the most prestigious of the season and is the most valuable handicap race run in Europe.
Racing in the area dates back to the roman era and the reign of Emperor Severus. They used to have racing in the middle ages on the frozen parts of the River Ouse but the first detailed meeting on the Knavesmire took place in 1709. As the name implies it was a mire and stream that needed levelling and draining to become the horseshoe shaped course we have today.
We are treated today to a feast of racing on day one with the highlight the Juddmonte International with some of the top milers and middle distance horses in opposition. It’s a tough one to call but the thing that strikes me is I can’t see a pace angle in the race which means if they don’t go a gallop they will be playing into the hands of 2,000gns winner Churchill. The only possible front runner might be Cliffs of Mohar in which case Aiden O’Brien has all bases covered.
Either way the race will be a super spectacle however for Howies Hottie I’m playing in the 4.15 a stayers handicap over the 2 mile trip. This again is very competitive as all races at York are but the one that catches my eye is Soegioo from Richard Faheys stable.
The gelding has not won since 2014 but has been running with credit in many hot races. It seems at long last the handicapper has given him a bit of slack and I like the booking of Jamie Spencer for this hold up performer who will hopefully be finishing with a flourish.
Istanbull Sultan trainer trainer W.Haggas – Noted running on when making his debut and improvement expected.
Staunch trainer J.Noseda – Another youngster who impressed on debut.
Austrian School trainer M.Johnston – As green as grass but still won on his first ever trip to the course. This exciting colt and Derby entry is one to follow.
Chatoyer trainer R.Hannon – Finished strongly at Wolverhampton from a wide draw and this performance needs upgrading.
Vanity Queen trainer L.Cumani – Never got a clear run at Newbury and finished full of running.
Archie trainer T.Clover – Showed more of his old sparkle at Newbury and is on a reduced rating.
Eskendash trainer Pam Sly – Massive horse who had been off for a while before running at Windsor and will come on for the run.
Back next Wednesday be lucky.