The Ebor handicap is the big race on the final day of the Ebor Festival, whilst the Curragh and Goodwood provide some seriously good racing of their own.
The Ebor handicap was first run in 1843 having been named after Eboracum (the Roman name for York) and remains one of the most lucrative handicap prizes in Britain.
Despite four winners having carried less than 9-0 in the last ten years, none of this year’s field is officially carries less than that burden. However, taking into his useful apprentice jockey’s claim, Ted Veale is set to carry just 8-11.
That 5lb also means Ted Veale can race off the same mark as last year, but actually shoulders 2lb less than when finishing fourth on soft ground. This year’s ground will be much quicker but, remembering the way Tony Martin’s charge travelled on better ground when winning the County Hurdle two years, it may well suit. Irish trainers have also won two of the last five renewals – and he looks a value bet at 16/1.
Ted Veale 16/1 each-way
The Gimcrack Stakes has thrown up some exciting horses over the years, and this year’s Group-2 renewal should be no different. Richard Hannon poses punters a problem by saddling two runners in the shape of Beacon and Baitha Alga, and both have looked impressive on numerous runs. Meanwhile, Kevin Ryan has saddled the last two winners and relies on Teruntum Star for the hat-trick bid. However, Ryan’s charge was beaten fair and Square by Fenndale, and Brian Smart’s charge is a half brother to the useful Saayerr and could give his trainer the big Ebor festival winner he’s longing for.
Fenndale 10/1 each-way
Farraaj should win this at the weights and has looked very impressive coming from off a fast pace in two big handicaps this season, including over course and distance last-time. However, this small field and a lack of an obvious front runner may not play to his strengths. At the prices, impressive Leopardstown and Pontefract winner Custom Cut gets the vote.
Custom Cut 5/1
Globetrotting Gordon Lord Byron returns home for this Group 3 contest and, despite shouldering a penalty, should have too much class for his rivals.
Gordon Lord Byron 10/3
If there’s a horse running today that’s had one race as its target all season then it has to be Magic City. He’s only 3lb higher than when taking last year’s renewal and should take his revenge on Heavy Metal from their last run. Richard Hughes is here rather than at York – and that’s a massive pointer.
Magic City each-way 8/1