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“A difference of opinion is what makes horse racing and missionaries."

The York Ebor Day 4

Capt. Kneesup

Capt. Kneesup

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York Ebor Racing Festival

An agonisingly slow day in the office – but not at York where the ground simply got faster. No Stradivarius (not as predicted) and no Trueshan (exactly as predicted). I know my astonishing prescience of likely weather outcomes must have you reeling, but that was before we saw Quickthorn, which must surely have staggered us all. Forget who wasn’t there. Just think on the actual time of Quickthorn’s race which was 1.4 seconds faster than RP standard. His overall speed and his sectional times suggest his run was exceptional. The work rates of the horses behind him support the idea that they would not have been able to get much closer – because they could not have kept up. It seems likely that when the ratings come out, Quickthorn will be very close to Stradivarius and not far off Kyprios. My only concern will be the ground, but as it stands and on what we’ve seen, I think we have a truly outstanding Cup quartet one of whom must be capable of doing it in various conditions.

It was at that moment that all news stopped. The Internet died, the phone had sufficient strength to tell me it had no signal. The problem is that if your screen simply remains devoid of action and the little “I’m on it” whirly thing keeps spinning and your internet is operating at the same speed as the delivery of the news of Gordon Pasha’s demise at Khartoum, (Good God, is he dead?: Ed) getting any info regarding the racing, makes all possible punting decisions futile.

Outside the window of the now pointless office, there was so much noise that it masked the fact that we were entirely cut off from the developed world. As Lambourn’s Friday market dismantled itself, largely by hurling metal tent poles onto the tarmac as noisily as possible, occasional tractors and grain trucks or combine harvesters were running through their gears as they got through the narrow streets. Several parked cars honked their horns – maybe to mask the sound of people shouting. I simply had no idea whether there had been a nuclear strike at Yorkminster or whether the Government had changed in some sort of French Coup D’etat.

It is frightening how quickly one becomes disorientated, without one’s E or I prefixes. I turned off the computer and resorted to this real-life philosophical, mathematical, or semantical conundrum.

How many holes are there in a straw? YouGov recently asked 4116 grown-ups this question and the result was 4% Don’t Know – 54% said One – 42% said Two. However, I was struck by how that result was described by many reporters. “Roughly 50/50” – “Almost 50%” – “Nearly half…” As far as the future of poll readings go, Trump will be thrilled.

Talking of dodgy results and even worse predictions, but quite possibly with an almost 50% strike rate, here are Saturday’s York tips.

1:50 YORK Sky Bet And Symphony Strensall Stakes (G3) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m1f 7 run

The trends suggest that the Steventon Stakes result holds the answer with CADILLAC and FINEST SOUND, regardless of their finishing positions and enquiries. With CADILLAC a non-runner, our choice is limited

FINEST SOUND 2pts e/w

2:05 SANDOWN JRL Group Atalanta Stakes (G3) (Fillies & Mares) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m 11 run

NIZAAKA 2 pts e/w

2:25 YORK Sky Bet Melrose Hcap Cl2 (3yo) 1m6f 13 run

Two I fancy for this SHEER ROCKS, who somebody told me was fancied for this and SOUL STOPPER from Andrew Balding’s yard. Andrew  has won the last two renewals and SOUL STOPPER has improved throughout his career as he has moved through the distances.

SOUL STOPPER 3 pts Win – SHEER ROCKS 1½ pts e/w

2:40 SANDOWN Fasig-Tipton Night Of The Stars Solario Stakes (G3) Cl1 (2yo) 7f 7 run

DESERT HERO 5 pts Win

3:00 YORK Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (G2) Cl1 (3yo+) 7f 10 run

KINROSS – SANDRINE Dutch 4 pts total

3:35 YORK Sky Bet Ebor Hcap Cl2 (4yo+) 1m6f 22 run

The trends horse is RODRIGO DIAZ and arrives here off a mark of 105. To date he has a third behind Quickthorn, a second behind Coltrane and he has the late-striker Jamie Spencer in the plate. Jessica Harrington’s EVER PRESENT looks a typical Ebor winner with a mark of 107 and 9-09 to carry. CALLING THE WIND is too big a price at 33/1. 8 places with Skybet and 7 with PaddyPower – 6 in many places.

EVER PRESENT 3 pts e/w – CALLING THE WIND 2 pts e/w  – RODRIGO DIAZ 1½ pts e/w

4:10 YORK Sky Bet Constantine Hcap Cl2 (3yo+) 6f 20 run

SUMMERGHAND 3 pts e/w – ALEEZDANCER 2pts e/w (6 places in several places)

4:45 YORK Julia Graves Roses Stakes Cl1 (2yo) 5f 9 run

ROCKET RODNEY should hose this, but he is just too short. TREASURE TROVE has merit if only for her Lady Hollywood run at Naas, and her 8lbs pull. However, I heard a whisper regarding SWIFT ASSET who had tack issues LTO. Get 4 places form Sky bet for a small punt. The winner is one of these.

SWIFT ASSET 2 pts e/w 4 places

5:20 YORK Sky Bet Finale Hcap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m2½f 13 run

LUCANDER 2 pts e/w – FOREST FALCON 2 pts e/w  5 places with Skybet

 

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