Horse Racing: York Ebor Festival – Day 1 Tips and Betting Preview

We are into the second half of the flat racing season in the UK which means that the attention turns to York for the next four days as a wonderful week of racing gets going on the Knavesmire on Wednesday.

The headline race of the opening day of the Ebor Festival is Juddmonte where Baaeed is very warm order as he continues a season to remember. He is more a watching brief than a betting opportunity but two other races in the card take our fancy.

1.50 York


The opening race of the 4-day Ebor Festival at York couldn’t be trickier with a maximum field of 22 charging down the straight track over a trip of 5 and a half furlongs.  Dakota Gold is a previous winner of this race & has an excellent record on the Knavesmire so probably deserves his place at the head of the betting.  However, this is fiercely competitive & the fact he’s 4lbs higher than when narrowly accounting for Makanah, one of today’s rivals, back in May combined with what I believe may be a tough draw, he is reluctantly passed over.   Makanah is actually 1lb worse off for a head defeat by Dakota Gold despite having run 4 times since without getting his head in front.  The market is so tight that we have an 8/1 favourite with the outsider of the field, Mountain Peak who I give a chance to if as good here as he is at Ascot, only trading at 25/1.


Therefore, I’ve gone with one that still arguably has some improvement left & that’s Atalis Bay, this 4 year old having won 5 of his 16 career starts.  Last year, he was 3rd behind Winter Power in a Listed event here at York before going on to land the Listed Scurry Stakes at Sandown.  He never really fired in 3 attempts at Group 3 company but did run a cracker last backend when 3rd of 10 in a really good handicap at Haydock off a mark fully 6lbs higher than he has today.  He’s had a quiet season so far but looks to be coming to hand.  7th in the Listed City Walls Stakes in July, he was 2 lengths behind Makanah & almost 3 behind Mondammej but is 4lbs & 6lbs better off with the pair today.  At Glorious Goodwood last time up, he was a bit of an eyecatcher when 8th of 15 having been denied a clear run at a crucial stage.  Dropped 1lb for that & with the extra half a furlong like to eke out a bit more, he’s the one to be on with the in form Rossa Ryan taking the ride, one of only 2 rides today for the young Irishman.


Back Atalis Bay (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 11.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)


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4.45 York


Later on the card is a fillies handicap over the minimum trip of 5 furlongs, not quite a full field this time but still 17 go to post.   The Haggas/Marquand combo have the favourite here in the shape of Pink Crystal who has won 3 of her 4 races this calendar year & whilst this is miles tougher, she probably has more to give.  Cuban Breeze is her closest market rival & is another with good recent winning form having won 3 of her last 5.  She might just prove better over a bit further but cannot be easily dismissed either.


Karl Burke has 3 in this, with Attagirl a previous course & distance winner the mount of Danny Tudhope & Fast Response ridden by promising 7lb claimer Sam Feilden.  Both are priced around 12/1 & have each way chances but I prefer Burke’s other runner, Guilded with Clifford Lee on board.  She’s a 3 year old with potential despite having been well raced to date.  She ran in some top races last year, most notably when 4 lengths 4th in the Group 1 Cheveley Park behind Tenebrism.  This year, she was 2nd in the Listed Westow over course & distance, and won a Listed race up at Ayr.  Her other races were ultimately disappointing but all of those were in Group company.  Considering the company she has been keeping, she must surely go well on her first start in handicap company off what appears to be a decent opening mark of 97.  Her form has a really solid feel to it & if you exclude Group races which may be beyond her right now, the form of her last 4 runs reads 1421.  From a yard in cracking form & with a nice middle draw, she’s very likely to be in the final shake up.


Back Guilded (e/w) for a 1/10 stake at 15.00 Bet365 BOG (⅕ odds 1-5)

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Author: Martha Chavez