YORK’S Ebor meeting gets going on Tuesday so who better to mark your card than racing expert Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83).
15:05 York | Channel 4
The Great Voltigeur is one of the primary St Leger trials of the season but also a very good Group 2 race in its own right.
Despite only a field of six lining up its an intriguing race but it looks like the race revolves around one horse.
Across the Stars started off the season winning a Lingfield maiden then followed it up with a third in a Derby trial at the same track. He ran down the field in the Derby itself before taking his form to a new level winning the King Edward Stakes at Royal Ascot.
He has a penalty to carry here which makes life difficult and despite looking progressive I think he will be venerable here.
Imperial Aviator could run well at a big price here. He won a Newbury handicap in great style before being sent off at just 6/1 for the Prix Jockey Club where he finished well down the field. He’s better than that and arrives here on a recovery mission.
I’m not backing him to win however he’s interesting and could be one for the future.
Idaho (4/5 William Hill) comes here on the back of finishing in the places in the English and Irish Derby’s and brings the best form to the table.
He’s only got one win to his name but has been keeping top company and this looks a great opportunity to get a confidence boosting victory before bigger targets later in the season.
Despite the short price, he should be too good here.
15:40 York | Channel 4
The Juddmonte Stakes is one of the highlights of the season and this looks a fantastic race. In my opinion this is the best Group 1 race of the season so far and I cannot wait to watch this, but who wins?
The King George winner Highland Reel loves quick ground and looked better than ever last time out. This looks a better race than the King George was however he is on the top of his game and will give 100% here.
I expect him to attempt to make all here and run well, however this is a tougher race and I think he will run in to a place at best.
Hawkbill has improved out of all recognition this season and took his form to new levels when winning the Eclipse last time out. His trainer Charlie Appleby is convinced there is more to come from him however this requires a further step up.
He’s encountering very different ground and I get the feeling the Eclipse fell into his hands last time with his rivals either not staying or handling conditions. He’s clearly a talented colt however I’m not backing him today.
The Grey Gatsby interests me however I just cannot back him. He’s been out of form lately however this is his optimum conditions and it’s worth noting he beat all bar Australia in this race two years ago under these conditions and has a fantastic course record. If anyone is looking for some each-way value he could be the one.
I generally try not to tip up favourites however this is going to be two from two as I simply cannot get away from Postponed (7/4 Betfair) here and I expect him to win this.
He missed the King George (was an odds on favourite before withdrawal) and to me he is the currently the best middle distance horse in training.
In the last year he is unbeaten, winning two Group 2′s and three Group 1 races in that time and he’s looked better with every start. He missed his King George as he had a temperature and Roger Varian is convinced he is back to his best form now.
The stable are back amongst the winners lately and despite concerns about the trip, he travels so easily and the pace here is likely to be fierce that his stamina will come in to play.
He should win this before going on to Chantilly for the Arc.
15:05 York – Idaho to win (4/5 William Hill)
15:40 York – Postponed to win (7/4 Betfair)
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