RACING fan Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) picks out his best bets from a brilliant day’s racing.
13:55 York | Strensall Stakes | ITV
The Strensal Stakes kicks-off Day 4 of the Ebor meeting and this seven-runner Group 3 over just short of 10 furlongs looks wide open.
It’s rare that you can’t write off any runner in a race but that’s the case here and with questions over tactics, it looks a tricky race to call. But I’ve convinced myself it’s not as open as it first appears.
Mustashry (3/1 Ladbrokes) represents the in-form Sir Michael Stoute yard and looks to be improving with each start. He won well last time on the all-weather and takes a further step up in class here.
But with his trainer loving a long-term project he’s of interest. My main concern is he seems to want quick ground and in the best race he’s ran in so far, this may be a bridge too far.
Master The World (6/1 Unibet) has been around the block but seems to be better than ever at the age of six. He was an impressive winner at Goodwood before getting no sort of run at Salisbury last time out. He has the form but the stable is cold and I’m not sure a small field is ideal for him.
The one I like is the former group one winner Mondoaliste (11/4 Unibet). He seems to enjoy the track and this trip seems ideal for him these days.
The main reason I like him is, he has won in August for the last two seasons and this seems to be his time of year. Providing there is early pace on and he settles he is the most likely winner of this.
15:00 York | Gimnrack Stakes
The Gimcrack is one of the big two year-old races and though nothing stands out as the next Rock Of Gibraltar or Muhaarar, there are 11 juveniles looking to add their name to the illustrious roll of honour.
Nothing is head and shoulders above the rest here but at the current odds there is one I think is overpriced.
Headway (7/2 Ladbrokes) was a fine second in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot but didn’t quite follow this up at Goodwood when sixth in the Richmond Stakes.
Now this track is likely to suit him more and the better ground should help but he has to reverse form with Nebo and Cardsharp and I just can’t understand why he’s favourite for this.
Cardsharp (6/1 Paddy Power) is a winner at this level already and ran well at Goodwood under a penalty, which he once again has to contend with here. He’s another that should appreciate the better ground but I’m not sure if he’s up to defying his penalty. He’s likely to run his race and is a solid placepot proposition but I think he’s likely to struggle to reverse Goodwood form with Nebo.
Nebo (5/1 Ladbrokes) was an impressive maiden winner and ran below expectations in the Coventry Stakes when quietly fancied. Since then he’s been second in two Group 2’s and in my opinion he’s the one to beat.
Aside from his Ascot run he’s very consistent and his proven ability to handle cut in the ground will prove invaluable and I’ve backed him to win this.