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unibet.co.uk Handicap (Class 2)
2.45pm York tips for Friday’s Class 2 race. The ITV4 action at York on Friday kicks off with a twenty runner handicap, which we attempt to pick apart to find the winner of this tricky race. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
IN SUMMARY: Cote D’Azur wasn’t beaten far in the Cambridgeshire and up three pounds he’s unlikely to be far away, while Bravery is down to a very attractive mark and is another to consider. It’s hard to escape from the claims of ZABEEL PRINCE though, who is extremely progressive and won on his handicap debut at Yarmouth at a canter. He’s now ten pounds higher but is clearly improving and should have no problem taking this contest under Silvestre De Sousa.
1 COTE D’AZUR – 50/1 for the Cambridgeshire but out-ran those odds to finish a close third, raised three pounds as a result. A repeat of that performance gives him leading claims, but he isn’t the most consistent and that’s a worry.
2 ZABEEL PRINCE – Progressive four year old who has won both his starts this season, running out an impressive winner at Yarmouth when last seen. He’s up ten pounds but is completely unexposed and loves softer ground, so should be very tough to beat for top connections.
3 ZWAYYAN – First-time blinkers did the trick when winning at Ascot seven days ago, beating One Word More by a neck. He idled when taking the lead so a four pound rise doesn’t look harsh and he holds strong each way claims with conditions to suit.
4 STEEL TRAIN – Well beaten on almost all his starts in 2017 for David O’Meara, absent since finishing 21st in the Victoria Cup. Hard to recommend him on what he’s shown this year and it’s best to look elsewhere.
5 BRAVERY – Won the Lincoln off five pounds higher on seasonal debut, finishing midfield in the Cambridgeshire when last seen. He’s clearly well treated at his best and won’t be far away with conditions to suit.
6 THA’IR – Seven time winner for Saeed bin Suroor but both his runs for the Mick Appleby yard have resulted in him being well held. He showed very little in the Cambridgeshire after weakening tamely and he’s impossible to recommend.
7 CLASSIC SENIORITY – Second two starts ago at Thirsk but he failed to back that up on softer ground when ninth at Ripon last time out. Needs to bounce back here and his best form has come over six furlongs, so it’s not hard to look elsewhere with stamina to prove.
8 QUIXOTE – Won his final start for David Loughnane easily but he’s been brushed aside on both runs for Michael Easterby. He’s still four pounds above his last winning mark and he needs some help from the handicapper.
9 HOME CUMMINS – Runner-up the last twice for Richard Fahey, the latest of those in a strung-out field at Ripon in August. Her turn is clearly coming and she went close in this race last year, so has to be considered a big danger with conditions to suit.
10 BARAWEEZ – Running well in valuables handicaps of late for Brian Ellison, slipping to a mark of 92 which sees him very well treated. His fourth at Chelmsford two starts ago is really solid form and he is a strong each way contender here.
11 JUST HISS – Course and distance winner in July off four pounds lower, finishing behind two progressive three year olds at Haydock last month. Loves softer ground and will appreciate the strong pace. Holds leading claims under David Allan with conditions to suit.
12 TRUTH OR DARE – Won three starts ago at Glorious Goodwood but that was a Class 3 event and he’s been well held the last twice upped to this grade. He’s yet to win in Class 2 and he’s never won off a mark this high, so it’s best to continue searching elsewhere.
13 NICHOLAS T – Hasn’t been racing at his optimum distance of late, finding it all too much in the Cambridgeshire last month. Not hard to forgive that performance and a strongly run mile will suit him. Unlikely to be far away back down to this mark and is considered.
14 MON BEAU VISAGE – Rattled off a double in August for David O’Meara but life has been tough off his new mark. He was well held in fifth when last seen at Redcar and with the handicapper not budging, this is a very tough task.
15 TWO FOR TWO – Doesn’t win very often, taking victory at Ayr in July and he’s now back down to that mark. He’s capable at this level and goes on softer ground, but he could only be given each way claims in such a deep race.
16 ONE WORD MORE – Finished second to Zwayyan at Ascot seven days ago, only a neck down as the leader idled late on. He gets a nine pound pull and is due to be six pounds higher in the future, so couldn’t be discounted with Rachel Richardson taking off a further three pounds.
17 ZODIAKOS – Won three times during the summer but the handicapper has finally caught up, as he’s been well held off this mark the last twice. This is much tougher than his latest assignment and he looks booked for a struggle.
18 MOHAB – Won over the 1m 1f trip at Hamilton in July and he shaped as though he needed further when third over the mile at Carlisle when last seen. He’s not badly treated off this mark at his best, but he’ll need a really strong pace here and could have done with some rain.
19 HIGHLAND COLORI – Won this race off ten pounds higher in 2016 for Andrew Balding, running his best race of 2017 when fourth at Newmarket in September. Looks to have been lined up for this and with conditions to suit, he’s a leading contender.
20 BOOTS AND SPURS – No wins from fifteen starts in this grade for him and at the age of eight, he holds no secrets from the handicapper. He’s five pounds out of the weights here and should be one of the first horses struggling.