Race Time: 1.45pm Meeting: York
Full Race Name: titanbet.co.uk Stakes (Handicap) Class Two
The 28 four day entries have whittled down to 16 set to run, though it does appear as though David O’Meara is out to take the prize back to his Yorkshire base with no less than five of the entries, most of which look on paper at least to have decent enough chances – and stable jockey Danny Tudhope isn’t even here so jockey bookings tell us precious little!
My original yard selection was Alejandro (14/1) who looks well enough weighted off of a rating of 95, and likes to hear his hooves rattle, and with then going currently described as Good I see no real reason to change my mind unless any rain falls overnight of course. His last win was at York in this class over this trip on good to firm going and off a rating just one pound lower than today, so all is good in the World, while his two runs so far this season should have put him straight for a serious attempt. The stables horses had looked a little out of sorts recently, but have hit form again in the last week or so, and this six-year-old gelding could well add to the stables 2015 tally here, though here are certainly plenty of dangers! Top weight Louis The Pious (20/1) is in the same care and is (obviously) thought of as the best horse in the race hence the burden of ten stone here. Shelley Birkett takes a useful three pounds off his back, which can only be of benefit, while his fourth place to Clear Spring on ground way too soft will have blown away any cobwebs and put him straight for today.
Talking of horses who may finally be race fit, how about Andrew Balding’s Highland Colori (10/1), a seven year old gelding who may well have needed both his runs so far this season to get him cherry ripe. After a no show at Newbury when weakening late on over a mile, he ran a far better race at Goodwood when third to the improving Fiftyshadesofgrey and off a rating this afternoon of 102, nine lower than his highest winning mark, he must have chances granted a decent draw especially with his ability to seemingly handle any ground he races on. Next up we come to recent winner Dusky Queen (10/1) who arrives here for trainer Richard Fahey after a comfortable course and distance win in slightly lower grade a fortnight or so ago. Put up seven pounds for that win she will not find life quite so simple here, but she is reunited with jockey Samantha Bell who claims five pounds again today and from the 12 stall she certoqi0ny has a great chance of making then frame at the worst. Finally, for a real stab in the dark option how about the Charlie Hills trained Passing Star (20/1) who hasn’t won since March 2014, a run of six losses in a row and where the son of Royal Applause has looked a shadow of his former self finishing stone cold last at both Lingfield and Haydock. Slowly dropping down the weights he races today off of 97, three pounds lower than when last seen but more importantly he has blinkers on today for the first time – they make work the magic or they may not, but at his best he would be in with a chance and thus cannot simply be ignored.