Race Time: 1.55pm Meeting: York Distance: 5f 89yds
Full Race Name: Symphony Group Stakes (Handicap) Class Two
As this is only the seventh ever running of this all aged sprint handicap we are not sure how valuable the past performances many be but we can tell you that if a three year old scores this afternoon he or she will be the first one to do so. If that record is to be broken then we do wonder if Midlander (20/1) will run a massive race for the in form Mark Johnston yard? He has already won an amazing four on the trot this season, rising in the weights from 72 to 87 for his last victory, after which he was a close up seventh at Goodwood (beaten just a length and a half), but failed to see out the sixth furlong when last seen at Ascot in the Shergar Cup, though the handicapper hasn’t dropped him an ounce from his new perch of 93 and he won’t find this as easy as his earlier victories. Gary Moore is a trainer we like an awful lot and it looked as if he was getting Dutch Masterpiece (10/1) back to his very best judged on his short head second to Secretinthepark at Ascot when last seen in action. He was giving seven pounds to the runner up that day so defeat was no disgrace, though he has been put back up a further three pounds for that good run, but is still nine pounds lower than when at his very best, and is anything but out of the running today.
Bogart (12/1) is a horse who likes it here having won this race in 2013, and raced on the track no less than sixteen times! Amusingly he gave away six pounds and a beating to Goldream that day, and the runner up has gone on to take the Group One King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, so the form is better than average! Admittedly, the now six year old has not won a race since despite sixteen attempts, but he is running off a rating four pounds lower than 2013 this afternoon and is another that needs some serious consideration for each way players – and any cut in the ground may also assist these days. Lastly (for now), Roger Charlton may well send Hunstsmans Close (9/1) here but can we forgive him for letting us all down at Glorious Goodwood last time out? Although only sixth of the twenty seven runners in the Stewards Cup it wasn’t that bad a run to be honest as he was only beaten two and a half lengths at the line and although he had no obvious excuses, we feel he may be a bit better than that. George Baker has been booked to ride so it appears he is targetting this race, and at a price he is yet another to consider in this highly competitive handicap sprint that starts the York Festival. Lastly, the betting suggests they quite like the chances of Highland Acclaim (12/1) who looked as if he was getting back to somewhere near his best when third to Steve Prescott at Newmarket when he was running on at the death over a sixth furlong. He races off a mark of 95 today and has won off of 94 so isn’t in theory out of this, but has never own over the minimum trio and this looks a tough old race to expect him to break that habit?