2.20pm York Tips & Betting Preview 17/05/2017

A maximum field of 20 to start proceedings on Wednesday afternoon. Shabeeb looks an obvious starting point here. Twice a winner over this trip, on the second occasion thrashing Montsarrat by six lengths off level weights, Mark Johnston’s charge was victorious in a Ripon handicap shortly after from a mark of 90 which would put this mark of 100 within Shabeeb’s reach. He gave a strong performance in a Group 3 at Newmarket where the 13f trip may just have stretched him, a run that was arguably a career best given the opposition. He was very disappointing on his last start but he had progressed well before that including then only beaten a little over three lengths by Midterm on Good to Soft ground, he looks the one to beat.

Ryan Moore is booked once again for the John Quinn trained Speed Company. Moore has had just ten rides from Quinn in the last five years, resulting in three winners. Two of the wins came last season when atop this gelding so the partnership is clearly one that works well. It was a career best to end the 2016 campaign when Moore produced a perfectly timed challenge to land a Doncaster handicap in October. The long straight at York will work to his favour as he is a horse who needs a bit of winding up, and his other 2016 win came at Newmarket. His most recent run at Epsom can easily be forgiven as he never looked comfortable on the track with the Knavesmire promising to suit far better.

Charlie Fellowes could have a smart type on his hands in the French recruit Repercussion. Formerly with Andre Fabre for Godolphin, he was picked up for £40,000 in November, a price that may well look like a bargain come the end of 2017. He progressed with every start in 2016, winning at Clairefontaine in July amidst three runner-up efforts. He looked like he would come on for the run at Newmarket on his return when a solid sixth in a similar level of contest to this. Further improvement is likely and that would put him right in the mix at a decent price.

Oasis Fantasy was a runner-up at this meeting last season over 12f. He was placed off 95 on that occasion, arriving here from just a two pound higher mark following a pair of below par runs for new trainer David Simcock in Meydan. That longer trip arguably suits him slightly better than this 10f. However, he was beaten less than four lengths in the John Smith’s Cup over this course and distance last summer from a pound higher so his form at this track is solid. He along with Master Carpenter for whom the recent rain is a plus could be the pair that look overpriced in the line up for those who are after a bet at a double figure price.

Erik The Red failed to win in eight starts in his 2016 campaign, but it would be unfair to judge him too harshly on those efforts given that he was placed in five of them, including when second in the November Handicap on the season’s final day at Doncaster. He was placed twice over this C&D last year, including when third to Nayel in this contest off a six pound lower mark. He goes well fresh (second on his return in both of the last two campaigns) so although on bare form he is weighted to the hilt, he still needs plenty of respect.

Godolphin farmed this race in the late 90s, landing the contest three years in a row from 1997-1999. Saeed bin Suroor was responsible for those victories, but this year the boys in blue are represented by the in form Charlie Appleby and Lovell. A 725,000 guineas yearling, he looked like he was going to recoup a fair portion of that in 2016 when runner-up on his seasonal return, but a subsequent flop at Royal Ascot was the only other time he was seen. He has been gelded since and it is interesting that connections are happy to persevere with him this season, an indication that there is likely more to come. Given that he went well fresh last year, he is well worth a second check in the market.

Finally, Frankie Dettori was the man to guide all three of those Godolphin winners home and he’s charged with the ride on Al Neksh here for Wiliam Haggas. A winner of three of his six career starts, they include a pair over this trip of a mile and a quarter. This is comfortably his most difficult task to date but, given such an unexposed profile, improvement can still be expected. He is five pounds better off for a two and three quarter length beating from Speed Company last October on good ground and it could be that the recent rainfall will compromise his chances.

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