Matt Chapman | York Day three preview
This blog will always be one of truth, so it’s fair to say that York has not been kind this week. Al Kazeem and Venus de Milo, my two big bets, were both stuffed and we need to improve. The Eclipse, King George and July Cup successes seem a long time ago now!
So here we go again.
At the start of the season there was little doubt in my mind that Shea Shea was going to be Champion sprinter. Things have not worked out. This is partly because Lethal Force is very, very good, and partly because he has been unlucky.
He was drawn on the wrong side of the track in the King’s Stand Stakes at Ascot and drawn a little high at Newmarket in the July Cup. I also believe he’s better at 5f than 6f.
Shea Shea is not easy to win with, as he has to be delivered late, but I still think he’s the best sprinter in the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday (3.40) and I expect him to win.
Sole Power obviously has a good chance, although it would not surprise me if Slade Power beat him, while Rosdhu Queen is not an impossible winner at a massive price. She was fifth at the Royal meeting.
However, I’m with Shea Shea (3.40pm) big time – so I’m hoping Paddy not only does his cash but his horses get beat as well. You hear me Paddy? Yeeehaaa!
The Queen’s Gold Cup winner Estimate misses the Lonsdale Cup (2.30pm) and that takes some of the gloss off it. Runner-up Simenon has an obvious chance, but there might mot be much pace here with no obvious front runner.
I’ll take a chance with Caucus (2.30pm) who never had a chance to show his best at Goodwood last time out but prior to that had won at Sandown over 2m and chased home Estimate in the Sagaro Stakes at Ascot.
The other bet I’m having is Itlaaq (1.55pm). A previous York winner he stays 1m 4f well and is capable of running a big race here off a mark of 90. Yes, he’s up against lightly-raced rivals open to more improvement – but he should give a good account at a big price. Be warned, when he wins he never scores by very far, with three of his four victories being landed by a head.
On Saturday, it’s all about the Ebor Handicap. And I intend to make Paddy very upset by finding the winner. Boom!