It’s a huge weekend of racing with York’s Ebor meeting coming to an end and plenty of other decent meetings to enjoy, at Sandown and Chester. It’s the Group 2 Gimcrack at 3.10pm, and the ground has gone against Buratino once again and he mightn’t run. I like AJAYA for the in-form William Haggas stable. This colt did really well against Gutaifan in France last time and even if the fav runs – might be able to cause a minor upset.
York kicks off with the Group 3 Strensall Stakes at 2pm, featuring an old favourite of ours in Basem, who steps up in class. He’s interesting, but the selection has to be MAHSOOB, who looked a really good prospect until flopping last time at Newmarket. However, on the basis he simply didn’t stay 1m 4f that day he’s one to keep the faith in. There’s a 1m 6f handicap at York at 2.35pm, and I like the look of KING BOLETE, who has been crying out for a step up in trip. He’s similar to Ajman Bridge – more of him later – and this extra distance can make all the difference for Luca Cumani and Adam Kirby. Only an outside draw is a pain.
Finally at York it’s the big staying handicap of the week, the 1m 6f Ebor at 3.45pm. I’m sticking with AJMAN BRIDGE. His box 13 draw could have been a little better but he stepped up to 1m 6f at Goodwood last time and put up a fine performance.
The Michael Stoute-trained EXOSPHER looks interesting at Sandown in the 2.50pm. He goes on the ground and is at the right end of the handicap. Draw 10 is not ideal, but he could be well treated. Finally, at Chester there’s a tricky handicap over an extended 7f at 3.30pm. Take an each-way chance here with SOUND ADVICE, who scored well at this track last time and has a good draw to work from in stall 6. He’s high in the weights now, but is in great form. So a tough Saturday full of tricky handicaps – but if we get a result along the way we’ll be quids in. You hear me Paddy? Yeeehaaa!