York Ebor Festival – Day 2 Bets – The Top Three

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Yesterday was an enjoyable opening day of the York Ebor Festival for a few reasons.

Firstly, The Top Three began the meeting in good form thanks to two winners on the Knavesmire, a welcome sight for regular readers.

Secondly, despite the small field (and my inner fandom for Paddington), the Juddmonte International did not disappoint, giving racing fans a truly classic spectacle to savour.

Looking ahead to day two, here are my three main plays for today’s feature action.


Group 2 Lowther Stakes (1:50 York) – Relief Rally @ 7/4 with William Hill – 3pt Win

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Beginning with the first race on day two of the York Ebor Festival, although this is not new news, it’s hard to look past William Haggas’ Relief Rally at 7/4.

The juvenile by Kodiac has been a model of consistency in the famous double green colours of Simon Munir & Isaac Souede this season and steps up to six furlongs for the first time later today.

That shouldn’t be an issue based on how she has shaped in some of her races, most notably last time out in the Super Sprint where she powered through the good-to-soft conditions and hit the line well under Tom Marquand.

This victory at Newbury followed a desperately unlucky second in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes where the 58,000 guineas purchase ate up the ground between herself and the winner, Crimson Advocate, however, she was on the wrong side of the head-bobbing finish and settled for a runners-up medal.

Both Flora Of Bermuda (6/1) and Beautiful Diamond (7/1) were behind her on that occasion, and while they could take a step up and improve past, that would seem unlikely.

This year’s Lowther Stakes is one to be excited about as it’s a deep race, but Relief Rally is the one who gets the nod at the head of the market.


Clipper Handicap (3:00 York) – Northern Express @ 6/1 with BetVictor – 1pt EW

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Moving on to the ever-competitive Clipper Handicap at 3:00, Michael Dodds could have a strong hand in the contest with Northern Express at a fair price of 6/1.

With regular rider Paul Mulrennan booked to do the steering, the Zoffany five-year-old has been bumping heads with improving handicappers all season despite consistently running good races.

He showed to good effect in the Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, a race won by Witch Hunter at 50/1 for Richard Hannon who has since won the Group 2 Hungerford Stakes at Newbury on Saturday.

From that race two months ago, the fourth, Spangled Mac, was victorious in a Newbury handicap on Saturday, the sixth, Bopedro, won at Newmarket on Friday, and the ninth, Biggles, bolted up in the Bunbury Cup on his next start.

Furthermore, it’s not just that race that has seen the form franked either, as horses from his victory at York two starts ago and third at the same course in May have won since.

Northern Express has been remarkable this season and although he is rated as high at 101, he is officially two pounds well in and will hopefully get his big day in the sun at the York Ebor meeting.

Listed Galtres Stakes (4:10 York) – One Evening @ 11/2 with William Hill – 1pt EW

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The final selection on day two of the York Ebor Festival comes in the concluding contest shown on ITV, the Listed Galtres Stakes, as I’m taking a chance on One Evening to continue her progression for John & Thady Gosden.

The four-year-old has to give weight away to the younger prospects in the race – Scenic, Sea Time, and Spring Fever notably – but a look through her form suggests she could be able to do this successfully.

Beginning with her seasonal opener, the Galileo filly attempted to make all in the Group 3 Bronte Cup Fillies’ Stakes, the first time connections deployed these tactics, on her first start at 14 furlongs.

Unsurprisingly, she didn’t see out the trip and finished a fair fifth, five lengths behind her well-fancied stablemate Mimikyu.

However, One Evening travelled like the winner when turning for home before fading under Danny Tudhope, so she still showed plenty of promise in a quality field despite losing.

Fast forward nearly a month and she was pitched into the Listed Castle Fillies’ Stakes where she raced in the rear of the field for the majority of the race before making eye-catching progress up the far rail to finish a valiant second.

Voodoo Queen, who has good form in the book, won the race with Ching Shih, a subsequent runner-up in Saturday’s Group 3 Geoffrey Freer Stakes to Arrest, one length behind in third.

To my eye, over 12 furlongs and on good ground, she is still an unexposed type and with Ryan Moore in the plate to steer her home, she has a good chance on the Knavesmire today.

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