York Tips and Previews Thursday
MORE FROM THE KNAVESMIRE ON THURSDAY! The Dante takes centre stage from York this afternoon plus some competitive handicap action.
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ITV Racing Thursday Tips
1.50 York Paddy Power ‘Making Flat Less Flat’ Handicap (Class 2) 5f
2.05 Salisbury Byerley Stud Handicap (Class 3) 1m2f
2.25 York Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Middleton Fillies’ Stakes (Group 2) 1m21/2f
3.00 York Paddy Power Hambleton Handicap (Class 2) 1m
3.35 York Al Basti Equiworld Dubai Dante Stakes (Group 2) 1m21/2f
4.10 York British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes (Listed Race) 5f
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At 7/1 I’m going to take a chance on DIGITAL producing his best at the Knavesmire on Thursday. He has been largely progressive lately winning well at Southwell back in February and then shaping with promise when third at Newbury last month likely in preparation for this. He has only ever run once at this track and that was last year where he was denied just a neck at the finish by Blackrod. We know he can go well here and I still think he is handicapped to win off a mark of 95.
He has a fair bit of pace around him with the likes of Fine Wine, Mejthaam and even Mountain Peak drawn quite closely so he should get a lovely trail into the race. Raasel resumed his progress at Goodwood last month but a 7lb rise looks a bit harsh to me. He is feared but no juice in his price. Copper Knight always has to be respected here and Alligator Alley also enters calculations.
Only a small field for this handicap but it looks pretty competitive with the top 3 in the market looking to have solid chances. The preference is for VIADELAMORE however who stepped forward on his seasonal reappearance at Redcar when trying this trip for the first time. He will be better for the run and is the one to beat for James Ferguson.
Teumessias Fox is the main danger after putting together some very good runs in novice company before being found out at Epsom in a better race. Madame Ambassador is more exposed than his rivals but never runs a bad race and still could have more to come over this trip and further.
When this market was first priced up Thunder Kiss was favourite and while she is respected I thought that was a bit of a mistake. She did win well on return but this is the toughest company she would have faced and I have a feeling she may prove vulnerable. I like VILLE DE GRACE in opposition for Sir Michael Stoute. He has won this race seven times before so usually targets a decent one at it. This filly by Le Havre ran a huge race when denied just a nose in the Dahlia Stakes on return and if she improves again she will prove a danger to all in here.
Noon Star is the one I fear most as she was always doing just enough to win on return at Nottingham and I expect her to come on plenty for that run. She is so well bred there must be more in the locker yet. Lilac Road is tough and likeable but she does have a bit of ground to make up.
This is always a race where it is worth taking a chance at bigger prices and I like two that ran in the same race last time out. LION TOWER finished fifth at Thirsk on seasonal debut but only by just over a length. He will still have plenty to come and will make a bold big from the front end. Even at the time of writing his price is being nibbles at so he may well turn out to be one of the gambles of the race.
REDARNA finished in front of him in that race after swooping late. He looked value for more that day and if the pace is strong enough here he will have a big chance again. Of the rest Brunch and La Trinidad are the dangers due to their very good form at the track and both will go well. Given the each way terms on offer I wouldn’t put you off including La Trinidad as well at a price.
The Dante is always won by a horse going places and Hurricane Lane used it as a stepping stone last season. Godolphin are represented by the unbeaten White Wolf but he has only run once (and won) but this requires a big step forward and he might need the experience. I like Frankel colt MAGISTERIAL for John and Thady Gosden despite the ease in his price this morning. He caught the eye beaten 2 lengths on debut and confirmed that promise to win at Haydock. He returned with a convincing win at Leicester over this trip and he can progress again to take this.
Royal Patronage is battle-hardened now and would have to be feared if one or two are found wanting. El Bodegon brings plenty of potential to the table with stamina proven as well. Desert Crown has been backed for Stoute but again we have only seen him the once and this looks fiercely competitive.
Even though we have a short priced favourite at the time of writing I am keen to take King Of Bavaria on as he seems to having his quirks and his best form is on softer ground. I have sided with BOONIE who had very good form at this level as a 2 year old and impressed on his comeback run at Nottingham, winning in a good time. He will be better for that run and will go close here.
Project Dante was only just passed over as I think they will have him ready for this meeting again like last year and if repeating his form behind Perfect Power he could have a say at a bigger price. Last Crusader might find this a bit easier than at Newmarket on return and has a good chance of hitting the frame.