THE trip is the most important factor in tomorrow’s £100,000 York Stakes (2.55pm), with current market leader Custom Cut having never run over 10 furlongs.
Top Notch Tonto, Bragging and Tullius are all also unproven in the staying department, while distance winner Kelinni is sure to be outclassed in what will be his first Group race in the UK.
Having narrowed it down to Godolphin’s Tha’ir and French-raider PRINCE GIBRALTAR, it’s the latter that I’ve sided with.
Jean-Claude Rouget’s sole pursuit of a Group win on British soil this season was successful when Ervedya landed the premier fillies’ race at Royal Ascot. And his entry tomorrow cannot be ignored.
In search of good ground for Prince Gibraltar, Rouget’s presence on these shores should be taken seriously, not least because the four-year-old also has stronger form than his rivals.
His third in last year’s French Derby and then second in the Grand Prix De Paris, where he beat the top-class The Grey Gatsby, were very strong showings, while his main rival Custom Cut has a best finish of eighth when running at Group One level.
I’d rather back a Group One middle-distance animal at 3/1 than a Group Two miler at 9/4.
As for Tha’ir, I’m yet to be convinced that he’s as useful in the UK as he is in Dubai.
Having hopefully added to the pot from that investment, there’s a bet to be had in the six furlong handicap (3.30pm) as well.
Admittedly, it’s a bit of a cavalry charge with plenty of hard luck stories waiting to be told, but there’s value to be had in supporting Tim Easterby’s SEE THE SUN each-way.
This horse has shown plenty of speed in the past and, importantly, he isn’t afraid of front-running so should avoid any major traffic problems.
Having been put up only a pound for a very promising run at Newcastle in June, he is still seven pounds lower than when running in this race last year and looks the right side of the handicapper.
He looks a decent each-way bet at 16/1 with Betway.
PRINCE GIBRALTAR 2.55pm York (tomorrow)
SEE THE SUN e/w 3.30pm York (tomorrow)