BILL ESDAILE PREVIEWS THE OPENING DAY OF YORK’S EBOR FESTIVAL
IF THE rain stays away, and there are no last minute injury scares, we will get our race of the season on the Knavesmire this afternoon.
An all-star cast of eight are set to line-up for the Juddmonte International Stakes (3.40pm), including unbeaten Investec Derby hero Golden Horn, and English and Irish 2,000 Guineas winner GLENEAGLES.
You have to go back to this very race in 1992 to find the last time the 2,000 Guineas victor met the Epsom Derby winner in the same season, and 23 years later the match of a generation is back on.
Lester Piggott stole the headlines that day winning on 2,000 Guineas champion Rodrigo De Triano and history may repeat itself today.
My reasons for opposing Golden Horn are strictly based on price as Anthony Oppenheimer’s colt really is a horse of a lifetime.
The son of Cape Cross added an impressive Coral Eclipse victory last month to his Epsom success, but is just 4/6 with Betway to remain unbeaten today.
Don’t get me wrong, Golden Horn is undoubtedly the most likely winner, I just think he’s too short over a distance a tad on the sharp side against the best opposition he has ever faced.
Gleneagles was mightily impressive in the St James’s Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot and brings more speed than stamina to this Yorkshire duel.
Aidan O’Brien’s colt is not guaranteed to stay, but at 10/3 with Betway, I’d prefer to take a chance on him and reckon he will beat the favourite if he does see out the trip.
Throw in the hugely unexposed Time Test, who looked a world beater at Royal Ascot, not to mention the ultra-consistent The Grey Gatsby, who has never been out of the first two in four course runs, and we’ve got one hell of a race.
Kevin Ryan won the Tattersalls Acomb Stakes (2.30pm) back in 2005 with Palace Episode and the local trainer can go close this year with MOHAB at 9/2 with Betway.
It took too long for the penny to drop for this son of Sir Percy on his racecourse debut over course and distance last month, but he ran on really well at the death.
It was a decent looking maiden and he came in for plenty of support, suggesting the colt is extremely well-regarded.
My selection made no mistake when landing his maiden in facile style at Catterick a fortnight ago and looks sure to put up a bold show this afternoon.
The Aidan O’Brien-trained Lieutenant General has got better with each of his four runs this campaign and is a worthy favourite, while at bigger odds, I expect Mark Johnston’s Adventurous to run better than he showed at Goodwood over this extra furlong.
MOHAB 2.30pm York
GLENEAGLES 3.40pm York