Bill Esdaile previews THE FINAL TWO DAYS OF YORK’S EBOR FESTIVAL
THERE was no more impressive performance at Royal Ascot this year than Acapulco's speedy procession in the Queen Mary Stakes and the American-trained two-year-old will take plenty of catching in this afternoon's Nunthorpe Stakes (3.40pm).
Wesley Ward's giant filly gets a massive weight-for-age allowance, meaning she is set to carry nearly two stone less than her 19 rivals. That's a staggering concession and, for that reason alone, it's clear to see why she is no bigger than 2/1 with Betway.
There is every chance she will blitz the field, but the rain earlier in the week may well blunt that devastating speed and there looks better value elsewhere.
The ground shouldn't ride slow, yet it won't be quick either, which probably also rules out the much-loved Sole Power and King’s Stand winner Goldream.
Muthmir is another who would have preferred to hear his hooves rattle, while it’s more than likely there hasn't been enough rain to make Mecca's Angel appeal at a best-priced 7/1.
That leaves the hugely improved MOVE IN TIME as a decent looking value alternative at 16/1 with Betway.
David O'Meara's seven-year-old was only narrowly touched off in a competitive handicap at this meeting 12 months ago. Since then he’s won the Group One Prix de l'Abbaye and wasn't beaten far at Goodwood.
He seems to go on all ground and may just be the one to trouble Acapulco.
You could have thrown a blanket over Big Orange, Quest For More and Trip To Paris at the end of a thrilling Goodwood Cup and there is unlikely to be much between the trio in the Lonsdale Cup (2.30pm) again.
However, I'm going to take a chance on CLEVER COOKIE at 9/2, who ran far better in the King George than his eventual finishing position implies. The extra half mile will be much more to his liking and any more rain would be a bonus.
I'm convinced that Top Tug is well-handicapped in the opener, but less sure that he stays 12 furlongs, so a watching brief is advised.
Finally, although she would prefer a faster surface, I'm hoping FADHAYYIL will run well at 10/1 with Betway in a wide-open City Of York Stakes (3.05pm).
She became unbalanced when disappointing at Goodwood last time and is better judged on her Jersey Stakes second now back at a more conventional track.
CLEVER COOKIE 2.30pm York (today)
FADHAYYIL e/w 3.05pm York (today)
MOVE IN TIME e/w 3.40pm York (today)