Racing returns to the Knavesmire on Wednesday as York plays host to the popular Ebor Festival – and it’s the return of Postponed in the Juddmonte International (3.40pm) that will have fans most excited.
Roger Varian’s charge has already rattled off a hat-trick of wins this season and was expected to make it a fourth at Ascot last month.
However, an infection meant the son of Dubawi was unable to defend his King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes crown at the Berkshire track.
He was odds-on to land the prize before being scratched and will go off favourite here, but the yard has been struggling for form of late and he’s too short for my liking at 11/8 with Betway.
Instead, I’m putting my trust in French raider DARIYAN who is another genuine Group One horse, as proved by his Prix Ganay win at Saint-Cloud in May.
The four-year-old was then second to runaway winner A Shin Hikari in the Prix d’Ispahan at Chantilly a few weeks later.
He also has impressive form outside France, including a second behind Postponed at Meydan and a third to Highland Reel and Flintshire in last year’s Hong Kong Vase.
Alain de Royer-Dupre’s entry has to put a poor run at Maisons-Laffitte behind him, but that was over a mile on soft ground.
The better surface and step up to 10 furlongs will be a big help for this son of Sharmadal.
It’s a very hot contest but he looks the value at a general 16/1 for his in-form trainer who should always be feared when sending one across the Channel.
Wings of Desire won over course and distance in the Dante Stakes here back in May and will be bidding for victory again for trainer John Gosden.
Mutakayyef and Almodovar also enter calculations having run crackers last time out in the Summer Mile and Hardwicke Stakes respectively.
However, it could be Godolphin’s Hawkbill who gives both Postponed and my selection most to think about this afternoon, as he bids for a seventh successive win.
Charlie Appleby’s entry won the Group One Coral Eclipse at Sandown at the beginning of July, beating The Gurkha, but this looks a tougher race.
Local trainer Mick Easterby is no stranger to having big-race successes, with veteran sprinter Hoof It claiming the Stewards’ Sprint Handicap at Glorious Goodwood just a few weeks ago.
He loves nothing more than a winner at his local track and I’m hoping he lands the opening Symphony Group Stakes (1.55pm) with BOWSON FRED.
Like Hoof It, Bowson Fred ran well on the Sussex Downs during the Goodwood festival, finishing a good third behind Boom The Groom and Thesme.
Frankie Dettori, who celebrated his 3,000th winner last week, takes over from Nathan Evans in the saddle and that looks a shrewd booking.
This son of Monsieur Bond is still improving and Dettori will be able to go either side from his draw in stall 11.
He’s a 10/1 shot with Betway and I’ll be snapping up those odds each-way, especially as the firm are offering money back on the race if your selection finishes second.
Fred Bowson e/w, 1.55pm York
Dariyan e/w, 3.40pm York