Accurate powers of judgement are required to find the winner of Saturday’s 20-runner Ebor Handicap (4.00pm). Some would say you need to be SHREWD.
Iain Jardine’s aptly named six-year-old is the first of two I’m backing to land Europe’s richest Flat handicap.
Jardine is clearly a trainer on the up, enjoying his best ever season by a long stretch and a particularly good August.
Shrewd has had a great 2016, registering five wins over hurdles and on the Flat.
His last victory was a comfortable success over course and distance two starts back and any rain that falls will help him.
Useful 7lb claimer Clifford Lee takes the ride and Shrewd can be backed at 20/1 with Betway.
In the last five years, three Ebor winners have returned at 20/1 or bigger and I also fancy 25/1 shot SEISMOS.
Marco Botti’s inmate met trouble in running before staying on strongly to finish seventh of 20 in the Northumberland Plate.
He could shatter his mark of 103 tomorrow if running anywhere near his best. The eight-year-old is a German Group One winner and landed the Group Three Geoffrey Freer Stakes in 2014.
I’m hoping that things will get off to a dazzling start with STARGAZER in the opener (1.55pm).
He landed a competitive race at Sandown on his seasonal reappearance before finishing a close third last time out at Goodwood when he probably should have won.
Sir Michael Stoute three-year-olds tend to get better with every run and I like the look of Stargazer with Andrea Atzeni in the saddle.
Stargazer, 1.55pm York
Shrewd e/w, 4.05pm York
Seismos e/w, 4.05pm York