YORK can be a specialist track where course form often goes a long way, so look no further than ELARQAM in the Group Two Sky Bet York Stakes (2.40pm).
Mark Johnston’s son of Frankel won this race 12 months ago on soft ground, beating the mud-loving and now Group One winner Addeybb comfortably.
His form figures on the Knavesmire read 1313, with that final third coming in last year’s Group One Juddmonte International where he was just over a length behind Japan and Crystal Ocean.
That is comfortably the strongest piece of form in this race and he looks the right favourite at around the 9/4 mark to become the first dual winner of this prize.
His short-head second to Lord North on his reappearance in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes at Haydock looks a lot stronger after the winner went on to take the Group One Prince Of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Johnston then stepped him up in trip for the Group Two Hardwicke Stakes, but stamina was always going to be a worry and the petrol ran out in the closing stages.
Back to his perfect distance of 1m2½f at his favourite track, it is going to take a good one to beat him.
According to the market, Hughie Morrison’s Telecaster is the one most likely to chase him home and it’s easy to see why after he beat Too Darn Hot in the Group Two Dante Stakes last season.
He was disappointing in the Derby after that but has bounced back in much better form this season, finishing just one and a quarter lengths behind Elarqam at Haydock and then winning a Group Three at Longchamp last month.
He is the one many punters will be putting in the exacta with Elarqam on www.tote.co.uk, but Andrew Balding’s Fox Chairman could be an interesting option in that bet.
The Kingman colt had a fine debut season last year and looked to be running back into form when a close third in the Listed Coral Gala Stakes at Sandown on Eclipse day.
There was nothing between him and Aspetar at the line but I could see him reversing the places with York’s long straight sure to suit.
Elarqam 9/4 2.40pm York