Thursday 20 August 2020 4:41 pm

Koeman might manage to land day three opener

Bill Esdaile is City A.M. racing editor and managing director of Square in the Air.

MARK Johnston looks to hold the key to day three’s opening 1m4f handicap (1:45pm) with Zabeel Champion.

He looked to be crying out for this step up to 12 furlongs last time when outpaced early on before making eye-catching late headway to take second.

However, connections would have wanted the rain clouds to linger for a little longer and with the ground expected to dry out by Friday he’s worth taking on at 7/4.

KOEMAN is the way to go, with the combination of better ground and a genuine galop set to be right up his street.

He was caught out in a tactical affair last time at Ascot and is much better judged on some of his good runs in Dubai over the winter and into the spring.

He’s slipped to a workable mark of 97, looks set to get his conditions and the Mick Channon team is in good order, so take the 14/1.

After that, we’ve got a real puzzle of Group Two Lonsdale Cup (2:15pm) to solve.

Nayef Road, who’s chased home the mighty Stradivarius on his last two starts, looks the obvious one, but he’s been to York on two occasions and not run his race on either one.

He looks sure to make this a true test from the front which could easily set it up for a closer and there’s every chance that will suit EAGLES BY DAY.

He won the Group Three Silver Cup at this track two starts back, picking off his rivals one by one as stamina came to the fore.

This is a tougher assignment and he’ll have to step up again, but the race might just fall into his lap and 8/1 looks too big.

POINTERS

Koeman                14/1       1:45pm York

Eagles By Day     8/1         2:15pm York

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