Ebor Handicap: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

The Ebor is the highlight on Saturday at York.

Timeform analyse the field for the Ebor Handicap on Saturday...

Opinion was better than the result in the Old Newton Cup and is bred to do better now tackling this trip...

Sun Central is a very well-bred colt who progressed to win a 1¾m Salisbury event on return. Better than ever when taking listed handicap over C&D in cheekpieces last time, and capable of defying his welter burden. NON RUNNER

Number Theory is a tough and consistent sort who progressed well in handicaps last year, winning 3 times at Haydock. Third to Sun Central over C&D in July, and ran a fine race in Goodwood Cup last time. Not dismissed.

Sheikhzayedroad has his quirks, but progressing well, coming from off the pace to win Epsom handicap in June. Good placed efforts behind Forgotten Voice at Royal Ascot and Goodwood since, but needs luck in running.

Opinion won 3 times in 2012, and built on cracking return to land Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot in a tongue tie. Better than result in Old Newton Cup, and bred to do better now tackling this trip.

Steps To Freedom is pretty smart over hurdles and on Flat, winning minor event over 10.7f at Dundalk in February. Runner-up over same C&D on Sunday in cheekpieces, but needs to pull out more at this level. NON RUNNER.

Guarantee was highly progressive last summer, running out a ready winner of the Melrose Stakes over C&D. Best effort this year also came here, but ran poorly at Goodwood last time, and cheekpieces reached for now.

Montaser was on the up in 2012, winning handicaps at Haydock and Ascot (2m), and carried on the good work over C&D on return. Progress has stalled since, however, for all he wasn't disgraced at Goodwood last time. NON RUNNER

Oriental Fox is an ex-German performer who has returned to form for current yard in handicaps, beaten narrowly in a trio of competitive events at up to 2m, and type to be suited by the hurly-burly of a race like this.

Caravan Rolls On's profile is one of steady progression, in frame all 3 starts this year, and better than ever when second to Silver Lime at Ascot last time. This is a tougher, though, and more needed in cheekpieces.

Genzy was useful in France and has been placed 3 times in listed company for current yard. His fourth in Geoffrey Freer at Newbury last week a career best, and not taken lightly if that race hasn't left a mark.

Tiger Cliff is lightly raced, and gelded prior to picking up progressive thread by beating De Rigueur at Newmarket (1¾m) in May. Excellent second in Ascot Stakes next time, and kept aside for this since. Respected.

Blue Surf won 3 times at up to 1¼m last term, and good fourth on return at Epsom. Ran well in Duke of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot next time, but ultimately didn't last home, and longer trip a major concern here.

Tropical Beat's best effort for John Gosden came when second to Sir Graham Wade at Haydock in September, and picked up where he left off for new yard at Musselburgh on belated return. Can get behind, but unexposed at 1¾m.

Handsome Man was steadily progressive in 2012, signing off campaign with victory in 1¾m handicap at Yarmouth. Runner-up first 2 starts back prior to going as if amiss in the Northumberland Plate, and may bounce back. NON RUNNER

Bishop Roko was an easy winner of a Newbury maiden on debut in May 2012 and maintained unbeaten record on turf when beating Genzy by a head at Ascot last month. Open to plenty of improvement after just 4 career starts.

Ted Veale took jumps form to a new level in the spring, landing County Hurdle at Cheltenham. Scored a cosy Flat win at Bellewstown on Wednesday to ensure his place here, and folly to ignore in current mood.

No Heretic won 1½m Newmarket handicap on return, and good third there next time. Appeared to show much improved form when fifth in Goodwood Cup last time, but suspicion remains that he was flattered by that. NON RUNNER

Saptapadi was a useful performer in 2011 before a disappointing Australian campaign. Form figures this year don't make great reading, but he's often shaped better than the bare result, so not a forlorn hope.

Highland Castle was smart at 3 yrs and showed he retains most of that ability when winning at Newmarket in June. In frame in competitive handicaps on last 3 starts, but fully exposed now, and others stronger here.

Hanoverian Baron got back on the scoresheet at Wolverhampton in March and beaten a head by Sir John Hawkwood here in May. Not disgraced in Old Newton Cup since, but that run seems to lay his limitations bare.

Timeform 1-2-3:
1. Opinion
2. Bishop Roko
3. Tiger Cliff

Timeform Verdict: In the absence of the progressive Sun Central, this now looks a good opportunity for Opinion to register another big handicap success. The lightly raced duo of Bishop Roko and Tiger Cliff both remain open to improvement and are worth a second look.

Not sure what else to back Saturday? Timeform Chief Correspondent Jamie Lynch gives you his best bets.

Have you checked out our new, improved Facebook page? It's the place to go for our features & tips!

Get a Free £/€20 Exchange Bet

  • Join Now - Open your account today using promo code VAL225
  • Bet - Place a £/€20 Bet on the Exchange
  • Earn - £/€20 Back in cash if your bet loses
Bet Now

T&Cs apply.

Discover the latest articles

Read past articles