There's an interesting card at York this afternoon, and that is where we head for a crack at the Placepot...
14:00- There are some promising youngsters on show in the opening nursery, none more so than Richard Fahey's Spring Offensive. Spring Offensive built on an encouraging debut when getting off the mark at Redcar, still looking a bit rough around the edges but ultimately well on top at the line. He has been given a seemingly-lenient mark on his handicap debut and looks sure to go close. Moonlightnavigator showed a good attitude to get off the mark at Musselburgh and he ran to a similar level at Newcastle despite not being seen to best effect. Granted a stronger gallop here, it would be little surprise were the thrice-raced Moonlightnavigator capable of finding further improvement.
14:30- Cosmic Halo has been more miss than hit since landing this race last year off a 1 lb higher mark, but she ran well when finishing runner-up here on her penultimate outing, and can go close with Paul Hanagan in the saddle. Cosmic Halo is no banker, however, so we will also put Duke of Yorkshire in the permutation as he got back on the right track when finishing runner-up at Beverley last month, and he is on a fair mark having been rather in-and-out for most of the season.
15:00- With eight set to go to post, we will save lines and bank on Marco Botti's consistent three-year-old Naadirr. He has yet to win this term but has progressed well, finishing placed in valuable handicaps prior to running creditably at a higher level, and he can be relied upon to give his running.
15:35- La Cuesta took a big step up when finishing seventh in a good renewal of the Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot, and that is the best form on offer. However, a couple of her opponents have also shown promise, albeit at a less-exalted level, and it could be worth opposing the favourite in the hope of a Placepot-busting result. Richard Fahey's Bamboccianti is the first juvenile we will turn to as he shaped much better than the bare result on debut. Bamboccianti was only fifth at Nottingham, but he showed up well for much of the way, simply paying the price for trying to go with the front pair, and he ought to be capable of much better with the benefit of that outing under his belt. Beau Eile also showed plenty of promise on debut, narrowly going down at Beverley, and she wouldn't need to improve much to be on the premises here.
16:05- Chivers showed improved form when his stamina was tested at Redcar, staying on strongly to prevail, and the extra two furlongs this afternoon can help draw an even better performance from Tim Easterby's charge. The three-year-old Chivers is unexposed compared to his older rivals and, in receipt of plenty of weight, he looks sure to launch a bold bid.
16:40- David Barron holds a strong hand in the final leg of the Placepot with Money Team and Fast Track, and we will rely on that speedy duo. The latter has improved for the switch to the Barron yard this term, winning on his first couple of outings, and he shaped better than the bare result when fourth here last time, having to race away from the main action which unfolded down the stand rail. His stable companion Fast Track also comes here in good form having shown a good attitude to prevail at Newmarket, and he appeals as the type to give his running.
14:00- 3, 8
14:30- 4, 13
15:30- 1, 7
16:40- 4, 7
= 16 lines