Ebor Handicap 2017: Timeform's runner-by-runner guide

The Ebor Handicap is the feature race on the fourth and final day of the Ebor Festival
The Ebor Handicap is the feature race on the fourth and final day of the Ebor Festival

Timeform bring you their runner-by-runner guide to Saturday's Ebor Handicap at York...

"Should still prove a high-class stayer and respected accordingly..."

Ebor Handicap
Saturday 26th August, 15:35

1. SOLDIER IN ACTION (Mark Johnston/Richard Kingscote)
Won handicap at Epsom in June and appreciated return to 1¾m when back to winning ways at Goodwood by head from Blakeney Point. Prominent racer who should run his race once again.

2. LORD YEATS (Jedd O'Keeffe/Daniel Tudhope)
Won 1½m handicap here in May and listed race over same trip at Newmarket in July. Below form when fifth to Poet's Word in Glorious Stakes at Goodwood last time, but not to rule out just yet.

3. WINNING STORY (Saeed Bin Suroor/Martin Lane)
Lightly-raced stayer who won valuable event at Lingfield in April and better than result when well beaten 13th in 21.5f Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. Drop in trip in his favour here.

4. SCARLET DRAGON (Eve Johnson Houghton/Hollie Doyle (3))
Won over 1¼m-1½m at Newbury (twice), York and Newmarket in 2016 and good one and three quarter lengths third to Poet's Word in Glorious Stakes at Goodwood last time. Stamina to prove.

5. ELIDOR (Mick Channon/R.P. Whelan)
Won listed race at Nottingham in April but below form in 2m Henry II Stakes at Sandown in May. Soon back to form when third to Rekindling in Curragh Cup last time, but well held in this last year.

6. CLEVER COOKIE (Peter Niven/Graham Lee)
Won 2m Yorkshire Cup in 2016 and not discredited in three of last four starts, including when not seen to best effect when third to Rare Rhythm in C&D listed race last time. Sixth in this race in 2014.

7. BATTERSEA (Roger Varian/David Egan (5))
Won 1¾m handicap at Meydan in 2016 and respectable return from off eight months off when sixth in 2m Sagaro Stakes at Ascot last time, having hopeless task from position. Fourth in this a year ago.

8. IVAN GROZNY (Willie Mullins/Jim Crowley)
Favourite for last year's renewal after winning at Galway by 14 lengths, but missed the race. Won Grimes Hurdle and Istabraq Hurdle in 2016, but brought down early last time. Contender if over that.

9. TOP TUG (Alan King/Martin Harley)
Won over this trip at Goodwood in May and not ideally placed when fourth to Rare Rhythm in 1½m Duke of Edinburgh at Royal Ascot last time. Return to this trip in his favour and set for a big run.

10. NATURAL SCENERY (Saeed Bin Suroor/Edward Greatrex (3))
Won twice at Newcastle in early-2017 and returned to finish second in Northumberland Plate (half a length behind Higher Power) in July. Fourth in Lillie Langtry last time. Respected back in a handicap.

11. STAR STORM (James Fanshawe/James Doyle)
Ran as well as ever when three and a quarter lengths third to Rare Rhythm in Duke of Edinburgh last time, and, for all it's a long time since his last win (2015 Cumberland Lodge), he shapes as if this sort of test will suit. Positive jockey booking.

12. COHESION (David Bridgwater/George Wood (3))
Won 1½m handicap at Wolverhampton in March and efforts best excused last two starts, in valuable event at Lingfield and Prix de Barbeville at Chantilly, going for home too soon on latter occasion.

13. ARCH VILLAIN (Amanda Perrett/Pat Dobbs)
Returned as good as ever last term, winning two minor events at Lingfield and handicap at Ascot, but not seen since and this looks a tough race in which to make his seasonal reappearance.

14. NAKEETA (Iain Jardine/Callum Rodriguez (5))
Consistent sort who produced another creditable effort when four and a half lengths fourth over this trip at Newmarket last time. Has run well all three starts at York but opposable for win purposes.

15. DUBKA (Sir Michael Stoute/Josephine Gordon)
Smart filly who won four times in 2016. Back to best when second to Endless Time in Lillie Langtry Stakes at Goodwood last time, only edged out final strides. Now 11 lb higher than last handicap run.

16. FLYMETOTHESTARS (Sir Mark Prescott/Luke Morris)
Won three of first four and did extremely well under circumstances when three quarters of a length third to Higher Power in Northumberland Plate last time, seeing things out well despite having refused to settle. Should still prove a high-class stayer and respected accordingly.

17. WILD HACKED (Marco Botti/Paul Hanagan)
Won 12.5f handicap at Newcastle in April but below form when fifth behind Full Drago in Group 2 Gran Premio di Milano in June. Return to handicap company will suit, but has something to prove.

18. SEAMOUR (Brian Ellison/Ben Robinson (5))
Did best of the prominent racers when fifth 12 months ago and shaped well on return when third to Dal Harraild over C&D in May. Respectable effort from wide draw in Northumberland Plate since.

19. MALEFICENT QUEEN (Keith Dalgleish/Philip Makin)
Second in handicap at Musselburgh in April, but below form when fourth to Chemical Charge in minor event there last time. Looks out of her depth.

20. MAGIC CIRCLE (Ralph Beckett/Harry Bentley)
Won over 2m here last term and caught the eye when fifth in Chester Cup (two and a quarter lengths behind Montaly) in May. Shaped as if still in good form when seventh in Ascot Stakes and improved again when winning here on Wednesday. Respected under 4-lb penalty.

Reserve: TAWDEEA
Below form when sixth to Gawdawpalin at Ascot last time, merely passing beaten rivals. Has suspect attitude.

Won at Hamilton in May and respectable seventh to Soldier In Action at Goodwood last time. Probably too high in the handicap at present.

Timeform Ebor Handicap 1-2-3

1. Star Storm
2. Flymetothestars
3. Battersea

Timeform Analyst's Ebor Handicap Verdict:
This race looks tailor-made for STAR STORM, who was doing all his best work at the business end when third over 1½m at Royal Ascot last time. That form has been boosted since and the drying ground will be in his favour. Ante-post favourite Flymetothestars is very promising indeed, but he's plenty short enough in the betting. Battersea, Ivan Grozny and Top Tug are others with appealing claims.

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