York Ebor Festival Thursday Tips: A trio of bets for day two on the Knavesmire

Race Action
Tony has three bets for the second day of the York Ebor Festival

Tony hit the bar yesterday when his 20/1 selection Marnie James finished second in the opener, but our man is back with three tips for Thursday's racing at York...

"His earlier efforts over this mile trip at Windsor and Chelmsford (from a very poor draw in 11) suggests he retains plenty of ability, as does his course-and-distance effort in May, as he did well to be beaten little over 4 lengths there given the way the race unfolded for him from off the pace."

Back Bless Him at 17.016/1 win or 4.57/2 place 15:00 at York

Little betting appeal in Enable v Magical

The good news is that the mighty Enable struts her stuff in the Yorkshire Oaks at 15:35 on Thursday but sorry to report that she does so against a mere three rivals and the race has as much appeal (betting, that is) as the thought of waking up with Boris still in charge on November 1st or retiring at the age of 75.

Yes, that will be none.

It is basically 3/10 Enable plays 4/1 Magical on the exchange, and I am sure there will be some willing to side with the outsider of that pair given only ¾ length has separated the fillies at Churchill Downs and Sandown.

But Enable looked more dominant than the winning margin suggested in the Eclipse, and comes here on the back of that thrilling King George win over Crystal Ocean, so you won't find many races easier to let slide from a betting point of view than this Group 1.

Moment can give us a Precious win

Unusually for a juvenile race, I like the shape of the Lowther at 13:55 as I think the market has over-reacted to Precious Moment's defeat over 7f at Leopardstown last time.

Back Aidan O'Brien's filly at 11.010/1 win and 3.02/1 place, or bigger.

Given she is a half-sister to the stable's Queen's Vase winner (the 2m version, too) Sword Fighter, you would have thought stamina for 7f would be the least of her problems, but she certainly didn't finish off her race over that trip last time - I thought she was coming to win the race once straightening up, only to weaken tamely close home - and the step back down to 6f looks an obvious move.

And she is more speedily-bred than the Galileo colt Sword Fighter.

It was her pace that nearly saw her take a Group 2 over 6f at the Curragh previously - she traded at the minimum price of 1.011/100 when quickening up smartly before the furlong pole to seemingly put the race to bed, only to get reined in by the unbeaten Albigna yards from the line - and I don't see a lot of depth to this race.

Precious Moment's pedigree also strongly suggests she will relish this quick ground, the fastest she has faced to date.

I have no arguments with Liberty Beach being the clear favourite here after her Molecomb win and she could prove very hard to beat if staying this 6f - as I suspect she will - and that is why I want a win-and-place play on my selection.

But there is not a great deal to fear elsewhere, for all Under The Stars and Wejdan are unbeaten and Albany runner-up Celtic Beauty looked good stepped back to 5f at Naas last time in a first-time tongue-tie.

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Bless Him handicapped to play a major role

I am not going anywhere near the 22-runner 2yo race at 14:25 thanks very much though, again, I don't think you can have any beef with Show Me Show Me - I had a flash back to the 80s and "Chase Me Chase Me" Duncan Norvelle there - topping the betting around the 5/1 mark.

But, below him, I couldn't see the wood for the trees, there were so many with credible claims.

However, the 1m handicap at 15:00 is much more my cup of tea.

I was going to take two win-only against the field - Kynren may be a nearly horse but he will surely be very hard to kick out of the first five - but the final vote went to Bless Him at 17.016/1 win and 4.57/2 place, or bigger.

Unfortunately, the 20/1 each-way, five places, with the Betfair Sportsbook went early on Wednesday afternoon. Indeed, his price crashed industry-wide, but the 16/1 on the exchange at the time of writing is still more than acceptable.

This horse has plainly not gone on from his Britannia win on fast ground two years ago and looks a tricky ride, hence the hood, but he is now only 2lb higher than for that Ascot success and I have seen enough from him this season to part with my cash here.

His first attempt over 1m2f was a total write-off at Goodwood last time, as he was never at the races from his wide draw, but I was mildly encouraged by the way he stuck on to pass a few close home after looking likely to be stone-last 2f out.

His earlier efforts over this mile trip at Windsor and Chelmsford (from a very poor draw in 11) suggests he retains plenty of ability, as does his course-and-distance effort in May, as he did well to be beaten little over 4 lengths there given the way the race unfolded for him from off the pace. It paid to be handier that day.

Like I said, I do worry about his resolution and his heart for a battle if he has to get down and dirty in a tight finish, but he is handicapped to play a major role if things fall his way.

Step back in trip could suit pacey filly

It's a far shorter-than-usual column today as nothing massively catches my eye at the prices in the Galtres Stakes at 16:15 - everyone saw how well Winter's sister Frosty finished off her race at Gowran Park last week, but her stamina is not assured over this 2f-longer trip - and the 20-runner fillies' handicap at 16:50 really does look devilishly hard.

I was going to leave the latter race alone but no way do I think Divinity is a 25/1+ chance, so she is worth a small-stakes nibble at 29.028/1 or bigger on the exchange.

This filly likes to be on the front end, so I am worried about fellow pace-setter Warning Fire in the stall next to her, but hopefully Ben Curtis will be sensible, whatever unfolds.

And, although a few others have also gone forward in the past, there are no other guaranteed pace angles from what I can see.

Curtis is on an in-form and relatively lightly-raced 3yo, who ran well here last autumn, and I like the decision to step this pacey sort back down to 7f. She will do for me at the price.

Best of luck punting on Thursday. Back tomorrow.

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