Timeform pick out their three best bets for the opening day of York's Ebor Festival.
Duke of Firenze - 13:55 York
This is wide open but Duke of Firenze was mightily impressive here in May when beating subsequent Group 3 winner Brando by an eased-down three-quarters of a length. That form makes him top on Timeform ratings coming into this race, and there is hope that he can reproduce that sort of run on Wednesday after getting back on track with a good fifth in the Stewards' Cup at Goodwood over 6f last time. There are dangers aplenty, however, possibly headed by Lexington Abbey, who caught the eye from a difficult draw over 6f here last time and will have no problems dropping back in trip here.
Idaho - 15:05 York
Idaho sets a clear form standard here after his placed efforts behind Harzand in the Derby and Irish Derby on his last two starts. He has already achieved a Timeform rating worthy of winning at Group 2 level, and is some 10 lb clear of his five rivals here on weight-adjusted Timeform ratings, with Across The Stars having to concede a 3 lb penalty for his win in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. Gordon Stakes second The Major General should make a bold bid from the front and could be the best forecast play top finish behind his stablemate.
Postponed - 15:40 York
There are some minor concerns about Postponed coming back in trip here after missing his intended target - the King George at Ascot - due to a dirty scope, but although his very best recent form has all come over a mile and a half, he has arguably improved as a racehorse since he last tried a mile and a quarter. As a strong traveller, he should be just as effective over this trip and should justify favouritism here and land a fourth Group 1 prize within his last six starts. Eclipse winner Hawkbill has to improve on his best to match Postponed (some 3 lb behind him on Timeform weight-adjusted ratings) but looks the likeliest candidate to chase him home.
Timeform UK SmartPlays:
(All from York)
Back Duke of Firenze in the 13:55
Back Idaho in the 15:05
Back Postponed in the 15:40