Through The Card: York, Wednesday August 23

It's the first day of York's Ebor Festival on Wednesday
It's the first day of York's Ebor Festival on Wednesday

Timeform take you through the card at York on day one of the Ebor Festival...

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13:55 - There's a lot of pace drawn all over the track here and, given the drying conditions this week, there's a good chance of a very fast time, possibly by a horse coming from off an overly-fast pace. ORION'S BOW (5) and Edward Lewis deservedly head the market. The former is a bit more reliable than Edward Lewis so he looks a safer placepot option - he should get a good tow into the race from Tithonus and Soie d'Leau who are drawn nearby and he can go very close if getting some luck in running. HOOFALONG (12) is back in the headgear combination (hood and blinkers) which saw him win at Musselburgh last summer and he has run well over this C&D in the past. He has been below-par on both efforts this term but has dropped in the weights as a result and he looks worth adding as a second string to the bow.

14:25 - There was much to like about the way the long-striding DEE EX BEE (4) went about his business when scoring on debut at Goodwood and, with the promise of better to come, Mark Johnston's colt can take this step up in class in his stride. He's beautifully bred (dam unraced sister to top-class winner up to 1¼m Dubai Millennium) and the fact that he was well backed suggests that he has always shown plenty at home - he can give his trainer a first win in this race since Elliots World landed the 2004 renewal. Fleet Review took another step forward when striking at the Curragh and is the main danger, while Ulshaw Bridge and James Garfield both make each-way appeal.

15:00 - It's difficult to choose between MIRAGE DANCER (6) and Cracksman. The latter went close in both the Derby and Irish Derby and therefore sets the standard on form, but he hasn't been seen since June. On the other hand, Mirage Dancer is race-fit having been an Excellent third in the Hampton Court at Royal Ascot when last seen and he almost certainly has more to offer, especially over this trip. He remains with bags of potential, and his trainer's patient approach can pay dividends once more. Chester Vase winner Venice Beach, who was third in the Grand Prix de Paris at Saint-Cloud last time, looks the pick of Aidan O'Brien's trio with Ryan Moore taking the ride.

15:35 - A terrific renewal in prospect. BARNEY ROY (4) was narrowly denied by Ulysses in the Eclipse but he has the scope for a bit better still after just five starts and is taken to improve past Sir Michael Stoute's charge. Dual Guineas winner Churchill can't have been himself when comfortably held by the selection in the St James's Palace and is also respected over a trip he shapes as if he'll stay. Significant rain would favour My Dream Boat, but hinder the chance of Shutter Speed, both of whom have a little to find on form, while Cliffs of Moher should not be discounted. He won the Dee Stakes at Chester on his return in May and went down all guns blazing when second in the Derby next time, though wasn't in the same form when beaten four and a half lengths by Ulysses and Barney Roy in the Eclipse.

16:15 - Magic Circle deservedly heads the betting, but his best form has come on more testing ground and connections will be hoping that the morning rain is more downpour than drizzle. Preference is for SHREWD (7) who won at Wolverhampton and over one and three quarter miles here (by 3¼ lengths from Rite To Reign) in 2016. He was a long way below form in the Ascot Stakes last time, but should appreciate the drop in trip/slower ground here and he can bounce back to form. EUCHEN GLEN (17) sneaks in at the bottom of the weights following a narrow win at Ascot last time. He looked better than ever, deserving of extra credit for coming from last to first in the length of the straight despite the slowly-run nature of the race - he looks sure to go well again.

16:50 - BRANSCOMBE (19) was last of six on heavy ground at Newbury last month, but this half-brother to Yalta won a minor event at Sandown in June and was second in a similar contest at Wolverhampton next time. He has been below form on his last two starts but is the type to bounce back quickly and the combination of first-time blinkers and a very light weight should see a better performance. ZAP (5) won over C&D in May and his yard has won three of the last five renewals, including saddling a 33/1 winner in 2012. Savalas recorded a good closing sectional when he won at Thirsk last time and he looks an obvious threat, along with Gift In Time who overcame a tricky draw to win at Chester last month and lost no caste in defeat when third to Red Roman at Goodwood subsequently; he's 5 lb better off with that rival now.

Recommendation:

Win back BARNEY ROY in the 15:35 at York

Placepot permutation:

13:55 - 5, 12
14:30 - 4
15:00 - 6
15:35 - 4
16:15 - 7, 17
16:50 - 5, 19

8 lines

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