Hugo Palmer gives us the lowdown on his three Friday runners at York including a pair that offer his 'best chance of success' at the meeting...
"Both appear to be fairly kindly drawn, will benefit from racing around a bend, and they appear to give us our best chance of success at the meeting."
Each-way squeak in the opener
13:55 York - Caliburn
He didn't quite stay in the Bahrain Trophy over a mile and five at Newmarket, so we dropped him back in trip there last time, although we probably took too much of a step back in hindsight. The winner of that race was very impressive, but we were only a length behind the second, so it was a pleasing enough performance. Tom Marquand came back afterwards and said he was a mile-and-a-half horse, which is what we'd suspected, but the experiment at ten furlongs was worth a try.
A nice flat track and good ground will suit him very well, and while this, like all York handicaps, is very competitive, I'd like to think he goes there with an each-way squeak. There's always a danger of being hung out wide on the bend here, so I'm happy with his low draw, especially as he has an inveterate front-runner in the shape of Mukhayyam just inside him, and that should enable him to get into a good rhythm.
I didn't think he would get into this race, but he's sneaked in at the bottom, and three-year-olds can be quite dangerous against older horses at this time of year if they get the chance. He's back at a trip he's won over, is a big, attractive horse who still isn't exposed, and I'm hopeful he can be competitive.
My pair offer our best chance of an Ebor Festival win
16:50 York - Silver Quartz & Corrosive
Silver Quartz got balloted out on Thursday, which is frustrating and means we have to run him against Corrosive here, which is never ideal. Both horses have done well, but not yet as well as we had hoped. Pat Cosgrave, who rode Silver Quartz the last day, felt that he could be sharpened up a bit, and a pair of blinkers wouldn't be amiss, so that's what we're doing. He's worked in them at home and I've been pleased with what I've seen, so I'm hoping they can make all the difference on the track. He's got joint-top weight in what looks a typically open race, but on the other hand he's also technically the joint-best horse in the race I suppose.
Corrosive is a bit lower in the weights, and also wears blinkers for the first time. James Doyle felt that he was certain to win at Ascot last time having travelled really strongly tracking horses, but flattened out when getting into daylight, and had nothing to race with in the closing stages. He pulled up in front a little when beaten at Newmarket in similar circumstances on his previous start, and I think he's best when having something to battle with; hopefully he can get a lead for longer, but the blinkers should help him maintain concentration.
There's no question in my mind that either horse is at all un-genuine, but it's possible that there might be a little bit more to squeeze out of them by making them focus a little better. Both appear to be fairly kindly drawn, will benefit from racing around a bend, and they appear to give us our best chance of success at the meeting; it would certainly be nice to get a winner on the board after Wednesday's disastrous start.
Minimum Bet Guarantee for ALL races at York
Betfair's 'minimum bet guarantee' on all Class 1 and 2 races in the UK and Ireland - which means all customers are able to bet to win a minimum of £500 - has been extended to cover all races at selected meetings this week, including York. T&Cs apply.