The high class action continues at York on Thursday and Kevin Blake has two tips in some of the afternoon's early competitive action...
"Returning to this shorter trip promises to suit and while his draw is wider than ideal, he is selected in the hope that he can drop into a reasonable slot without getting caught too wide."
Day two of the Ebor meeting at York is another excellent day of racing. By the time you read this, day one will hopefully have been kind to this column, but regardless, we'll kick on and try and pull a winner or two out of Thursday's fare.
Korker to deliver on early promise
The Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes (14:25) isn't the type of contest that floats everyone's boat, but I can't let it pass without taking a chance on the Karl Burke-trained Korker.
The son of Dandy Man very much came onto my radar after his highly-promising debut in a strong maiden at this track back in May. He missed the kick quite badly that day and flew home to finish second, running the final three furlongs 0.7 seconds faster than the 101-rated older horse Mr Lupton did when winning a six-furlong handicap later on the card.
Considering the promise of that run, I was expecting him to put on a show when he reappeared at Carlisle later that month, but he was workmanlike in beating off some average opposition. From there, he was thrown into the deep end for the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot and again he ran just ok, finishing in mid-division.
At that point, the promise of his debut looked in danger of not being fulfilled, but he got back on track on his latest outing at Thirsk, bolting up in a novice contest by five lengths with a really powerful performance.
That effort put him in line for a crack at this contest. The main unknown is this longer trip as he has shown plenty of speed in his starts over five furlongs to date, but he shouldn't have too many issues with it. He looks to have a strong chance and hopefully this is the day that he delivers on all of the promise he showed on his debut.
Astro can be King if draw not an issue
The second race of interest is the Clipper Logistics Handicap (15:00) and the one I like is the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Astro King.
This is a case of unfinished business, as those with longish memories may recall that I selected him for the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot. All was going smoothly that day when he powered to the front in the closing stages to readily see off 19 rivals on his side of the track, but the problem was that Real World had sprouted wings on the opposite side of the track and bolted up. Frustrating!
The handicapper left Astro King unchanged after that, which obviously makes him look attractively treated. Thus, it wasn't a surprise to see him sent off favourite for the John Smith's Cup Handicap at this track last time, but he was found to be lame after finishing in mid-division.
Returning to this shorter trip promises to suit and while his draw is wider than ideal, he is selected in the hope that he can drop into a reasonable slot without getting caught too wide. If the first couple of furlongs go smoothly for him, it would be no surprise to see him go very well.
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