The Yorkshire Ebor Festival will come to a close on Saturday, but it will certainly finish with a bang thanks to a highly-competitive card featuring the title race of the meeting.
Return to shorter trip to harness full potential
The first race of interest is the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (15:00) and it brings together a really interesting field. Without doubt the most fascinating contender is the Ed Walker-trained Primo Bacio on her return to seven furlongs.
The daughter of Awtaad started this season rated just 79, but has found substantial improvement in just four starts this term and there is plenty of reason to believe that we haven't yet seen the very best of her.
The story with Primo Bacio is that she is a free-going speed horse. She created an excellent impression when showing loads of pace to beat Creative Flair and Snow Lantern in the Oaks Farm Stables Fillies' Stakes over this course and distance back in May, but things haven't gone as smoothly for her in two subsequent starts over a mile.
She has run very well on both occasions, namely in the Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and the Prix Rothschild at Deauville, but on both occasions she has pulled harder than ideal and met with trouble in running. That she still finished on the tails of the main protagonists on both occasions says a lot for the level of talent she has and the key to fully harnessing it may well prove to be the return to this shorter trip.
While she is up against some established seven-furlong specialists, the evidence so far this season suggests the three-year-old fillies she has been competing with are a particularly strong bunch and thus she should be well able to compete in this company. The faster the early pace, the better her chance.
Trip and track likely to cause a perfect Storm
The Sky Bet Ebor Handicap (15:35) has attracted just the sort of field you'd expect a £500,000 prize fund to attract and it really is fiercely competitive.
Continued support for previous selections has been something of a theme in this column this week and that will continue here, as the one I like is the Charlie Appleby-trained Global Storm.
The four-year-old has proved to be relentlessly progressive since entering handicaps, finding more and more improvement as he has stepped up in trip. This trip of a mile-and-three-quarters has brought about another 10lb of improvement in his last three starts, with him most recently finishing a good second to Live Your Dream (a well-fancied first reserve for this race) at Newmarket last month.
The long straight and likely strong tempo of this race will both play to his strengths and while this is obviously a deeper race, it wouldn't at all surprise to see Global Storm run another big race.