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14:40 York

The first day of the Dante meeting at York looks set to be a cracker, that’s if the ground doesn’t cut the most of the fields up, and from what I’ve heard at the time of writing, I’m not holding out any hope.

Starman is part of the Picks From The Paddock, 60 to follow for the season and is a colt that I rate quite highly. His win at York, in the Garrowby Stakes last year, was highly impressive, both visually and on the clock. Ed Walker said that he wanted to target the Diamond Jubilee and Starman has entries into the race and also the King Stand. Any other day, he would be my preferred choice, however, he didn’t like the soft ground at all in his final start in the Champions Sprint and with the ground presumed to be on the softer side tomorrow, it doesn’t exactly tip the scales in his favour.

Brando is an old favourite of mine and he has every chance of outrunning his odds as usual. The threat of soft ground won’t bother him and will have the benefit of having a few runs under his belt, which at his age, he could have needed. That being said, York seems to be his bogey track, failing to win in 10 starts. All things considered, he’s one of the highest rated in the race and if he puts his best hoof forward, he could vastly outrun his odds.

Oxted won the July Cup last year and on the clock, makes the most appeal. He didn’t seem to suit the dirt in Saudi Arabia and it doesn’t seem like that run has bothered him too much when placing second behind Summerghand in the Abernant at Newmarket. He will be fitter and sharper for this race and should be undeterred by the softer ground. Realistically, he should have enough in hand to win this race.


written by Kieran McHugh

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