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15:05 York

A low-key but tricky 4 runner affair, for which the favourite is the David O’Meara trained mare Makawee. She was a welcome winner of a handicap at Goodwood last year, beating Tribal Craft by 5 lengths over 1m 6f, and wasn’t disgraced last time out, when finishing 3rd behind the aforementioned Tribal Craft. She receives the mares’ allowance, which does give her an advantage on the weights, and connections are in quite good form. The only concerns are that this is a tough race and she doesn’t have the greatest record over the course

Roberto Escobarr is the most unexposed of them all in this race. However, he does have some good form, like his 6th place in the Voltigeur behind subsequent Group 1 scorer Pyledriver. He should come on for his last run at Ascot but he was down the field in that race and with that being over 1m 4f on soft, I’d have some slight doubts over whether he’d see this trip out, on firmer ground.

Ranch Hand is a favourite of mine and he’s been going well lately. He wasn’t disgraced in a 2m Group 3, last time out, and the time before that, he wasn’t far behind the likes of Logician and Al Aasy. He’s the highest rated in this race but he carries a 3 lbs penalty. You’d imagine that the race will be a fast run affair and he could be staying on towards the end, however, I think that he might find this a little on the short side.

Red Verdon is a globetrotting star, who’s been mixing it with the best of the best. He stayed on to win this last year, on the same ground, and I wouldn’t discredit him on his latest races. There’s the possibility he found the Longchamp race a bit of a slog and the Newbury race against Al Aasy was too short. I don’t think he was suited to Meydan but the race before that, he finished in front of some top class horses. It’s quite telling that Frankie Dettori has been booked for the ride, having some good history with Red Verdon when teaming up to win a very good Group 2 in France, last year. He’s the class horse in this race and I wouldn’t be surprised to see him bounce back to form.


written by Kieran McHugh


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