There is a very strong chance the winner of today’s Ebor handicap will come from those that ran without winning in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot back in June. Havana Cooler has just missed the line up as second reserve while Dashing Star (my original fancy) does not line up for reasons unknown. That leaves Elidor, Aussie Reigns and Wadi Al Hattawi with Aussie Reigns looking to have it all to do in Europe’s most valuable handicap.
There are a couple of key stats that I like for this race but the most important is to arrive here well handicapped with a few pounds in hand. Those rated around the 97 to 100 mark and carrying less than 9-4 have fared best in past renewals and both Elidor and Wadi Al Hattawi tick both boxes here carrying 9-2 & rated 99.
Wadi Al Hattawi endured a nightmare passage before running on strongly catching the eye behind Arab Spring at Royal Ascot where Elidor finished fourth. He ran free early in that race and Kieran Fallon had no choice but to bury him behind horses asking him to settle. However, that led to him being hampered badly two furlongs out and snatched up before finishing better than anything over the final furlong quickening like a very good horse to come seventh. Wadi Al Hattawi has not been seen on a racecourse since Ascot but if settling better today has a great chance of winning the Ebor for the blue of Godolphin. An very capable substitute in Sylvester De Sousa takes over today from Fallon.
Elidor is a horse I have followed since winning at Royal Ascot in 2013 and has run some very good races in defeat since then. He is a very genuine tough horse that will appreciate the extra two furlongs on good ground. He ran a cracker when fourth behind Arab Spring in the Edinburgh Stakes over 12 furlongs before getting a proper test for this race over two miles last time out and not given an overly hard ride. Paul Hanagan takes over in the plate today and this four year old can show his true colours today by seeing off all challengers despite a wide draw. It would be a massive win for ex footballer & trainer Mick Channon.
Selection: 1 Point *EW Wadi Al Hattawi York 15:50 at 12/1 Bet365 5 places else 12/1 generally
Selection: 1 Point *EW Elidor York 15:50 at 25/1 Bet365, Skybet & Ladbrokes all paying out 5 places
Best of luck,