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17/05 York Preview – All eyes on Stradivarius’ return after lengthy winter break


Syndicate Captain TFA provides his well-researched thoughts on the Boosted £10,000 Place 6 pool on the third day of York’s Dante Festival. After a winter break, will Stradivarius carry over his imperious form from last season? You can join his Syndicate here.


1.50 – British EBF Marygate Fillies’ Stakes

There are three horses in the field whose achievements stand for me. Companion’s stable have made a decent start to the season and she battled on strongly in her last outing to win with a good ride. Over half of the stable’s two year olds have won or placed this year, so she needs to be considered.

Lady Kermit has achieved more than most of the field and looked impressive on debut. She won her last race at short odds but the question is whether she can repeat it on turf. If she can, she will go close.

Great Dame won the Lily Agnes at Chester last week which makes her one form horses in the race and, therefore, she joins the shortlist.

Place 6 Selections – Companion, Lady Kermit, Great Dame
2.25 – Oaks Farm Stables Fillies’ Stakes

Another tricky race with not a lot of form to go on. I’ve narrowed it down to three and I suspect the value lies in taking on the Gosden horse who will be well-fancied, although she does make my shortlist.

The form book ties in Glance and Sunday Star closely, although you need to forgive Sunday Star her run earlier this season when she was a well beaten last. Having watched the race, she had a bad trip out wide and was then heavily-eased when beaten. I would give her another chance.

Magnetic Charm and Natalie’s Joy have the standout form, although both have questions to answer too.

Magnetic Charm was fourth in the May Hill at Doncaster, although the ground may have gone against her that day. However, based on her earlier runs, she has a shout.

Natalie’s Joy has an entry in the Irish 1000 Guineas which suggests she’s well thought of as her stable won the race last year. I have my doubts about the distance but the stable clearly think she isn’t a sprinter.

Finally, Twist ‘n’ Shake is the Gosden horse I mentioned in the intro, who is clearly progressing and her second place behind Maqsad looks all the better after Maqsad won the Pretty Polly Stakes. However, although Twist ‘n’ Shake won easily last time, it was different ground to what she’ll encounter here. I do think she’s worth taking on but could be proved wrong.

Place 6 Selections – Sunday Star, Magnetic Charm, Natalie’s Joy


3.00 – Yorkshire Cup Stakes

A straightforward race that revolves around whether Stradivarius continues his form from last season. If he does, he wins. Even if he’s below that level, he’d need to run well below his best not to place and looks very solid. I’m struggling to see any chinks in the armour.

Place 6 Selections – Stradivarius


3.35 York – Handicap

I’ve shortlisted three horses but my strongest fancy is the Appleby runner, Lucius Tiberius, who makes his third start for the yard. He’s an ex-Coolmore horse who won a couple of handicaps last season before being snapped up by Godolphin. His first run this season came in France, where Gyaiyyaith blew the field away. It interests me that the stable chose to run him that day. I think they thought he was perhaps better than a handicapper but it didn’t prove to be so.

In his last outing, a really competitive handicap at Epsom, he finished fifth but didn’t have the best of trips or look especially at home on the track, which is common at Epson. Whichever way I look at it though, he looks as though he is well handicapped and I expect money to come for him as people cotton on.

UAE Prince clearly has masses of ability but seems unable to take much racing. However, he has enough form to become a player here and will be difficult to keep out of the frame. However, as always, these unexposed types are generally over bet and, from a win point of view, is vulnerable I think.

Mistiroc returned to form recently and catches the eye. Based on his 2017 form, he looks very well handicapped and finished third in the John Smiths over course and distance from a mark of 99. Just four flat runs later, he shows up here off a mark of 92 an, apparently, in form. Certainly difficult to ignore.

Place 6 Selections – Lucius Tiberius, UAE Prince, Mistiroc


4.05 – British EBF Frank Whittle Partnership Fillies’ Handicap

Starlight Romance has shown nothing in four recent runs on the all weather having previously only run on turf. There’s a chance that she doesn’t like the all weather, having tried three different tracks, but the handicapper has been kind and reduced her turf mark as a result of these runs. She may just be out of form but, back to the scene of her last win with an identical mark of 85, there is a high possibility that she returns to form.

It’s interesting that Accommodate lines up in this race rather than a 3-year-old handicap and I suspect the stable thinks she has a nice mark. The key form is her win at Chelmsford, when she beat Muchly into third. Off a mark of just 83, there is every chance Accommodate is thrown in here and, although it’s guesswork how she has progressed over the winter, there is no better stable than the Stoute stable for bringing these types along. Impossible to leave her out.

Dream World has won her last two well and produced an eye-catching performance on her last run, looking as though she still had more in the tank. The handicapper has hit her hard and she takes a massive step up in class but the stable tend to be very good at placing their horses that are well handicapped. The booking of a champion jockey also catches my eye and she is likely to run well.

Place 6 Selections – Starlight Romance, Accommodate, Dream World


4.35 – Yorkshire Equine Practice Handicap

Tenax catches my eye with the booking of Ryan Moore as well as his two runs this season. In his last outing he was well beaten after reared when the stalls open, being outpaced mid-race before finishing well. He meets Free Love again on 7lbs better terms today and, with the bigger field likely to suit him as well as Moore in the saddle, I’ll be disappointed if he’s not close.

I backed True Hero last time after an amazingly eye-catching seasonal debut but he had a shocker. I’m willing to forgive and forget though and, if you go back to his seasonal debut, he travelled like a much better rated animal than 80 (off of 79 today) and should have won. He can run better today.

Place 6 Selections – Tenax, True Hero

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