Van Percy Scores! Now calm down all you Manchester Utd fans, the Van Percy I’m referring to is the 4yo, trained by A. Balding who goes in the Tote Ebor at 15.50. Sorry little Mancs.
Oh yes it’s the Tote Ebor today, a race full of history, heritage and some heartache. Last year’s race still lives in the memory after Genzki got chinned on the line by Tiger Cliff, a very costly chinning that was, let me tell you.
On this day, I break with my normal routine of betting, i.e. singles and like to do permed doubles in the 2 big 1m 6f races on the York card. The 2 races in question are the Melrose Handicap at 14.40 and of course the Tote Ebor at 15.50.
14.40 The Melrose. A race for 3yos only run over the unusual trip of 1m 6f . A distance too far for 1m 4f horses and too short for 2m horses, so an instant problem when looking at the race as most big handicaps are run over these other 2 distances. However, the way horses are campaigned can be a big help when we come to assessing their chances of finding this trip ideal.
I’m going with 3 in each race so the first 3 are Captain Morley, Battersea and Adventure Seeker.
Captain Morley has been running in good races and most recently ran 3rd at Royal Ascot where he was seen staying on strongly over 1m 4f behind two top class horses in Elite Army and Windshear. That was a great run and fully entitles him to go close here.
Battersea has been brought along slowly be R. Varian, a master of patience and plotting, and this race has always been the aim, so expect him to be bob on for this.
Adventure Seeker has already shown his liking for this course when he won here in May and the plan then was to give him time off and bring him back for this. Last time out he was given too much to do at Goodwood but finished like a horse who will relish this trip.
15.50 The Tote Ebor. My 3 in this are Van Percy, Wadi Al Hattawi and Great Hall.
Van Percy is a mightily progressive horse who has only tasted defeat over this trip once. That, admittedly, was here last year in the Melrose, however the weather that day was atrocious and he is simply a much better horse on faster ground. His progression has shown no sign of stopping this season and a strongly run race in a big field, allowing him to get cover and be delivered late, are the ideal conditions for him.
Wadi Al Hattawi has already won a decent race here back in May. He caught my eye at Royal Ascot when compromised by his draw position but still running creditably well against Arab Spring. He stayed on well that day and this trip will hold no terrors for him. Godolphin have history of bringing defeated Ascot horses here and doing well with them.
Great Hall was thought highly enough of to run in the St. Leger last season. He has since switched trainers but that is not to his detriment as he is now in the capable hands of J. Quinn, who is having another excellent season. This horse has clearly had this race in mind during a very light season, ran well enough last time to suggest he is well, and I will be staggered if he isn’t involved in the finish.
23rd August 2014 – Best Bets
3 x 3 Permed Doubles – 9 bets
14.40 Melrose Handicap
Adventure Seeker @ 9/1 with Racebets
Battersea @ 5/1 with Racebets
Captain Morley @ 8/1 with Racebets
15.50 Ebor Handicap
Great Hall @ 20/1 with Racebets
Van Percy @ 12/1 with Racebets
Wadi Al Hattawi @ 9/1 with Racebets