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Ebor Festival 2018 – Day 1 Tips

York’s Ebor meeting gets underway today and there are four races on ITV including 3 Group contests, the highlight of which is the Juddmonte International at 3.35pm.

Juddmonte International Stakes     

It is a star-studded renewal of one of the most important races of the season and features the 2,000 Guineas winner, the King George winner, the Eclipse winner, the St James’s Palace winner and the Irish Derby winner. It is also a fascinating mix of three year olds and older horses.

The one to beat is clearly Poet’s Word after his excellent win in the King George last time out. That was over a mile and a half but he is arguably even better over this two furlong shorter trip.

However, on the basis that he had a very hard race at Ascot that day it may pay to take him on with course and distance winner ROARING LION, who gets a handy 7lbs weight for age allowance. John Gosden’s charge has had a few weeks more to recover from his last effort, which saw him take the Eclipse for us at Sandown.

If all eight go to post then the there are some interesting each-way options for punters, including LATROBE who continues to be underrated and yet who is still lightly raced enough to still be improving. He beat Saxon Warrior in the Irish Derby last time out and may also be even better at this mile and a quarter trip.

It will be interesting to see how the rank outsider, Thundering Blue, goes too as these are his ideal conditions and he loves the Knavesmire. He would be a tempting option if any bookies are prepared to push him out to 66/1.

Roaring Lion (win)3.35 York3/1Ladbrokes, Coral
Latrobe (ew)3.35 York20/1Betfair, Paddy Power

All odds quoted are subject to change

Symphony Group Handicap     

The day starts with a fiercely competitive 5f sprint.  Our three against the field here are HAROME, KODITIME and FASHION QUEEN.

HAROME has run consistently well at this track in the past and his only poor recent effort came over 6f on soft ground, so that can readily be ignored.

KODITIME has lost his form recently, but looks very well treated on the pick of his efforts and he has new headgear on today. He is another course and distance winner, as is FASHION QUEEN, who looked to be running back into form when a good second in France last time out.

Watchable, Culturati and Tommy Taylor were also on the shortlist.

Betfair, Paddy Power and Coral are offering 5 places for each-way bets on this race.

Harome (ew)1.55 York25/1Betfair, Paddy Power
 Koditime (ew)1.55 York33/1Coral
 Fashion Queen (ew)1.55 York14/1Betfair, Paddy Power

All odds quoted are subject to change

Tattersalls Acomb Stakes     

The day’s first Group race is the Acomb for two year olds at 2.25pm and here we like PHOENIX OF SPAIN, who was an impressive winner on the all-weather last time out. He also ran an eye-catching race on debut when not beaten far by Persian Moon and we hope he can improve past that rival today.

Again, if all eight runners go to post it might be worth backing one at a double figure price and the one that fits the bill in that bracket is JAMES STREET for Hugo Palmer. He gave weight and a beating to a well touted rival last time out, battling back in the closing stages like a horse that should stay further. This step up to 7 furlongs should, therefore, suit him and he has done nothing wrong in winning his last two starts.

Phoenix Of Spain (ew)2.25 York11/2Paddy Power
 James Street (ew)2.25 York16/1Bet365

All odds quoted are subject to change

Great Voltigeur Stakes     

There’s another top class contest at 3.00pm – the Group 2 Great Voltigeur.

The race is traditionally a key trial for the St Leger and that will be the target for WELLS FARGH GO if he wins today. This is a path trodden by his excellent handler in the past and Wells Fargh looks the type to keep improving throughout the season. That impression was reinforced when he got his head in front for the first time this campaign at Newmarket last time out. The only doubt is the trip as the horse is clearly a very strong stayer.

The main danger could be THE PENTAGON, who also looks primed to peak in the autumn. He was disappointing in the Derby, but looked to be on the way back in the Irish equivalent last time out.

M C Muldoon is an interesting long shot.

Wells Fargh Go (ew)3.00 York5/1Bet365
 The Pentagon (ew)3.00 York15/2Betfair, Unibet

All odds quoted are subject to change