Blue in Name & Colour at York
The Ebor handicap is a race to truly enjoy as these high class staying flat horses test their metal against each other on the Knavesmire.
Verdana Blue is a most interesting runner for jumps trainer Nicky Henderson. She just failed to hold on and win the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot when run down late by Coeur De Lion. She raced quite freely that day early in the race and will be much more at home behind the stronger gallop here. Less we forget this mare lowered the unbeaten hurdles record of then champion hurdler Buveur D’air in the Christmas hurdle at Kempton. The key to this mare over hurdles was a minimum trip of two miles on a flat course with the ground quick. Summer flat good ground will be like good to firm jumping ground and York is pan flat so you get my drift. She was as highly rated as 172 over hurdles so her mark of 102 underestimates her ability as this is only her third flat turf start.
Ghostwatch was a very good three year old wining a listed 1m6f race at Ascot. In behind that day were Mekong, Austrian School & Enbihaar. The latter won the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup yesterday and all three horses beaten by Ghostwatch at Ascot in 2008 are rated in the low to mid 110’s now. Ghostwatch missed all of last season only returning in June this year when down the field at Newmarket. His last two runs are much more promising like when giving loads of weight to winner Cape Coast at Newmarket over this trip on soft ground. He backed that good run up with a third place finish at Deauville in a listed race over 1m7f. A rating of 106 looks fine and he is well drawn in stall 10 with William Buick booked to ride. The big prices available yesterday have been snapped up but he remains a good each way bet in a very competitive race.
York - 3:40
0.5 Point EACH WAY Verdana Blue (10/1 Paddy Power & Betfair SB, both paying 6 places & best odds guaranteed)
0.5 Point EACH WAY Ghostwatch (10/1 Paddy Power & Betfair SB, both paying 6 places & best odds guaranteed)