TRUST IN WILLIE TO PLUNDER EBOR PLOT
A massive win for Justanotherbottle in the Great St Wilfrid last Saturday. A tasty 16/1 winner landed and 18/1 if getting on with a best odds guaranteed bookie!
We switch from sprints to the staying Ebor handicap this Saturday at York. A maximum field of 22 runners go to post in the most valuable handicap of the season where winning connections bag 300k and as well as a free ticket to the Melbourne Cup in November!
Willie Mullins has not won this hugely valuable staying handicap since Setanta won in 2009. That is rather long for the Irish Champion trainer not to plunder a big plot when travelling to the UK! Whiskey Sour got blocked in traffic in 2018 while True Self hit the front before not staying in 2019. Willie runs Mt Leinster today and this horse is the classiest he has run in the race. He has not raced since winning at the Curragh over 1m4f on soft ground in October 2020, but we know Willie can ready them with a prep run. Mt Leinster won over 12.5 around Galway on soft ground so will stay 1m6f on good ground fine.
Mt Leinster ran a huge race in the 2020 Galway hurdle won by stablemate Aramon as he was badly stopped over the second hurdle and came cruising into contention only to empty rounding the turn into the straight. The key to this smooth traveller is nice ground and a flat course which he gets today. Jason Watson is the lucky jockey to land the ride and has ridden 2 winners from 5 rides for Willie over the past few seasons. His handicap mark of 105 is fine as the bottom weight runs from a mark of 101.
Mirann just gets the nod ahead of last years winner Fujaira Prince who ran a nice prep here in July. Stable Jockey Ben Coen has sided with Sonnyboyliston who is respected but I prefer the chances of Mirann. He cruised through his race at Royal Ascot in the Duke of Edinburgh stakes before ultimately failing to reel in Quickthorn. Today, he meets Quickthorn on 5lbs better terms and will be more at home on good ground than the heavy ground at Ascot. This race looks to have been the plan all season with Johnny keeping him to 1m4f or less on all three runs. Last season, he finished second to Lynwood Gold in an Ebor handicap trial race at the Curragh giving the winner lots of weight. That was an eye-catching run for a 4yo and a year older he is proven over this trip. Johnny Murtagh is enjoying a great season and hopefully we are on the right one!
York - 3:35
0.5 Point Each Way Mt Leinster 11/2 Skybet paying 8 places.
0.5 Point Each Way Mirann 12/1 Paddy Power & Betfair SB, both paying 6 places.