Ebor Festival Preview – Day Three

Let’s look at Day Three of York’s fabulous meeting this week and the first race we are going to concentrate on is the Lonsdale Cup.

Ryan Moore has ridden a few of these before so it’s interesting that he opts for Dartmouth.

Sir Michael Stoute’s yard are in rude health and if he runs as well as he did last season then he has to have a huge chance. It’s a step-up in trip but I think he will handle it, so he’s the pick.

Of the others, there’s plenty with claims.

Thomas Hobson won the Ascot Stakes and was second in the Queen Alexandra Stakes at Royal Ascot in the same week. That’s some feat, so he needs the utmost respect.

Sheikhzayedroad comes in to it if the ground dries up a little, while Northumberland Plate winner Higher Power has been progressing and it would not take too much more from him to see him at least place.

The big Group 1 sprint of the week is the Nunthorpe Stakes.

This is a fast and furious five furlongs, but I feel plenty of these are proper quick ground horses.

Given there’s some cut in the surface, assuming it doesn’t dry out too much, there’s three of them who appeal to me.

Two of them are the market leaders – Lady Aurelia and Battaash. They both have obvious claims. Lady Aurelia has won on a variety of ground, including soft in last year’s demolition job in the Queen Mary Stakes and on fast ground in the King’s Stand win at Ascot in June. She is a beast and will take some stopping. Battaash is one challenger, although I don’t think he deserves to be around the same price. He’s won impressively in three starts this year, but still, I think he’s perhaps not quite as good as Lady Aurelia.

The value in my opinion is Profitable at about 16/1. Here’s three reasons why – he will love the ground if it stays as it is, he’s a course and distance winner and, if Lady Aurelia and Battaash get in to a battle at the front of the pack, as a horse who will likely track the pair, he could pick up the pieces if they go too hard. Who do I think will win? Lady Aurelia. Who do I think is the each-way value? Profitable.

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