The Duke on Ebor Day Four

Stradivarius made winning a million quid oh so easy by sweeping home in the Lonsdale Cup on the third day of York’s Ebor Meeting. By winning the race he secured a million pound bonus, after his successes at Ascot and Goodwood, as well as an earlier season win at York.

Perhaps more surprisingly, Battaash failed to score in the Nunthorpe Stakes. Many had considered it a formality but something about York doesn’t suit him and he didn’t put his best hoof forward. In the end Alpha Delphini was deemed to have won by the narrowest of margins after a lengthy photo finish with Mabs Cross.

The big race on Saturday is the Ebor. Bookies have been running scared of the Irish good thing Stratum, trained by Willie Mullins. He was third in the Ascot Stakes at Royal Ascot before a really good win at Newbury. I certainly respect his chances, but 3/1 is short enough for a horse in one of the hottest handicaps of the year.

Funnily enough, Mullins also has second-fav Whiskey Sour, whose current mark wouldn’t be that exciting on known form but he did run pretty close behind Stratum at Ascot.

Nakeeta won the race last year off 4lbs lower and he’s clearly been prepped this season for a repeat. I think 11/1 is a really fair price and he’ll be in my betting slips.

Another who could have a chance despite a big weight is Dylan Mouth, who is a Group horse in a handicap. He won a Group 3 at York most recently and as he is in such good form a price of 20/1 is more than fair.

Platitude is also in with a good chance at 22/1, having run a much better race than the 8th place would suggest at Goodwood last time. Prior to that he’d run well in a Listed race over two miles. He likes this quicker ground and I think he could run at least into the frame. Obviously in such a hot handicap, it will take some luck too, but hopefully those three may have a chance against the hotpot favourite.

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