Ehraz, best two-year-old on my time-handicap and a genuine 2022 classic prospect, is my reason for having a serious punt on first day of the fabulous York ‘Ebor’ meeting which kicks-off a Knavesmire bonanza this afternoon; pound for pound the best fixture on the English racing calendar, by a long chalk!
Back in the ‘golden olden’ days of my career a clutch of lovely cars would nigh on drive themselves to York where I’d always stay in an hotel only yards from the famous Cadbury chocolate factory, from which an all-consuming flavour permeated the air during a short walk; yummy times!
Five have been declared for the highly-prestigious group three Acomb Stakes, an early ‘juvenile classic’ which has had a tremendous bearing on past renewals of the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket, but there can only one winner; backing up the time-figure is a vivid impression etched in my mind of Ehraz storming clear of consistent Buoyant over six furlongs at Ascot to win by four and a half lengths. Previously he debuted satisfactorily over this distance at Newmarket.
Trainer of this £180000 Showcasing colt is Richard Hannon, imperious when it comes down to plotting careers of first season thoroughbreds; significantly he’s having a tremendous season and this is about the time when his powerful Marlborough operation usually clicks into fifth gear. Note him, especially in nurseries.
Shadwell contract jockey Jim Crowley rarely enthuses but he’s looking forward to partnering Ehraz again and I’m relishing the prospect of backing him, at decent odds; all rivals are previous winners, certain to attract support in what promises to be an intriguing betting market.
Rest of a fabulous seven-race programme looks too difficult but there will be tremendous pointers and computing the race-times should provide extremely useful data; other selections therefore will be Tyson at ‘good to firm’ Bath and El Hibri during a ‘Wednesday-nighter’ under Kempton floodlights.
Thrice-raced, Karl Burke-trained Kaboo undertakes an urgent retrieving mission in a twelve-runner Maiden Stakes over five furlongs, having failed twice at Sandown and Goodwood to replicate a most encouraging TH mark in the ‘Windsor Castle’ in June, at Royal Ascot!
There is obviously a good reason why Burke has booked Shane Kelly, superb when landing this column a ‘beaut’ on Eileendover at Newmarket last Saturday.
Following a heavy fall, which resulted in unconsciousness for more than two minutes, Shane is now 100%; none better in the jockeyship stakes!
El Hibri shouldn’t be extended under another experienced ‘favourite’ veteran, Dane O’Neill, to make it third time lucky in the fourteen-runner Novice Stakes over seven furlongs of pristine polytrack.
Three relatively short-priced bets but all feel solid and so, ‘let’s get ready to rumble!’
Selections, Bath, 2.15 Tyson; York, 2.25 Ehraz; Kempton, 6.45 El Hibri.
RAWYAAN was another well-backed ‘headliner’ to score on Monday, 6/4 from 9/4 on Betfair!
Jeffrey Ross, horse-racing correspondent for WMN since 1983 when winning the most prestigious racing journalist award, Sporting Life Naps Table, before winning it a record number of six times collectively in the Racing Post, the current ‘trade’ paper, including 2019