Watch live racing from Goodwood and York on Channel 4 from 2.05pm
Europe’s richest handicap, the Betfred Ebor, is the highlight of the final day of the York festival on Saturday.
Many ante-post punters will have been left reeling following the draw for this heritage handicap, with plunge horse Pallasator drawn right out in the car park in stall 22.
Sir Mark Prescott’s charge was mightily impressive when scoring at Ascot last time and, with just a 4lb penalty to carry, the five-year-old is currently a sizeable step ahead of the handicapper.
However, the obvious conundrum is whether, at a top-priced 4/1, the son of Motivator represents value bearing in mind that he will need intervention from Lady Luck to overcome the coffin-box draw.
Personally, I couldn’t back Pallasator at that sort of price (he’s as short as 3/1 in places) and, instead, suggest siding with WADI AL HATTAWI, who has a decent berth in stall 12 and rates a solid each-way bet at a tasty 12/1 with Paddy Power.
The four-year-old’s trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, has sent out two of the last six Ebor winners and Wadi Al Hattawi shaped as though screaming out for a stiffer test of stamina when finishing seventh in a valuable 18-runner event over a mile and-a-half at Royal Ascot in June.
The gelding scored on the Knavesmire on his penultimate start so know his way round here, and with just seven starts under his belt he remains open to further progress.
Clever Cookie and Mighty Yar both bring solid course form to the table and merit respect, while Bold Sniper was a creditable third in the John Smith’s Cup at this track last time and the hat-trick seeking De Rigueur has to be on the shortlist, too.
The first race which Channel 4 will be beaming into living rooms is the Group 3 Strensall Stakes and, not for the want of trying, I can’t find a valid reason to oppose FARRAAJ, who rates surprisingly good value at 2/1 with Paddy Power (as short as 13/8 in a place).
Roger Varian’s charge has returned to his best the last twice, landing valuable handicaps at Epsom and latterly the John Smith’s Cup here. The drop back in trip won’t be an issue for this prominently-ridden type and he is a confident selection.
There are several unexposed types representing top yards in the Betfred Melrose Stakes, headed by the progressive Connecticut, but at 18/1 with Bet365 I’d recommend an each-way punt on Ed de Giles’ KASHMIRI SUNSET.
The Tiger Hill colt has improved since upped to a mile and-a-half in handicaps, and I’m convinced that this further step up in trip will unlock further improvement in the three-year-old, who has a feather weight if 8st 1lb to carry.
Kite can soar at Goodwood
The feature at Goodwood is the Doom Bar Celebration Mile and Captain Cat will be popular following his clear-cut victory at Salisbury last time, while Hors de Combat and Bow Creek, both of whom performed with credit last time at Goodwood, also merit respect.
However, it looks significant that Hughie Morrison is allowing CHILL THE KITE to take his chance, having failed to fire in the Hungerford Stakes at Newbury last weekend.
He appeals as the type to quickly bounce back and, providing they go a decent gallop, the five-year-old’s potent turn of foot could prove decisive in this Group 2 contest.
2.40 Kashmiri Sunset
3.50 Wadi Al Hattawi
2.55 American Hope
3.30 Chill The Kite