Flash can be York saviour
Man On The Spot previews all of the action on the Knavesmire from the opening day of York's Ebor meeting.
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A devilishly difficult start for punters as most of these have a chance on their best efforts, though some arrive in better form than others. A market check is advised, especially regarding Mick Easterby's pair Ancient Cross and ABOVE STANDARD. The former beat Goldream and Judge 'n Jury here in May with Secret Asset, winner of this two years ago, a close-up sixth and recent Ripon winner Cheviot among the also-rans having been hampered at the start. But his stablemate has made giant strides over 5f this year and his latest fourth at Goodwood suggests he's well up to winning in this grade so he gets a tentative vote. Doctor Parkes won well at Doncaster on Saturday but now has a penalty to overcome and more interesting is Barnet Fair, who ran well in the Stewards' Cup after winning at Ascot where Long Awaited was sent off favourite but never figured after blowing the start. Zero Money and Lady Gibraltar also have each-way claims but Whozthecat has plenty of weight now and this may be too sharp for Ladyship.
THE GREY GATSBY took a while to find his stride on debut over 6f here last month but he still stayed on strongly to get the better of subsequent Goodwood scorer Brazos with Ventura Quest, another who won next time, back in third. The extra furlong is certain to suit and Kevin Ryan's charge looks a nice prospect. First Flight won by three lengths at Newbury on his debut but that form has a couple of question marks hanging over it and Il Paparazzi may be a bigger danger having impressed in a maiden over course and distance on his second start. Treaty Of Paris is a bit more exposed but should run his race again and is preferred to the filly Lady Lara of the others.
Telescope is back against his own age group having failed to overtake the older David Livingstone when long odds-on for a Group 3 over 1m2f at Haydock 11 days ago. Sir Michael Stoute remains convinced he is a smart performer but there are a few questions to answer now and he's not going to be much of a price in this. Spillway beat Nichols Canyon in a handicap at Sandown in the spring and wasn't beaten far when third to Cap O'Rushes in the Gordon Stakes at Goodwood but the one to take out of that race was probably the fifth SECRET NUMBER, who was twice denied a run when travelling well. This galloping track should play to the Godolphin colt's strengths and he could be a bit of value. Willie The Whipper has been highly tried this year while Foundry could be anything after winning his only start by seven lengths in November, though it's a bit of a worry that he hasn't been seen since.
Toronado is a high-class miler, as he proved when beating Dawn Approach and Declaration Of War in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood. He has a relaxed style of racing and that will give him every chance of lasting home over this longer trip but he still may not be good enough to beat AL KAZEEM. Roger Charlton's entire is bidding for a fourth successive Group 1 success after beating Declaration Of War by two lengths in the Coral-Eclipse and you can guarantee he'll gallop all the way to the line. Irish Derby winner Trading Leather was no match for Novellist in the King George but will run his race again, though he's closely matched with the improving Hillstar on Ascot form. Rewarded is no slouch but looks well out of his depth in this company.
Broxbourne was never really travelling with any purpose when only sixth to Homeric at Ascot earlier this month having beaten that rival over the same course and distance earlier. But she had High Office behind when winning over a marathon trip at Goodwood in between and should do better here reunited with Joe Fanning. Mark Johnston also runs Party Line, who won over 1m6f at Musselburgh last time, while Mawaqeet must have every chance of reversing running here with Eagle Rock on better terms, though disappointed behind Broxbourne and Homeric subsequently. The aforementioned Eagle Rock was sixth in this last year and has been in decent form of late while Suraj has been quite highly tried so far this season and is another to consider but we like the look of FLASHMAN off a low weight. He had All The Aces back in third when scoring over course and distance last month and should reverse Ayr running in June with Jonny Delta over this longer trip. Willie Wag Tail and Martin Chuzzlewit try a new trip and have become expensive to follow.
Mark Johnston is responsible for three of the top five in a fiercely competitive nursery and none of his trio can be safely ruled out, though Tanseeb finished just ahead of Ifwecan when a half-length second to Flying Bear in a similar contest at Goodwood when Jazz was a close-up third. The winner and Charlie Hills' colt are others for the short-list here while Richard Hughes rides top weight Coulsty, third in a Listed race at Deauville earlier this month. His trainer, Richard Hannon, also saddles Banaadeer who is only a couple of pounds higher than when a close second at Ascot and Ventura Quest won well at Ripon after coming up against a couple of potentially smart two-year-olds here on debut. Mary's Daughter won this at 33/1 last year and THORNABY NASH will probably also start at big odds but he has shown definite signs of ability and Redcar running gives him the beating of Morning Post. With Julie Burke claiming 3lb, he could be very well treated and should be thereabouts granted luck in-running.