Leading lights stand ground for Ebor
Ante-post favourite Opinion is among 53 confirmations for the Betfred Ebor at York on Saturday.
- Related Content
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained five-year-old, carrying the Highclere colours, was successful in the Duke of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot but could not get a clear run when fifth in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock last time.
The majority of the leading fancies in the betting market have stood their ground, including Sheikhzayedroad, Pallasator, Sun Central, Tiger Cliff, Well Sharp, Caravan Rolls On and Ted Veale.
The only horses anywhere near the top of the betting taken out of the valuable staying handicap were Silver Lime and Mubaraza.
Connections of Genzy will consider running the five-year-old in the Ebor following a good effort in Group company at Newbury at Saturday.
The former French-trained gelding, who is set to carry 8st 12lb in the valuable staying handicap on the Knavesmire, put in his best work at the finish to take fourth place behind Royal Empire in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes.
"We were delighted and all is in order. We will make our mind up about the Ebor later," said trainer Ian Williams.
Jockey Luke Morris is hoping the heavens open for his mount Pallasator, trained by Sir Mark Prescott.
The lightly-raced four-year-old won all his three starts last season but has not raced since September.
"He is slightly ground dependant. He is a horse that likes to get his toe in and I'm sure if he gets nice, decent ground with a bit cut he'll be there," Morris told At The Races.
"I actually had a sit on him for the first time this year on Friday and I was very pleased with how he's done.
"It will be his first run of the year and hopefully he shouldn't get too het up. Sir Mark's done plenty of work with him and to try to keep him cool and a lid on him.
"He definitely wants cut. I'm sure if there's any kind of firm in the going you might not see him at York.
"The best result we could get would be if they put a drop of water on and then if we got a heavy downpour that could change the ground. He's a horse that is best when he can get his toe in.
"I was impressed with him last year. He's a very big horse and was probably a bit weak. He's a much stronger horse and hopefully he can go on to better things.
Jessica Harrington reports Steps to Freedom to be on course for the race following an encouraging effort at Dundalk on Sunday when he went down by only half a length to Saxo Jack, who was receiving 17lb.
The County Kildare handler is looking to her versatile seven-year-old bidding to improve on his sixth to Willing Foe in the Ebor 12 months ago.
"He's come out of it fine and we're aiming at the Ebor. All being well, it's all systems ago," she said.