Tiger and Ted the Ebor picks
Simon Holt previews day four of York's Ebor meeting and fancies Tiger Cliff and Ted Veale in the week's big handicap.
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Tiger Cliff, a hugely impressive winner on his reappearance at Newmarket in the spring, can make amends for a subsequent defeat at Royal Ascot by taking Saturday's Betfred Ebor in the hands of Tom Queally.
Queally appeared to overdo the waiting tactics in the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting and his mount made eyecatching headway from the home turn without ever looking likely to catch the winner Well Sharp.
The form of Tiger Cliff's earlier defeat of De Rigeur, Mubaraza and Caravan Rolls On, when he swept past the opposition, looks strong with the promise of much more to come from this still lightly raced stayer. He will need to be dropped in from a wide draw but the significance of the stalls positions seems less than in the past as most jockeys swing wide off the home turn in big fields and head down the centre of the straight.
Irish-trained horses have won the Ebor on three occasions since 2001 (Mediterranean, Sesenta and Dirar) and the Tony Martin-handled Ted Veale, who hacked up in the County Hurdle in wet conditions at the Cheltenham Festival in March, looks an intriguing contender.
Warmed up since then with a couple of minor victories on the Flat, Fran Berry's mount carries a small penalty but looks to have plenty of class - he is a powerful traveller - and could easily prove a blot on the handicap.
Martin is nobody's fool and a market move would be significant, and if further rain arrives then Ted Veale's chance will be all the stronger.
It may pay off to take Tiger Cliff and Ted Veale against the field.
In recent days, there has been plenty of money for Opinion, winner of the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap at Royal Ascot, and then desperately unlucky in running at Haydock but Ryan Moore's mount - a son of Oasis Dream - needs to prove he can stay this far.
Another possibility is Genzy, second to Bishop Roko at Ascot two outings ago, who appeared to excel himself when fourth behind Royal Empire in the Geoffrey Freer Stakes at Newbury last weekend.
Taking conditions race form into handicaps can be a risky business but a repeat of that effort could see this ex-French-trained five-year-old on the premises.
At the top of the handicap, both Sun Central and Number Theory appear to have plenty on their plate but both are so admirably tough that they seem sure to run well. The former never stopped trying when landing the John Smith's Silver Cup over the course and distance last time while Number Theory has been far from disgraced in some high-quality staying events this season.
Sheikhzayedroad also figures towards the top of the handicap followed some steadily progressive efforts and is a horse with bags of scope but also dodgy steering.
David Simcock's four-year-old is yet one more to consider in this ferociously competitive contest but jockey Martin Lane must try to keep him straight on this wide track.