Simon Holt best bets for Sky Bet Ebor day at York

Simon Holt picks out his best bets for York
Simon Holt picks out his best bets for York

Mustajeer can improve on last year's Sky Bet Ebor fourth, according to Simon Holt who has three bets for Saturday's action at York and Goodwood.

Recommended bets

1pt e.w. Mustajeer in 3.40 York at 16/1

1pt win Eminence in 2.25 York at 13/2

1pt win Beat Le Bon in 2.05 Goodwood at 11/2

With £1 million on the line, Saturday's Sky Bet Ebor Handicap has attracted a high quality field of horses who are mostly up to Listed or Group class.

There seem to be endless possibilities but, despite racing on the same mark (108) as when fourth behind Muntahaa 12 months ago, MUSTAJEER could be well handicapped.

The Ger Lyons-trained gelding was given plenty to do that day - ridden to get the trip according to his trainer - and finished with a rattle despite not having much room in the closing stages.

Ignoring two runs this season over a too-short mile-and-a-quarter (both races won by the high-class Magical), Mustajeer has shown possibly improved form at this trip, notably when worn down close home by the now 118-rated Master Of Reality in the Vintage Crop Stakes at Navan in April.

The 33/1 winner certainly proved that victory was no fluke when chasing home Stradivarius and Dee Ex Bee in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next time.

On a more recent occasion, again over this distance, in late June, Mustajeer was again given plenty to do before staying on into fifth behind the progressive Twilight Payment in the Curragh Cup, form that has been boosted subsequently by Latrobe (second) and Southern France (fourth).

Off since, the selection has been trained for another bold bid and looks great each-way value in the hands of Colin Keane.

It is difficult to single out one danger but Mekong put a bad run on this course behind him (has run well here before) to push the useful Falcon Eight close at Sandown early last month (Cleonte third) and could have more to offer for Sir Michael Stoute and Ryan Moore.

in the earlier Sky Bet Melrose Handicap, Moore's mount EMINENCE can put himself into the St Leger reckoning.

The son of Sea The Stars has been a slow burner for Ballydoyle but stayed on well behind stable-companions South Pacific and Constantinople in the King George V Handicap at Royal Ascot (1m4f), and again when third to Sir Ron Priestley at Goodwood last time, on neither occasion getting the clearest of runs.

This step up from a mile-and-a-half for a horse whose dam is a half sister to the smart stayer Far Cry and high class jumper Shaneshill, looks sure to suit.

Despite being likely to start favourite, First In Line is an unknown quantity after odds-on but impressive victories in non-handicaps at Lingfield and Doncaster while Kiefer, a Pour Moi half brother to Melbourne Cup runner-up Bauer, is another possible improver stepping up in trip.

Goodwood's Ladbrokes-sponsored Celebration Mile sees the reappearance of Skardu, who finished third and fourth in the English and Irish Guineas before chasing home Circus Maximus, King Of Comedy and Too Darn Hot in the St James's Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot.

That form looks pretty solid and, after a busy start to the campaign, perhaps William Haggas's colt needed freshening up.

However, I was most taken with BEAT LE BON in last month's Golden Mile over this course and distance.

Richard Hannon's gorgeous colt has really come to himself in recent weeks and had something in hand that day when beating Vale Of Kent (a terrific second at York on Thursday) with many smart handicappers further back.

This is a step-up in class in Beat Le Bon's bid for a four-timer but he has always looked a decent horse in the making and now seems to be thriving.

Posted at 1600 BST on 23/08/19.

EIGHT places available in the Sky Bet Ebor
EIGHT places available in the Sky Bet Ebor


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