York Ebor meeting: tips, racecards and previews for Wednesday’s card on the Knavesmire as the Juddmonte International takes centre stage

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EVERYONE can rejoice again as top class racing returns to the Knavesmire on Wednesday, with the Juddmonte International the highlight of a fantastic card.

I’ve come up with a tidy race-by-race preview for you with both my bets for the afternoon and a lowdown on each race.

Getty – Contributor

Crystal Ocean is the star on show in the International[/caption]

Race 1 – 1.55 Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap

You don’t get tougher starts to a big meeting than this.

Twenty-two runners take to the turf for the opener, with Dakota Gold heading the market after consecutive victories in both the Sky Bet Dash and Great St Wilfrid.

He was nicely clear at the line in Ripon’s showpiece and has obvious claims under a 5lb penalty, though may not be suited by the shorter trip or different ground conditions.

Gunmetal should be very competitive off this mark, as should recent winner Stone Of Destiny, while Final Venture will appreciate the return of Oisin Murphy.

Jabbarockie has claims on his romp at Musselburgh last time under crack claimer Harrison Shaw, and Arecibo certainly shouldn’t be ignored.

However, this could finally be the day JUSTANOTHERBOTTLE gets his head in front.

He ran a big race in the Stewards’ Cup, matching Khaadem for much of the final two furlongs before he ran out of puff, and should find this 51/2 furlong trip ideal.

He’s 1lb lower now and you can discount his first two runs on the Knavesmire this season as he was out of form.

Back in good nick, he should have a massive shout if getting a prominent early position under James Doyle.

SELECTION: Justanotherbottle

DANGER: Jabbarockie

Race 2 – 2.25 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes (Group 3)

A fascinating renewal which sees a whole host of lightly-raced individuals on the hunt for this Group 3 prize.

Persuasion is favourite courtesy of a taking debut win at Goodwood over this 7f trip, though I’ve doubts about the strength of the form.

He could do no more than he did, though, and his turn of foot was quite impressive, so clearly he deserves maximum respect.

However, one contender whose maiden win worked out extremely well is VITALOGY.

Joseph O’Brien has clearly seen enough in his prospect to send him across the Irish Sea, and the fact the second and third from his debut victory have since gone on to win suggests he has plenty of ability.

Ethic and Cobra Eye deserve respect on their last-time-out successes, as does Valdermoro, while Kingbrook and Yorkshire Gold also have claims in a hot little race.

SELECTION: Vitalogy

DANGER: Persuasion

Race 3 – 3.00 Sky Bet Great Voltigeur Stakes (Group 2)

The premier staying race for three-year-olds has attracted just five runners this year, with CONSTANTINOPLE the one to beat for the O’Brien clan.

He should have toppled Nayef Road at Goodwood but was wayward beyond belief in the closing stages and if more straight this time, is the one to catch.

Nayef Road has claims but will need things to fall right, and the one to challenge the selection is likely to be Logician.

John Gosden and Frankie Dettori team up once again with their thrice-raced colt, who’s looked a star in the making in his starts to date.

He’s yet to take on anything good, though, and may just find this a little tough at this stage of his career.

SELECTION: Constantinople

DANGER: Logician

Race 4 – 3.35 Juddmonte International Stakes (Group 1)

A renewal missing the star horse of the middle-distance sphere, Enable, but it’s a strong enough contest nonetheless.

Crystal Ocean is the highest rated horse in the world and again showed he’s right out of the top drawer last time when just finding Enable too strong in the King George.

He’d coped fine with this 10f trip at Royal Ascot when seeing off a strong field in the Prince Of Wales’s Stakes and is the one to beat on both form and ratings.

However, he has to take on a very exciting, unexposed three-year-old in KING OF COMEDY – and that could just see his bid scuppered.

John Gosden’s colt was supremely unlucky not to win the St James’s Palace Stakes at the Royal meeting, flying down the outside when it was all too late.

Circus Maximus had his measure that day but all visual evidence suggests that form will be reversed, with this longer trip likely to play to King Of Comedy’s strengths.

He receives 7lb from the hot favourite and that should see the scales tipped in his favour.

Japan is not to be underestimated after his Group 1-winning effort in the Grand Prix De Paris last time out, though his claims are better judged on his fine performance in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot where he made some useful rivals look slow.

He needs to prove he can cut it at this level, however, and this trip is probably a shade shorter than ideal.

Elarqam has been at the top of his game in his last two starts and deserves respect for his top trainer, while Regal Reality is better than he’s shown recently.

SELECTION: King Of Comedy

DANGER: Crystal Ocean

Race 5 – 4.15 Sky Bet Handicap

This is a belter of a staying handicap and one that could see EDDYSTONE ROCK follow up his win on Shergar Cup day.

John Best’s contender was having his first run over two miles on turf when bolting up in the stayers’ race under Hayley Turner and, for all that this is harder, he’s still hugely unexposed at the trip.

He clearly appreciates a strong pace and deserves maximum respect off just a 4lb higher mark. James Doyle takes over now and everything’s in place for a big run.

Charles Kingsley can be given a chance if bouncing back to the form of his penultimate effort at Newmarket, while Carnwennan is better than he showed last time and Makawee goes well over this C&D.

SELECTION: Eddystone Rock

DANGER: Charles Kingsley

Race 6 – 4.50 Sky Bet Nursery Handicap

Twenty-two runner nursery handicaps are as tough as they come and this one looks even more competitive than usual, with eight of the runners having won last time out.

POP DANCER has been handed a fairly harsh mark of 90 on his handicap debut but he’s looked classy in his two wins, last time getting the better of a previous scorer and before that beating one who’s gone on to bolt up in novice company.

Connections think a lot of him and he could be the play here.

Troubador has risen up the weights fast but he keeps improving and is not to be discounted, while the The Mark Johnston pair of Monoski and Homespin also deserve respect. Otago is interesting at the bottom of the weights.

SELECTION: Pop Dancer

DANGER: Otago

 

 

 

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