Ebor Handicap Odds: A wide open betting heat at York

The 2020 Ebor Handicap is a wide open betting heat.
The 2020 Ebor Handicap is a wide open betting heat.

Impressive Royal Ascot winner Fujaira Prince heads the betting for the 2020 Ebor Handicap, which is the feature race on the final day of York's Ebor Festival on Saturday afternoon...

Roger Varian's charge was a facile winner of the Copper Horse Handicap in June and shaped like there's a lot more to come this season, and connections will hope that their six-year-old can build on that royal success and sparkle on the Knavesmire. Available at 13/2 with most firms, at the time of writing, Fujaira Prince will not only have to defy a 9 lb rise for that recent victory, but he will face a whole plethora of improving, classy staying handicappers, and it's destined to be a thrilling betting heat for punters.

Five of the last six winners of the 1m 5f 188y race have been priced in double figures, so it shows what a competitive race it can be, and it's another headscratcher for punters in 2020.  Pablo Escobarr is another heading to Yorkshire on the back of a victory, and the William Haggas-trained raider was last seen winning in Group 3 company at Goodwood, and he is 8/1, while Alan King's Trueshan was a listed winner last time out at Haydock Park and he too is available at 8/1.

Away from the front three in the betting, there's a multitude of lively contenders at double-figured odds and there's an eye-catching brace of Irish-trained runners making the trip over to compete for the valuable prize. Willie Mullins, who saddled Sesenta to victory in the 2009 Ebor, saddles True Self, who has been seen competing in Group company this season, but has struggled at that level and will relish a drop into handicap company and is an eye-catching 10/1 chance.

Joseph O'Brien's Pondus has improved immeasurably since having a gelding operation, and he was a taking winner of a listed win at Roscommon earlier this season, but failed to fire in Group 3 company at Leopardstown last time out, when well fancied. He will need to replicate his Roscommon run to play a primary role here, but he is a fascinating contender at 12/1, and could be the main threat to those at the head of the betting.

With some bookmakers paying five places in the each-way markets for this 22-runner contest then punters could well be eyeing up a bigger-priced selection further down the betting and the top-weighted Peter Chapple-Hyam-trained Deja, who was last seen winning the Old Newton Cup at Haydock Park could be a lively each-way play. Available at 14/1 with some firms, the five-year-old will have to defy a career high mark, but has to be respected. 

Another worth a mention is Scarlet Dragon, who got the better of Deja when the pair clashed in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, and at 25/1 has to be considered, but having been beaten by Deja in the aforementioned Old Newton Cup then Alan King's second string may just be too high in the weights.

King will not be the only National Hunt trainer saddling some eye-catching runners as Nicky Henderson will let former Grade 1-winning hurdler Verdana Blue take her chance. A versatile horse, who has shown significant talent on the level, and was last seen finishing second in the Ascot Stakes, Verdana Blue has been supported in the betting in recent days and is around a 12/1 chance.

In what is a fiercely competitive race, the Ebor Handicap is sure to serve up a thrilling spectacle on the final day of York's Ebor Festival, and the betting is sure to chop and change in the lead-up to the race, but at the time of writing it's a fascinating market with a number of horses standing a major chance of etching their name on the illustrious roll of honour.

2020 Ebor Handicap Odds

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