Ebor Handicap Tips: Two Against the Field in Europe's Most Valuable Handicap

The Ebor is always competitive and this season's renewal will be no different
The Ebor is always competitive and this season's renewal will be no different

The whole week has been building up to this race, Europe's most valuable handicap The Ebor. We've seen brilliance from some stars at the top of their game, none more so than Baaeed announcing himself as a true modern racing great in the Juddmonte, but it's called Ebor week for a reason and that's because this race is the big one of the week. As is to be expected with such prestige and such a huge prize pot, the field looks as stacked as ever but Billy Grimshaw thinks he's found a couple worthy of backing each-way to cap the week in style...

Last year's Ebor winner Sonnyboyliston proved himself as a proper Group class animal when next time out he headed back to Ireland and won the Group One Irish St Leger at the Curragh. With such competitiveness now a guarantee in the race each and every year, it could take a horse of similar ability to take out this year's prize. The favourite Earl Of Tyrone certainly looks like he fits the bill of a potential Group horse masquerading as a handicapper, with Paddy Twomey's runner possessing the type of profile we have seen take plenty of this type of race through the years, Since a yard switch he finished third on stable debut before racking up a hat trick when looking a rejuvenated horse, and the ease of his victories has given the impression he could be very well in today. His place at the top of the market is fully justified and if he hacks up before going on to bigger prizes no one would be too surprised, however his price has now got too skinny for my liking.

Next in the market is Joseph O'Brien's likeable four year old Okita Soushi. He has been running well all season without tasting victory and his run at the Royal Meeting in the Copper Horse Handicap was probably his best yet. O'Brien is no stranger to taking out massive handicap purses and this looks to have been the plan all year for this Galileo colt. With a decent racing weight he is likely to be involved in the shake-up. William Haggas has two towards the top of the market, one being Gaassee and the other Candleford. My fellow scribe Steve Chambers likes the look of Haggas' perceived second string Candleford in this contest (read his case and Day Four Through The Card tips here) and if choosing between the Haggas pair I would lean that way as well, especially with Tom Marquand in the saddle. The Irish challenge is strong, as is standard these days. Ger Lyons's Licence is one to keep an eye on as he is very unexposed and the Frankel gelding could show a whole new level of form if primed for this day.

It would take far more characters than is my allowance to mention every runner with a winning chance in this year's Ebor, as should be the case for a race as hotly contested as this, but a few further down the odds tables worthy of a mention include Enemy for Ian Williams. This outsider has been campaigned in staying Group Ones this season with no real look in at success but is now back in handicap company and should find this test more to his liking. William Buick is aboard 33/1 chance Global Storm for Charlie Appleby and these two combining should always be high on every shortlist. Despite this runner looking like a huge step up is needed, you couldn't rule out a big run from the Godolphin second string behind Trawlerman.

My two against the field are both around the 14/1 mark at the time of writing, the first being old legend EUCHEN GLEN. At the age of nine he is no spring chicken but has been running as well as ever recently to my eye. He was an unlucky Glorious Goodwood loser but that could have done him a favour in the long run as Jim Goldie's charge can come to this race weighted for success. I made the case for him in my antepost look at Ebor week here (please ignore the Nap selection!) if you want to see some more detail, but I do think he has an outstanding chance of at the very least hitting the frame.

The other pick is one that was not on my radar earlier in the week and indeed he looked like a no hoper to even make it into the race. ALFRED BOUCHER won the Sky Bet Stayers Handicap as he liked on Wednesday and with that brilliant run he has squeaked into the Ebor at the final stage. The Ian Williams yard is one of the wiliest in the land in terms of handicap plots and there is certainly potential winning two races in one week on the Knavesmire was always the plan for this talented gelding. There is no chance Williams would run Alfred Boucher if he hadn't come out of the race on Wednesday bouncing and I think a repeat performance sees him go close in the Ebor. Since his switch from Henry Candy in April he has looked a different horse and I think it is a no brainer to back him each-way, as you almost have to in races with such generous place terms, sit back and hope he can make history and win twice on Ebor week for his new yard.

Ebor Handicap
Euchen Glen silk

Euchen Glen (EW)

Ebor Handicap
Alfred Boucher silk

Alfred Boucher (EW)

Today's Racing Tips
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