Today's York Tips: Magical can flourish without Enable

York Races Tips: Magical is a six-time winner at Group 1 level.
York Races Tips: Magical is a six-time winner at Group 1 level.

Having tipped up five winners in Saturday's ITV article, Nick Seddon returns to run through the card on Day One of the York Ebor Festival...

13:45 - Sky Bet And Symphony Group Handicap

We kick off the week with a typically competitive sprint handicap on the Knavesmire, in which we're faced with the prospect of sorting through 22 runners. Dakota Gold built on a good run of form to land a gamble in this for the Michael Dods team 12 months ago, so it's no surprise to see Jawwaal at the head of the betting for the same trainer. He boasts an almost identical profile having racked up back-to-back wins at Doncaster and Ascot and he'll be dangerous off a revised mark of 98 here, though he'll need a career best off an 8 lb rise and Magic J makes more appeal at the prices.

The situation around his owners Phoenix Thoroughbreds is a confusing one, though he's proven to be a likeable type so far this term, and won with something to spare at Sandown two starts ago. He was far too free at Ascot last time out, but a fast-paced big field scenario could play into his hands, and this prominent type could well strike off a mark which still looks within reach.

York 13:45
Magic J silk

Magic J


14:15 - Acomb Stakes

Up next is the first Group contest of the Festival, in the form of the Group 3 Acomb Stakes, which is for two-year-olds over a trip of seven furlongs. The favourite has a pretty poor record in this race, winning just three times in the past ten renewals, though it's difficult to look past Cloudbridge here.

He boasts an eye-catching pedigree as the son of a listed winner, and there was plenty to like about his effort to win on debut at Leicester at the beginning of the month; taking a while to get going but readily pulling clear of the field in the closing stages. That form has been boosted already with the third-placed horse winning since, and he can prove himself a smart juvenile by taking the step to Group company in his stride. Meanwhile, Gear Up knew his job particularly well when winning on debut over course and distance last month and could rate as the biggest threat.

York 14:15
Cloudbridge silk



14:45 - Great Voltigeur Stakes

We have another Group contest with the Great Voltigeur Stakes, which is a key trial for next month's St Leger at Doncaster. It's no surprise to see Mogul line up here on the back of his victory in last month's Gordon Stakes at Goodwood, and he'll be a tough nut to crack. He's taken a while to hit full stride this term, disappointing slightly on his first two outings, but he looked all about stamina at Goodwood, staying on really well to the line to pick up the reopposing pair of Highland Chief and Subjectivist late on. He's very much the one to beat here on the back of that, and bearing in mind his pedigree as a full-brother to Japan, it could be that he hasn't finished improving yet now that everything is seemingly starting to click into place. 

Darain cost an eye-watering 3.5 million guineas as a yearling, and steps up in class after two bloodless wins at minor level at Newmarket this term. He's from a fabulous family as a full-brother to the likes of Too Darn Hot, Lah Ti Dar and So Mi Dar and must be taken seriously now upped in grade, while Pyledriver isn't one to give up on just yet and could offer some value at a double figure price. 

York 14:45
Mogul silk



15:15 - International Stakes

A mouth-watering feature, which boasts quality over quantity with its five-strong field. Ghaiyyath is the rightful favourite based on what he's shown so far, and he'll be very difficult to beat if repeating the performance which saw him take the notable scalp of Enable under a superb front-running ride at Sandown last month. However, he's closely matched on form with a couple here, and with that in mind, he looks worth taking on at the prices. Lord North deserves plenty of respect on the back of his breakthrough success in the Prince of Wales's Stakes - for all that this is tougher - while Kameko has had excuses the last twice and is a big danger in receipt of a significant age allowance over what could prove to be his optimum trip.

However, a narrow vote goes the way of Magical, who is of the most consistent and versatile mares in training. She's spent long stints of her career in the shadow of Enable, but she's still a high-class performer in her own right, winning six times at the top level. She has made the most of two good opportunities to pick up back-to-back top level wins at the Curragh so far this season, both over this trip, and bearing in mind that her peak form is up there with the best in this field, she feels a good proposition at around the 7/2 mark in receipt of a sex allowance.

International Stakes
Magical silk


International Stakes Runner Guide

15:45 - Sky Bet Handicap

The fifth race on the card is a tough-looking 17-runner staying handicap over two miles. Solo Saxophone has thrived since joining Ben Haslam but is probably weighted about right now after a hat-trick of wins, while the lightly-raced Make My Day would have serious claims if staying the trip - having scored in good style over a mile and a half here last time. Volcanic Sky is another in good heart and is respected, but the vote goes the way of Monsieur Lambrays, who was a convincing winner over course and distance on his most recent start last month. He looked ahead of his mark that day, pulling clear in convincing fashion late on, and he's fancied to keep the ball rolling and defy an 8 lb rise. 

York 15:45
Monsieur Lambrays silk

Monsieur Lambrays


16:20 - Sky Bet Fillies' Sprint Handicap

We're faced with another competitive-looking handicap for our penultimate affair, and it could be worth siding with Glamorous Anna each-way at a fancy price - around 16/1 at the time of writing. She takes her chance here off a career-high mark after back-to-back wins at Windsor and Goodwood, but it was difficult not to be impressed with the way she put matters to bed at at the latter last time out. She'll likely need a career best here, but she's a straightforward type and it would be no surprise to see her still fighting it out late on if allowed to have her own way of things up front. 

York 16:20
Glamorous Anna silk

Glamorous Anna (EW)


16:50 - Sky Bet Nursery Handicap

We close Wednesday's card with a 14-runner nursery over six furlongs, which threw up a 20/1 winner last year. The maiden Churchill Bay has earned an attractive-looking mark after two solid runs and is one to note, while Cairn Island got off the mark in good style at Ayr last time and is respected. Line Of Departure has picked up back-to-back wins in this sphere and may not have finished improving yet, but it could be worth siding with Soldier Lions each-way at around the 20/1 mark. He's shown solid form to finish second on his two starts so far, both of those coming over this trip, being beaten only by an impressive debutant at Yarmouth last time out. His opening mark of 76 looks fair, and with the booking of William Buick catching the eye, he could be worth chancing to hit the frame at a fancy price. 

York 16:50
Soldier Lions silk

Soldier Lions (EW)

International Stakes Preview
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