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Horse racing preview and tips: Four top tips from York


Our racing expert Jake Russell shares his best four bets from the final day of York's Dante Festival

By @ Jake Russell

2.15pm - Listed Marygate Fillies Stakes

The manner in which Seraphin Angel landed the Lily Agnes at Chester last time was impressive, and she could go on to even better things the more she progresses. 

However, what we are seeing at the moment so early on into the new turf season is horses not particularly performing well when turned around quickly in decent contests - just look at Friendly Soul yesterday who disappointed in the Musidora just 10 days after he Pretty Polly Stakes win. That obviously does not apply to every horse, as they are all different, but it is something to consider for these younger horses so early on in the season. 

With that in mind, I really like the look of Hugo Palmer’s It Ain't Two, who landed what seems to be a pretty red-hot Newmarket contest, where Seraphin Angel was in 4th, as well as Miss Rascal who finished 6th that day and has since gone on to hack up at Ascot, looking like a really nice horse in the making. 

The daughter of Calyx was sent off at 18/1 that day, so not fancied in the market whatsoever, but she wasn't to know. She dwelt the start, looked pretty raw during the race, really looking like it was her first day on the job, but once the penny dropped she soon gathered herself up and stayed on very well in the end, to win the contest by three quarters of a length. 

What really caught the eye was how she was pushed out hands and heels by Ross Coakley, and she clearly knew her job in the closing stages so the stick was not needed. She would have hopefully learned bundles from that experience, and the fact she was very green and still won like she did in the difficult undulations of Newmarket, would suggest she is a very nice type for Hugo. 

With a 30-day break under her belt, she could prove to be a very nice type by landing this contest, then maybe going into Group company for her next run, maybe at Royal Ascot. William Buick is booked up to ride, which is a very eye-catching booking indeed.

3.15pm - Listed Sky Bet Fillies Stakes

There will no doubt be a fair few eyes on Devoted Queen for the boys in blue, as she is unbeaten and did look pretty impressive when scoring at Kempton last time out, but I think Roger Varian has the best horse in the contest here. 

True Cyan has only had two career runs at this stage, the first one being a nice winning effort on her debut at Newmarket over 7 furlongs where she beat Strutting and Rochelle, who have both since gone on to win, with the latter winning two races since True Cyan beat her. 

The daughter of No Nay Never was a really nice winner of that Newmarket contest, where she raced at the rear throughout before staying on nicely in the closing stages to beat Strutting by a length and a half, really looking the type to improve with a step up in trip. 

She was then put away for 200 days before lining up in the Nell Gwyn for her first run as a 3yo, and sent off 13/2 in the market she ran very well indeed to claim 4th spot, only beaten by four lengths and looking a little babyish throughout the contest. She raced at the rear like she did on debut over course and distance, and was making some nice headway before coming unbalanced a furlong from the finishing line, and although she couldn't get any closer to the first 3, she still ran on well and did not let that deter her. 

That was a decent effort in what looked a wide-open contest at the time, and the 3rd-placed horse who was only 1¾ lengths ahead of her that day has since come a head 2nd in the French 1000 Guineas, so in the long run the Nell Gwyn form could bring up some nice fillies. 

True Cyan is the highest rated in this field, and with this step up to a mile more than suiting her, she can get back to winning ways on Friday and land some nice black type in the process. I think the further in trip she steps up to, the better she will become, so Roger Varian could have a nice one on his hands here. 

3.45pm - Group 2 Boodles Yorkshire Cup Stakes 

This race is sometimes not worth watching (unless it was Stradivarius running in it a few years back) but I feel this year's renewal is a really good contest, where we get to see some very good horses battle it out. 

A Willie Mullins runner in the UK always has to be taken very seriously, especially when William Buick is also jocked up to ride, and Vauban will no doubt have his supporters on Friday, and for good reason. 

However, the lack of a run at York could come back to bite him, whereas Hamish very much has the York experience under his belt. The William and Maureen Haggas charge is such a likeable type, and it is no secret that he is Maureen's favourite horse in training, and you can see why, he is just such a game animal. 

The fact he is 8 years old, on a 5-race unbeaten streak and still showed last time there is plenty of fire in his belly, makes him so admirable. As mentioned, having the York experience would set any horse in good stead here, and the fact that Hamish has won all three of his visits here (including at Group 3 level last season) would suggest this slight step up into Group 2 company will pose no issues for him. 

The trip and conditions should also be no issue (although his recent winning form was on ground with a little cut in it, his early form would suggest better conditions should pose no threats), and back at this 1m6f trip, this is where we tend to see the best out of him. 

His record at Newbury was patchy before he landed the John Porter there last time, and that was also over 1m4f, so the fact he still went on gamely to land that contest would suggest the ability is still there. 

This is a really good contest, probably one of the better ones that Hamish has run in recently, but the manner in which he plugged on to win last time would lead me to believe there is still a little more to come from him. Given the better ground and no rain to come in York, he isn't a sure fire thing to run tomorrow, but I would really like to see him take his chances at Group 2 level against some nice types. 

4.15pm - Darley EBF Novice Stakes

This is a really competitive-looking contest, where the first three at the top end of the market could be really nice types for the season ahead. Lead Artist and First Conqueror do battle once again after they came 2nd and 1st in a Newmarket maiden 29 days ago, when the latter landed the contest in pretty game fashion in the end. 

However, Lead Artist was quite unlucky in the sense that he was slowly away from the stalls, but did rattle home with a wet sail to just be denied by a head from the Godolphin horse, and given the fact that John and Thady Gosden's runner gets 6lb in the weights from First Conqueror, I think that will be enough for the form to be reversed on Friday. 

Lead Artist is very well bred, being out of Dubawi and related to Frankel, he is very much bred in the purple and plenty will expect him to be a nice type with the more racing he gets under his belt. Although there is not much to go off in terms of form for him, given the fact all went wrong on debut last time and he still almost landed the contest, it would suggest with the 6lb swing in the weights, he could be very hard to beat in this contest come Friday. 


 All prices are from Planet Sport Bet and are subject to change

 All previews and tips provided by @ Jake Russell

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