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Horse Racing Tips: Graeme Rodway's York Ebor Festival day four tips

It's Ebor day at York and Racing Post tipster Graeme Rodway fancies a veteran to land one of the richest handicaps in the calendar.

Here are his best bets on the final day of the festival.

1.50 York
Alflaila @ 4/1
1pt win

2.25 York
Soulcombe @ 10/3
1pt win

3.35 York
Euchen Glen @ 12/1
1pt each-way

4.10 York
Silver Samurai @ 12/1
1pt each-way

Alflaila can take another step forward

Alflaila was beaten a length and a half by Mighty Ulysses when the pair met at Newmarket last month and Mighty Ulysses is a hot favourite to confirm the places in the Strensall Stakes (1.50), but it's not as straightforward as the market suggests because Alflaila is progressive.

He has recorded his three highest Racing Post Ratings on his last four outings and was impressive when getting back to winning ways with an easy victory at Pontefract last time.

Alflaila keeps giving his rivals a head start by leaving the stalls slowly, but he is no stronger than at the finish and powered home for that Pontefract win over a mile. That is one of the stiffest tracks in Britain and the strong way in which he finished hinted a longer trip would suit.

The extra furlong might be the catalyst for the selection to find the improvement needed to reverse the Newmarket form with Mighty Ulysses and Alflaila is value to upset the favourite.

Soulcombe set for another bold show

The Melrose Handicap (2.25) is often one of the most competitive three-year-old races of the season, but this year only 13 have been declared and Soulcombe looks ahead of the assessor.

The improving three-year-old went into a hot handicap at Glorious Goodwood last time seeking a hat-trick and was one of the biggest eyecatchers of the week on the South Downs.

He was slowly away and always on the back foot, becoming outpaced a furlong out and looking in trouble before finishing like an express train to get up and be nearest at the finish.

That was a strong hint that Soulcombe is in need of further and the son of Frankel looks certain to improve for the step up to 1m6f. The longer trip and addition of a tongue-strap should help him reverse the places with Inverness, who finished ahead of him at Goodwood.

Euchen Glen to defy advancing years in the Ebor

The Ebor handicap (3.35) is the feature of the entire week on the Knavesmire and Euchen Glen can become only the second nine-year-old to win it, after the great Sea Pigeon in 1979.

Euchen Glen was rated 116 by the BHA at this time last year after carrying big weights to victory in the Brigadier Gerard Stakes and Gala Stakes at Sandown. He is remarkably well handicapped judged on that form now he has dropped 14lb in the weights to a rating of 102.

The drop in the weights was justified earlier in the season as he appeared to have lost his form, but Euchen Glen bounced back when showing more sparkle in third behind Trawlerman in a hot handicap at Glorious Goodwood last time, for which he is back up 3lb.

He is able to run off the same mark of 102 here though, so is 3lb well in, and nothing finished stronger than Euchen Glen at Goodwood. It's no exaggeration to say he may have won but for finding every bit of trouble in the home straight. He was repeatedly stopped in his run.

This two-time course winner is evidently reaching his peak at the right time and, if he can get anywhere near the form he showed for his Sandown wins last season, he could outclass them.

Silver Samurai can put rivals to the sword

A big field for the Constantine Handicap (4.10) will suit Silver Samurai, who looked well ahead of his mark when winning at Haydock in May and can be forgiven two poor runs since.

He was unlucky with the draw when only 11th of 26 in the Wokingham, making his move away from where the main action took place and ending up on the wrong side of the track.

A line can be put through that run and I'm also willing to ignore his below-par effort over course and distance last time, when he raced lazily and didn't appear to go the early pace. However, when he hit top gear, he motored home to finish within three lengths of the winner.

That was in a hood and connections remove the aid this time in a bid to sharpen up Silver Samurai through the early part of the race. That might do the trick and he is well drawn today.

By Graeme Rodway

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