The Garrowby Stakes headlines an enticing seven-race card at York on Sunday and the Racing Post's Robbie Wilders explains the reasoning behind his two best bets.
Gale Force Maya @ 10/3
Atacama Desert @ 5/1
The best race on the Knavesmire on Sunday is the Listed Garrowby Stakes (2.55) and features a Group 1 winner in Ebro River.
The Galileo Gold colt hasn't quite kicked on from a productive juvenile campaign that saw him claim a top-level victory in the Phoenix Stakes and third in the Dewhurst, but it was much more like it from Ebro River last time at Chester. He dealt with subsequent Listed winner Princess Shabdam in good style.
That was a career-best from Ebro River on Racing Post Ratings and if he runs to that level he is probably the one to beat, although that is far from guaranteed on his first try at a tricky track like York.
Course form is worth its weight in gold here and the thriving Gale Force Maya is selected.
Gale Force Maya has form figures of 1313 over six furlongs at York and has improved 9lb this season.
Once these mares get on a roll it is hard to know when the progression will end, as Highfield Princes proved recently when capturing the Nunthorpe here, and Gale Force Maya's latest second at Pontefract is well worth marking up.
The winner got a freebie up front and my selection was forced wider than ideal from a tricky draw. She did well to get within two lengths of the well-ridden winner and hold off Andrew Balding's talented filly Chil Chil, who is Group 1 calibre on her day.
The Michael Dods-trained six-year-old is ideally berthed in stall four and also receives 6lb from Ebro River, who is identically rated and might struggle to concede the weight.
The other race to appeal from a betting perspective is the 2m½f handicap (4.05) for the stayers.
Gay Kelleway has done a fine job bringing seven-year-old Mukha Magic back to life this season and he bids for four straight victories and a sixth in his last eight starts.
The handicapper may not have caught up with him yet, but there are two other last-time-out winners surely ahead of their marks in The Predictor and Atacama Desert.
The Predictor is the sole three-year-old in the field and receives a generous 11lb in weight for age, but this is quite a quick turnaround and I was more taken with the recent success of Atacama Desert. He is the selection.
Atacama Desert boasts an outstanding pedigree as a brother to Aidan O’Brien's former smart stayer Monument Valley, who reached a peak RPR of 102, while he is also a half-brother to five-time US Grade 1 winner Main Sequence.
This four-year-old has taken a while to get the hang of things for Kevin Frost since joining from Sir Michael Stoute, but landed a competitive race at Haydock on good to soft ground over shorter last time in excellent style, shaping as if staying trips could be the making of him.
He has gone up 7lb to 76, but that shouldn’t be enough to stop him and he should save plenty of ground from stall one.