Since the start of last year those drawn very high have struggled in big-field York sprints. In fields of 15 or more runners, stalls 12 or higher have a combined record of just one winner from 159 runners. Of the 24 qualifying races, 12 (50%) were won by one of the four lowest stalls.
There’s plenty of pace among the low numbers in the opening 5f Symphony Group Handicap (1.55), with the improving El Astronaute (stall 1 of 20), York expert Thesme (stall 2) and small-field expert A Momentofmadness (stall 9) all likely to be pressing the pace.
EDWARD LEWIS (stall 5) looks sure to get a good tow into the race and the David O’Meara-trained four-year-old can be forgiven unplaced efforts the last twice as he was poorly drawn at Ascot and Goodwood. He tried to come from well off the pace on each occasion and, hopefully, he’ll sit a little closer to the gallop today as it can be difficult to come from too far back at York.
Champion jockey-elect Silvestre De Sousa bypasses York on Wednesday in favour of Bath and Kempton and all his nine rides are priced in single figures, eight of them at 5-1 or shorter. THE NAZCA LINES (stall 6 of 6) is one of them and he looks most interesting in the 5f Parker Transport SW Handicap at Bath (4.35). The John Quinn-trained son of Fast Company will appreciate the switch from Newcastle, as his sire has a terrible record on the all-weather. His only previous all-weather run was followed by a 50-1 fourth of 17 in a Class 3 York handicap. He met trouble in a huge field at Beverley last time and is best judged on his visored record in fields of 11 or fewer runners, in Class 4 or lesser company, of: 4133221 (2-7).
Edward Lewis – York 1.55 (1pt each-way, 8-1 in a place, 7-1 generally)
The Nazca Lines – Bath 4.35 (1pt win, 5-1 generally)