We have a cracking few days of flat action ahead on the Knavesmire and our man Kevin O'Malley has three value bets for the televised races at York....
1.50 - Corgi E/w 9/1 with Bet365, double stakes
3.00 - Projection E/w 10/1 @ Ladbrokes, double stakes
3.35 - Dubai Blue E/w 14/1 generally
A quality field of 18 will assemble for the opening contest over the 2019 Dante meeting at York, which is a Class 2 handicap over 1m4f. Fujaira Prince heads the market for Roger Varian and is clearly a progressive type who certainly knows where the winning post is, but it is hard to know exactly how his stamina will hold up over this new trip, in a field full of strong stayers. Frankel colt First Eleven has to be respected, but there are no hiding places from his BHA handicap mark of 104. Of those heading the market, Crystal King is the most interesting for the in-form Sir Michael Stoute. This Frankel gelding was hanging a bit in the closing stages over this trip at Wolverhampton last time out, but he certainly left a good impression and appears to have a big engine. He is up 8lb here in much deeper company however and at the prices, I do like the solid form credentials that CORGI brings to the party. He ran well to be 6th in a good renewal of the Melrose Stakes here to sign off his 2018 campaign, where Hughie Morrison’s charge barely put a foot wrong all year in very good company. He’s been gelded, had his wind tidied up and I think he can put up very respectable effort here from a mark of 98. Corgi gets on really well with Jim Crowley and I’ll be disappointed if the pair fail to hit the first four at the very least.
Invincible Army is the target horse for James Tate in a fIne renewal of the Duke Of York Stakes at 3pm and this talented 4yo will probably take quite a bit of beating. Once again in the GG Tips Den though, I’m siding with PROJECTION in the hope he can finally start to find the net in this sort of company. On traditional collateral form lines, he still has a bit to find with some of these, but the overall weight of his generally excellent speed figures suggest to me that he is very capable of mixing it in top company. Despite his experience, he is still not quite the finished article. I am hopeful 2019 can be the year he lands a good pot or two, and that new stable jockey Jason Watson could be just the man to bring out the best of him from the saddle.
Sparkle Roll heads the market for the Group 3 Musidora Stakes at 3.35pm. A lovely looking grey by Kingman, she was quite impressive at Sandown last time, but she does carry her head quite high and I just wonder what her response will be in a battle. Ralph Beckett’s Sand Share is speedily bred and has to prove she gets this far, while the form of Frankellini’s run at Yarmouth (RPR 77, Topspeed 36) gives her a mountain to climb to reach this level, for all she is clearly held in high regard. So, the one I’ll take a chance on is Saeed Bin Suroor’s DUBAI BLUE, a good looking filly with a US pedigree (not always reliable on the turf, but here we are), who clocked a good time when slamming her Lingfield rivals over a mile last September. She looked potentially very smart that day and although the form isn’t particularly strong, she’ entirely unexposed, must be held in some regard to be taking her chance here first time out and at 14/1 I’m willing to take a chance that she can be competitive under Adam Kirby.
You can get in touch with me via email: Kevin.OMalley@GG.CO.UK OR by finding me on Twitter: @KOM_GGRacing
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