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Friday, 19 August 2011

I'm tellin' y'all it's Sabotage

Saturday's the last day of York's meeting & has the signature race the 1 mile 6 furlongs Ebor Heritage Handicap that has been won by some good staying types over the years & is often a stepping stone to horses going for the biggest staying race of all - the Melbourne Cup. This year there is a decent field with everything rated within 12 pounds of the top weight, meaning that those near the top of the handicap have a good chance despite their carrying big weights, it's certainly different than the 1990's where nearly every winner carried less than 9 stone & even a couple of winners off below 8. We like Modun a lot but this is a big step up in distance on an easy enough surface but if Stoute's horse improves for this extra 4 furlongs (compared to last 2 runs) he's certainly dangerous & has finished great galloping 2nds the last twice. The form of Modun's runs ties in with Green Destiny who has upheld that by winning the Group 3 on Friday but there is another horse in the Ebor whose form is closely linked but may handle this distance better, Godolphin's Lost In The Moment has put in great runs over 10 furlongs finishing behind Modun & Green Destiny whilst giving them both 5 pounds before improving over a distance of 2 miles last time & running Opinion Poll to a head. He had Fox Hunt in behind that day whilst running off level weights yet gets 5 pounds off of that rival today, we expect Dettori to hold him up & deliver him with a late thrust to win convincingly & have the biggest weight carrying performance since the great Sea Pigeon won in 1979.

Opinion Poll runs in the race before & can give the form a boost by delivering another Group 2 success in the Lonsdale Cup. He won the race last year & although is having to carry a 3 pound penalty is a class above his rivals having finished 2nd in the Ascot Gold Cup against the great Fame & Glory plus finding the very nice Whispering Gallery too hot at Dubai in the Winter a couple of times. Chief rival could be Harris Tweed who finished 2nd behind Await The Dawn a couple of starts back but this is a big step up in distance plus we'd question whether Await The Dawn is as good as some think. The other horses with Group 2 penalties picked them up in some weakish races other than Duncan when winning the Prix Foy in softish conditions, he'd be the one we'd pick to make Opinion Poll worry most but he's held when judged by their respective Gold Cup runs.

Finally we switch across to Chester and we have another Godolphin pick in another staying race but this time with their 2nd string, according to the colours at least. Sabotage  likes quickish ground & should get it at Chester tomorrow, he's slipped a couple of pounds in the weights & is comfortable taking a lead which is a huge tactical advantage at the ever turning Cheshire track. Stall 1 will help & Robert Winston can bag the lead & dictate the pace with any potential traffic problems in behind also helping, generous odds of 20/1 dictate that we & you have a sneaky each way punt.

York 3.05 Opinion Poll at 100/30
York 3.40 - Lost In The Moment at 8/1 with William Hill
Chester 4.10 - Sabotage each way at 20/1
If you fancy a treble the above will pay out at 818/1 !

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