The Rab Havlin Blog – York Ebor Festival – Day Three Special
It’s been a super couple of days so far at York for the stable I’m attached to, huge victories arriving courtesy of Logician in Tuesday’s Great Voltigeur, as well of course as the mighty Enable strutting her stuff for a second win in yesterday’s Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks.
It’s brilliant for the owners, Mr Gosden, Frankie and all the team at home, as well as extremely satisfying for me personally to be able to play a small part. People don’t see the hard work, graft and dedication that goes into producing these stars for the big stage, but everyone involved within our team feels the pressure and expectation and are rightly thrilled when it all comes together.
With any luck there’ll be more to come today, with Stradivarius the latest big name from our operation to put his reputation on the line, trying his luck once again in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup over an extended two miles (Fri, 2.25pm).
The winner of the same race 12 months ago, just like Enable he’s not only a yard favourite but now firmly established as a real people’s horse.
Put simply, I expect him to make it four out of four at York and in doing so bag the Weatherbys Stayers’ Million for a second time.
Doing so would be a major achievement for the lads and lasses working away back at home, not least because they get to enjoy a share of the huge bonus!
It’s an initiative available for any horse good enough and tough enough to win the Ascot Gold Cup, Goodwood Cup and Lonsdale Cup, and remarkably Stradivarius stands on the cusp of achieving it twice!
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If I’m honest I’m not convinced York is his favourite track. On a couple of occasions he hasn’t perhaps travelled as well there as he has elsewhere, but nonetheless he knows how to win in almost any situation, and barring a mishap that’s precisely what I anticipate him doing. Fingers crossed.
Elsewhere on the card, one race Mr Gosden won’t be winning is the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes (Fri, 3.35pm) as we’ve no runner.
It looks a good renewal though, with the likes of Battaash bounds to have his fans. He was impressive at Goodwood but that’s the track where he seems to run his best races, and just like Ascot it seems York doesn’t quite play to his strengths.
There is always the threat the occasion will get to him too, so with that in mind the one I’d want to be on is Ten Sovereigns.
Only a three year old and getting a couple of pounds from Battaash, he looked different class when winning the July Cup last time out and I don’t anticipate the drop in distance to five furlongs causing him too many problems.
He looks versatile, uncomplicated and extremely quick.
For those reasons I’m also making him my selection for FansBet’s daily Ebor Festival Racing Welfare charity bet.
READ: FansBet’s guide to the York Ebor Meeting
We got a winner on the board with Logician on Tuesday, and weren’t beaten too far in the opener with Liberty Beach yesterday.
£100 of FansBet’s cash says Ten Sovereigns can win the Nunthorpe and raise some more funds for Racing Welfare to keep doing their excellent and much needed work.
Lastly, there are also a collection of pretty exciting two year olds to enjoy in the Group 2 Gimcrack Stakes (Fri, 3.00pm).
Having been second at Glorious Goodwood and at Royal Ascot, you can well understand why Richard Hannon’s Threat will be all the rage. I’m not sure this’ll be straightforward for him though, with dangers dotted about all over the place.
One of those may well turn out to be one of Kevin Ryan’s three runners in the race, Byline.
Well fancied to win first time when he got chinned by a more experienced horse of Mark Johnston’s, he clearly learned plenty and delivered like a really nice animal in the making when scooting in at Hamilton the last day.
This is a big jump up and it sounds like the bookies give him next to no chance, but he’s got loads of potential and based on what I’ve seen I wouldn’t have hesitated to ride him had the chance arisen.
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