Following on from Glorious Goodwood, we have now seen the York Ebor Festival 2020 disappear into the rear-view mirror after another fantastic four days’ racing on the Knavesmire.
As is usual, the festival threw up a lot of things to digest, perhaps notably the imperious performances of Ghaiyyath and Love who both surely booked their respective places in the upcoming Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe to take on the likes of Enable following wins in the Juddmonte International and Yorkshire Oaks respectively.
Battaash too successfully defended his Nunthorpe Stakes crown to delight those punters who would have rolled up those three big names into a favourites’ Group One treble bet. But, aside from the winners, there were plenty of eye-catching performances from beaten runners throughout the four days’ racing. Here are five beaten runners from the York Ebor Festival 2020 which might be worth keeping tabs on as they could future winners.
York Ebor Festival 2020 – 5 to watch
Spycatcher took in the Acomb Stakes where he looked the likeliest winner of the Group Three contest, having travelled strongly into the contest.
Having taken up the running entering the last two, inexperience saw him hang left which probably didn’t help his cause and the game Gear Up showed real tenacity having looked held to rally gamely and wear down Karl Burke’s charge to register what had looked an unlikely win.
That was just his second career start and so he’s sure to improve, while it is perhaps worth remembering that he had been beaten in a novices’ contest on debut prior to being thrust into a much higher grade.
Perhaps he didn’t quite see out the seven furlongs, but he travelled well and showed good speed to suggest that he could make into a very smart sprinter so it wouldn’t be a surprise if he were dropped back in trip.
William Knight’s charge was put up as an eyecatcher following the Glorious Goodwood Festival and he again proved himself a good sort with a solid run in the Clipper Logistics Handicap where he found only one too good in Montatham.
Held up early by champion jockey Oisin Murphy the Sir Prancealot gelding crept into the race down the far side rail, making steady progress from the two furlong pole on ground that had been largely unused in previous races. He finished off the race strongly and might well have collared the winner in another few strides to whom he was giving 3lbs at the weights.
Only a neck adrift at the line he may well draw another rise from the assessor which could see the likeable gelding switch to Pattern company given his mark might prove a stiff one to overcome in handicaps.
He certainly needs a bit of luck of running given his hold-up style, but a stiff one mile and a fast pace clearly suits while he’s proven versatile on varied ground. Still one to keep on the right side of he can continue to run well in future.
The ex-French performer had shown a useful level of form for Andre Fabre prior to a switch to the Simon Crisford operation where the Siyouni gelding continued to progress in a trio of handicaps in the Emirates at the start of the year.
Returning from a six-months’ break to contest the Strensall Stakes on the final day of the York Ebor Festival 2020, he found only Certain Lad too strong and will surely be winning again before too long.
Having taken up the running two furlongs out he ran on well to the line but was just outbattled by the winner who was having his fourth run of the campaign and race-fitness in the end might have won the day for Mick Channon’s charge.
He’s sure to come on for that performance which will have sharpened him up and there may be a bit more in his locker still to be revealed especially if dropping back to one mile which looks his optimum trip. Softer ground too is no problem which could augur well for the rest of the campaign.
There had been a lot to like about the manner in which Richard Fahey’s charge scored on her debut at Thirsk in July and the Kodiac colt again shaped really well when thrust into the Group Two Lowther Stakes where she finished a good third behind Miss Amulet.
A tardy start didn’t help her cause and she was perhaps caught further back than ideal although she certainly caught the eye with her finishing effort although she was unable to land a blow on the front pairing who kicked three lengths’ clear.
Still clearly lacking in experience on just her second start compared to the front pairing, she comes from a yard that has real depth amongst its’ juveniles this term and she is sure to continue to progress as she gains further street smarts with racing.
OUR LITTLE PONY
Our Little Pony proved once again that she can be competitive from this sort of mark with another solid performance in the closing handicap on day one of the York Ebor Festival and the Bated Breath mare could be counted a shade unlucky not to have won.
She had bettered her finishing position with each start following her reappearance at Beverley as she contested on the Knavesmire, eventually finishing fourth behind Lady In France although beaten less than two lengths.
Drawn highest of the front four and racing on the opposite side of the course from the eventual winner, she was bumped leaving the stalls at the start and subsequently was slow to get into stride so she probably raced further back than was ideal.
However she kept on well under her promising claiming rider Faye McManoman to almost snatch third and there’s a feeling that she still has some scope from this mark to do some damage. She can continue to pay her way and the largely consistent five-year old could come into her own faced with softer ground as we head into the autumn.