Another busy day ahead on Thursday with Day 2 of York’s Ebor Festival taking centre stage alongside six other meetings across Britain and Ireland.
Stratford’s jumps cards open up the afternoon alongside Flat racing from Chepstow and York, while later they go at Killarney, Leopardstown and Fontwell (jumps) as well as the all-weather card from Chelmsford City.
The opening Lowther Stakes at York could see a Charlie Appleby runner causing something of an upset.
1.40 Chepstow – Rhubarb @ 9/1
The Richard Price-trained Rhubarb is already a four-time Chepstow scorer, including over C&D, and looks to have valid claims heading back to the Monmouthshire circuit for their opening Alan Bushell Racing Limited Handicap this afternoon.
The mare had some near misses over 5f at this venue in May/June and, on her most recent start, met some trouble in the run at Windsor last week over this trip.
She returns to Chepstow off her lowest rating in over a year and is also set to have Connor Planas claiming a very useful 3lb in the saddle.
Another big run at this venue is possible and with this being a Betfred Extra Place Race (four places) she has plenty going for her in a wide-open contest.
1.50 York – Star Of Mystery @ 13/2
York’s day two opener is the Lowther Stakes and the fillies’ Group 2 revolves around favourite Relief Rally. William Haggas’ charge has won 3-4 so far and was narrowly touched off in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot before a comprehensive success in the Super Sprint at Newbury last month. Assuming this extra-furlong is within reach, she has strong claims.
There are dangers, including Cherry Blossom for Aidan O’Brien and Flora Of Bermuda for Andrew Balding, but one that might be overpriced is Star Of Mystery for Charlie Appleby.
It hasn’t been the season the Newmarket trainer would have hoped for, something he has admitted, but a strong end to the term is possible and he is on record stating he still hopes to have a 2YO come to the fore that will tee him up for next season.
This Kodiac filly looked to have lots of potential when she followed up her June demolition in a Haydock novice with a four-length Listed win at Newmarket at the start of July.
A shock odds-on defeat in the Group 2 Duchess of Cambridge back at HQ six weeks ago leaves her with something to prove but that four-runner contest was a muddling affair on rain-affected ground and she could bounce back now with 6f here on quick ground at a generous pace very likely to suit William Buick’s filly as she dons a first-time tongue-tie.
8.35 Chelmsford – The Waiting Game @ 4/1
The final selection on Thursday is the aptly-named The Waiting Game as she runs for trainer Jack Jones in the final contest of the day at Chelmsford.
The Due Diligence filly won over course and distance nine days ago, making every yard of the running and holding a near four-length advantage at the line. That Classified event wasn’t strong but she was well on top and is officially 4lb ‘well in’ for this follow-up attempt.
With her confidence boosted, she should go well again in this Betfred Extra Place Race (four places) as she attempts to justify inclusion on the Most Napped table via the Betfred Betfinder and reward punters’ patience in the Chelmsford nightcap.