RACING AHEAD: Tips for the Ebor Festival

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Racing pundit Tony McCormick from www.irishbigracetrends.com beforetheoff.com and racing radio station racingfm.com presents his weekly column.

The biggest meeting of the year in Yorkshire is currently in full swing, The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival.

Thursday’s highlight is the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks, which features the main heroine from the Irish Oaks, namely, Covert Love who again takes on Jack Naylor and Aiden O’Brien’s Royal Ascot winner, Curvy. Covert Love claimed the first classic victory for column favourite Hugo Palmer, who has supplemented his filly to the tune of £35,000 to run in this race.

Mark Johnston has supplemented Lumiere for The Lowther Stakes, but she is up against Princess Margaret winner, the William Haggas-trained Besharah who has won on various types of ground already, so whatever the weather on the Knavesmire this week, that should not be a problem.

Easton Angel, trained just outside Darlington by Michael Dods, deserves a change of luck as the filly has found trouble in running on a number of occasions this season, her length-and-a-half behind Acapulco at Royal Ascot is solid form.

Friday’s highlight is The Nunthorpe, with the aforementioned, American raider, Acupulco aiming to be the first juvenile filly to win the race since 1992. The Wesley Ward youngster will be receiving masses of weight from her rivals and it will be fascinating to see how a two-year-old performs against the older runners, including seasoned campaigners Sole Power, Medician Man and Stepper Point.

The Ebor takes place on Saturday with the trends highlighting, the last eight winners were aged between four and six. Three-year-olds shouldn’t be dismissed easily though, as their age group won in 2000 and 2001, with six of their nine runners making the frame since 2002. Five-year-olds have a cracking 27% win and place strike rate in the race, while just two, six-year-olds have won in the last 30 years and you have to go back to 1979 to find a winner aged over six – the great Sea Pigeon.

I will be looking at horses carrying between 8-10 and 9-4, with an official rating of between 94 and 101. A high draw is beneficial in the big race as the last eight winners were drawn 10 or higher.

Seven of the last eight winners were running within 45 days of their last run. At the moment, waiting on final declarations and the draw, I’m hoping John Quinn’s Great Hall, the Brian Ellison trained Seamour and Good Tradition, trained by Dermot Weld make the race, while Keith Dalgleish has Pressure Point ready to go and Tony Martin’s Elishpour would be an intriguing runner.

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