When it came to my bets, day one at York provided nothing in terms of excitement, never mind a winner! In fairness to him, Sam Cooke went well for a long way and traded less than 5/4 in the run, but he was keen early and is not the type I'd want to be trying to make the running in a field like that. Circumstance left him in-front and there will be other days. I think there's a nice handicap in him before too long.
Magical Spirit was bet of the day in my book and shortened from 12/1 into 15/2. Sadly, that's as good as it got as he finished out the back having come under pressure a long way out. It was always going to require some grinding to see off a good field but he wasn't best to stride and as a front-runner, that was a problem. He didn't seem to appreciate how it all panned out and it's a run to overlook going forward.
Last up came Sadiqaa and he too got further behind in the early stages than I had hoped for. He's not the sort who was going to thrive running horses down from a sit off the speed - especially in this grade at a speedy venue like York - and he duly got nowhere near doing so. Regardless, he's not one I'll write off for a run or two and dropping in grade to a 0-80 might do no harm. There's a win waiting for him some day!
-3.50pts on the day.
I'm going to have my first 2pt bet of the season on Jawwaal making it sixth time lucky in York sprints! When he's at his best, he's a super smooth-travelling beast with a good turn of foot and both of his wins last season were very taking, especially when he bolted up in a big field at Ascot. He's 5lbs higher but I think he has triple-digit ability and it'll come out some day. His return run at Beverley wasn't hectic, hence why he's not favourite for this, but that track didn't seem to be his thing and it's possible he badly needed the spin. Michael Dods' runners do very well here and this could have been the horse's big early season target.
What's The Story has a very high rating to be hoping for him to land a handicap, especially as he's now a 7-year-old, but on the other hand he's arriving here on the back of a one-length second to Top Rank in a Listed race at Doncaster and that was an exceptional effort. The form has since proven to be solid by the performances of the fourth and fifth, and the selection comes back to a C&D where he has won twice from three starts, including this race a couple of years ago. Those wins were off 96 and 103, and hopefully he can add a 106 victory now! If they go hard enough up top, I don't think it's impossible to see him majorly involved.
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