Steve Hughes has two picks for the third and final day at York
The Yorkshire Cup is the feature race at York on Friday, but with a hot favourite in Stradivarius I am looking elsewhere for two bets. Eeh Bah Gum was placed for the each-way bet on Thursday (advised 22/1).
York 3.35: Grandee
There is a warmish favourite in UAE Prince here, but it is now over two years since he last won a race and therefore surely there is value to be had looking for an each-way bet elsewhere. Grandee seems to fit the bill.
A high class colt with Jessie Harrington earlier in his career, where he won at listed level at Leopardstown before racing in the Irish Derby in 2017. Last season was a bit of a write off when with David O’Meara, but that stable was out of sorts for much of the year and he has looked a much happier horse since teaming up with Roger Fell.
The headgear he wore most of last term has been removed. After a promising fourth on the opening weekend of the turf season at Doncaster, he stormed home to win by 5l on the sand at Newcastle last time over this 10f trip. He has understandably been raised 9lbs for that, but remains 10lbs below the mark he started last term from.
York 5.05: Laafy
Into handicap company for the first time after three runs in novice contests, it is a fairly safe bet that there will be more improvement to come with Laafy this afternoon – hopefully enough for him to follow up his maiden victory at Leicester last month.
Michael Stoute always leaves plenty to work on with his charges and it has been noticeable with this colt the level of improvement between each run so far. He was very green when only fifth on debut at Kempton over 7f last season. However he knew much more about the game when a narrow second over a mile at Leicester on his latter start of 2018.
He returned to the Midland track over 10f last month and I was very impressed with what he found off the bridle that day to stay past Sucellus in the closing stages. He looked certain to improve again for another 2f and I think an opening mark of 83 could prove extremely generous.
0.75pts each-way – Grandee – 3.35 York – 9/1 general (Skybet 1/5 odds 1st 4)
1.5pts win – Laafy – 5.05 York – 11/4 general