Ray Flanagan with Ebor Handicap selections
In view of some social commitments (good to be getting more of these!) I will have a quieter final two days than envisaged at York.
Putting all my eggs in one basket and going in with a few darts at the big handicap of the week, Saturday’s SkyBet Ebor.
Saturday 3.40 York- The Ebor Handicap.- Fujaira Prince, Pondus and Verdana Blue
Fujaira Prince is a lightly raced horse for a five-year old with trainer Roger Varian mentioning that he has been on the fragile side. He looked an improved performer though this year when scooting up at Royal Ascot and this contest has seemed an obvious target since. He will take a fair amount of stopping.
Pondus has to be respected for training shark Joseph O Brien who has been mopping up many handicaps in Ireland all summer. This formerly UK trained horse has a profile similar to horses who have dome well in this race recently- listed verging on group class form over shorter distances. Campaigned mainly in small fields thus far the pick of his efforts was probably an emphatic win in the Lenabane Stakes at Roscommon where he comfortably beat Camphor who franked the form subsequently at Galway. I believe he will improve again for encountering a bigger field and while not guaranteed to stay one would imagine he will and the booking of Jamie Spencer is another positive.
Finally I would not rule out Verdana Blue who could still be well handicapped on the flat if producing her best form. A very useful sort over hurdles she is almost Champion Hurdle class on a good day and the best of her flat form is respectable also. She may have not lasted home fully in the Ascot Stakes and is a big danger here provided the ground is no worse than yielding.
2 pts win- Fujaira Prince- 3.40 York Saturday- 7-1 General
1.5 pts ew- Pondus-3.40 York Saturday-12-1 General- 5 places
1 pt ew- Verdana Blue-3.40 York-12-1 General- 5 places