It is the final day of the Dante Festival at York on Friday as the Knavesmire opens its doors to some of the leading lights of the season for the last time this week to round off what has been a decent meeting where plenty of clues for what is ahead have been on show.
The highlight of the final day of the meeting is the Yorkshire Cup but with only five runners and a market which looks like a match between two, we are focusing our attention on the following race for our Friday punt.
A maximum field of 20 for this 7 furlong handicap at the Knavesmire sees a highly competitive & very open looking race, with bookies quoting 11/2 the field. Boardman hacked up last week at Haydock & is only 5lb higher so is effectively 5lbs well in but there has to be question marks against him repeating that performance now he’s away from heavy ground. Highland Princess had a great campaign last year but that was on the all weather so she’s a risky proposition on turf but does have the assistance of Ryan Moore in the plate. Fortamour often flatters to deceive whilst Tom Collins is a horse I think will win a good handicap this year but he’s something to prove after his disappointing effort last time out.
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Shawaamekh is the one I am siding with here. He’s a course winner in a big field back in 2019 so there’s no question marks over the track & he’s handicapped well off 81 given his last win came off a mark of 83. On his reappearance off today’s mark at Chester, he was drawn very wide in 13 which basically ruined his chance before they left the gate. He didn’t break quickly enough, got stuck out at the back & was never in the right position. That said, he was going well & picked up to finish a length 4th, closing at the line. I actually believe he would have gone close with a clear run or if the jockey kept on a straight line. It was a strange ride but I expect better today at this more conventional track. He only needs to run to a similar level & he’ll be hard to beat.
Back Shawaamekh (e/w) for a 1.5/10 stake at 8.00 Betfair BOG (⅕ odds 1-6)
Back it here: