Bill Can Begin York With A Bang

The York Ebor Festival will begin with a bang tomorrow as the Juddmonte International Stakes takes centre stage. (3.40)

Postponed heads the market but will the recent trend of successful three-year-olds in the race continue this year?

Winning Streak
Postponed has won his last five starts, while Hawkbill is unbeaten in six so at least one of them will be ruing losing that unbeaten sequence tomorrow evening and with the likes of King George winner Highland Reel (11/2) and former Irish Champion Stakes hero The Grey Gatsby (14/1) it is sure to be a very intriguing contest.

You couldn’t but be a fan of Postponed (6/4) as he continually manages to get the job done and his win in the Coronation Stakes at Epsom when he defeated Found by four and a half lengths was arguably a career best effort from the five-year-old.

However, he was forced to miss the King George and Roger Varian’s string don’t seem to be running as well as the trainer expects so there would be some concerns from that camp and it could be time to side with the ever-improving Hawkbill.


Positive for the Classic Generation
The first two horses home in the Juddmonte for the last two seasons have both been three-year-olds and the 8lbs age allowance that the Classic generation receives is undoubtedly a massive help.

Hawkbill proved himself at this level when beating French Guineas winner and subsequent Sussex Stakes winner The Gurkha in the Eclipse last month and there’s no reason he can’t keep improving and take Wednesday’s feature at 5/1.

Mooney Looking For More
Dunboyne-based trainer Amanda Mooney has just the one winner to her credit, that coming at the Curragh on Irish Guineas weekend but at a big price the same horse, Repeater, could run well at York on Wednesday (4.20).

The seven-year-old is one of just four horses that Mooney has in training but he ran with credit at Epsom on Derby weekend when finishing third and again wasn’t disgraced in a valuable handicap at Galway at the end of last month.

Repeater lines up in the Fine Equinity Stakes over an extended two-miles and with a light weight on his back he looks overpriced at 16/1.

The step up in trip is not likely to prove a negative to his chances.

Seamie Has Courage
Seamie Heffernan is getting some top opportunities in the absence of Ryan Moore and Ballydoyle’s number two has a very good book of rides for York’s opening day and among them is Courage Under Fire in the Acomb Stakes (2.30).

After finishing second behind stable companion Caravaggio at the Curragh, Aidan O’Brien suggested it would take a very good maiden to beat Courage Under Fire but rather than go down the maiden route with the son of War Front…

O’Brien has taken a tilt at this Group Three and surely there’s no way he should be 6/1.

Godolphin’s Best Of Days was very impressive on debut winning a Sandown maiden by six-lengths and Lockheed is a colt highly regarded by William Haggas who won at Goodwood.

But Courage Under Fire is clearly an improver and it is questionable if any of his rivals on Wednesday would get to within four-lengths of Caravaggio so at the very worst, Courage Under Fire is an each-way steal in the Acomb Stakes.

Recommended Bets:
Courage Under Fire (6/1) 2.30 York
Hawkbill (5/1) 3.40 York
Repeater (16/1) 4.20 York

*Prices correct at time of publication.