1:50pm York – Class 2 Handicap
Course specialist Dakota Gold has enjoyed six wins on the Knavesmire, a record number of successes he shares with Copper Knight, who lines up against him here, and star stayer Stradivarius.
The Michael Dods trained eight-year-old runs off the same mark as when he finished in the middle of the pack here in May and is certainly one to consider given his success here in the past.
The aforementioned Copper Knight is a likable type, but can be inconsistent. Mondammej’s last run here was disappointing but he finished second prior to that in a Listed contest, indicating that he did handle the track, and is 1lbs lower in ratings here.
He has been running in tough races and if the ground remains on the firmer side, he has each-way claims.
Karl Burke’s (pictured) four-year-old Significantly won two big field handicaps at Ascot last year, on contrasting ground, but has been unreliable since and wears a first-time tongue strap. This is his second run following wind surgery, and if able to show improvement and perform to his best, he could well spring a surprise, or at least run into the places at a big price.
Project Dante hasn’t shown much ability since the first two runs of his career and would need to show a considerable amount of improvement to make the frame.
Bond Chairman is in good form and is another capable of showing further progression. He didn’t perform well in his only appearance at York last season, but could be excused as it was the final race of his debut season and the ground may not have been to suit.
Nomadic Empire’s current mark of 95 puts him in with a chance, 4lbs lower than when winning here last September over 6f. The consistent Look Out Louis has 5lbs claimer Ryan Sexton aboard, and is one to keep an eye on in the field, whilst Ancient Times has each-way claims off a mark of 91 and could go well.
1:50pm York – Significantly 1pt E/W @ 28/1 (various – 6 places, 25/1, 22/1 in places)
3:00pm York – Great Voltigeur Stakes (Group 2)
At the head of the market is Secret State, who was impressive when last seen winning a handicap at Goodwood over 1m4f. He has recorded four wins from five in his career to date, and appears the one to beat for an in-form Charlie Appleby yard who are performing at a 48% strike rate.
Stablemate Walk Of Stars was gelded following a disappointing run in the Derby where he failed to handle the undulating nature of the Epsom track and showed greenness.
He fared better last time out, when beaten a neck by Deauville Legend at Newmarket, and stayed on well.
Deauville Legend was narrowly defeated by Secret State in the King George V Stakes, receiving 4lbs from the winner. He has won since, over 1m5f, but was well beaten by New London over this trip last month.
Irish-raider Aikhal hasn’t been as convincing as the favourite in his career to date, but was victorious in a Group Three contest at the Curragh last time out.
He made light work of the opposition and is capable of further improvement representing a top yard.
El Bodegon appears slightly overpriced at double figure odds, whilst Grand Alliance is a talented individual but may find this trip too much of a stamina test.
3:00pm York – Secret State 2pts win @ 5/2 (most firms)
3:35pm – Juddmonte International Stakes (Group 1)
A mouth-watering clash is on the cards in the feature race of the meeting, the highly-anticipated International Stakes, won by a list of top-class equine athletes in the past.
Unbeaten superstar Baaeed is the odds-on favourite to emulate his sire, Sea The Stars, by winning this prestigious race in his first attempt at 1m2f.
Baaeed hasn’t done much wrong in his career to date, with nine victories from nine races over a mile. He is yet to be really tested, he goes through the motions and does what is needed to win.
The four-year-old oozes class and appears unflappable, but does face his toughest test here.
Last year’s winner Mishriff has proven he handles York, and 1m2f appears to be his optimum trip. He was narrowly beaten in last month’s Coral-Eclipse, but faced trouble in running and did well in the circumstances. He will be ready for this test, attempting to retain his crown, and will give his all in the battle.
Native Trail finished third at Sandown in his first attempt at 1m2f and receives 7lbs from his older rivals here. This could be slightly out of his depth at this point in his career, and he is yet to prove himself over the trip.
Dubai Honour, High Definition and Sir Busker, whilst all being talented performers on their day, all appear to be in the running for a share of the prize money, and are unlikely to trouble the top two in the market, Baaeed and Mishriff.
Sir Busker could outrun his odds of 66/1 and may not finish last of the field as his odds suggest, as he has improved with a step up to 1m2f, but with only six runners the each-way market isn’t very enticing.
4:45pm York – Class 2 Fillies’ Handicap
Current market leader Pink Crystal is bidding for a hat-tricks of wins and her fourth success of the season. She has been progressing well and is likely to be competitive.
Corazon appears better treated now 7lbs lower than when first seen this season whilst stablemate Hellomydarlin runs off an enticing mark of 88 with 7lbs claimer Connor Planas aboard. The latter has been disappointing in many runs this season, but did finish third in a Listed affair at Ayr and is capable of performing well on her day.
Ey Up It’s Maggie has previously performed well at the track and could be in contention if there is some ease in the ground, but she does have a bit to do to reverse form with a few of her rivals here.
Four-year-old International Angel beat Good Earth to reign victorious at the track last month, putting her firmly in contention here now upped in class.
One of the outsiders of the field Sound Of Iona has been enjoying a fruitful spell this summer, performing consistently well to earn herself a rating of 76, 13lbs higher than when she lined up at Musselburgh in June.
She is another up in class, but if able to continue her good run of form she could make the frame at a decent price, with claimer Amie Waugh taking a useful 5lbs off her back.
4:45pm York – Hellomydarlin 1pt E/W @ 22/1 (5 places most firms)