Andrew Balding: 13 runners makes for a very busy Saturday
The Betway ambassador, who has multiple entries at York, Sandown and Chelmsford on Saturday, talks you through their preparation and assesses their chances.
Punctuation has been very consistent this season and didn’t have the best of luck at Sandown last time, where he was checked in running.
He’s run well off this mark, so it looks as though the handicapper has him about right. I think he’ll be competitive.
Coltrane also won very well last time and keeps on improving with each start.
This, however, is a much deeper race, so he has to step up again, but, with a horse that’s going in the right direction, it’s not impossible.
Shine So Bright , on the other hand, would want the ground to dry up.
He won this race last year and this has been his target for some time. He’s a smart horse who has run well in defeat this season.
Shailene has the widest draw of all in the Ebor but, as she’s often a slow starter, it might not be too much of a hindrance.
She ran well last time out and, if the ground does quicken up, she could run a nice race, but this is the toughest handicap of the year.
Ranch Hand has had the Ebor as his target for a long time, so we’re delighted he just squeezed in at the bottom.
He ran well over course and distance in a Group 3 last time, so we’re hoping he can acquit himself well.
Politics is a nice, young horse who improved from his first run, when he was second, to be successful at Sandown a couple of weeks ago.
He’s shown us that he has lots of natural speed and this is a fast five furlongs, so I just hope he can take the step up in class in his stride.
Pivoine absolutely loves York and, with these conditions looking like his optimum, we’re hopeful that he’ll run a really nice race.
He needed the run in the John Smith’s Cup and then he found it too soft at Chester. He’s in good form at home and the handicapper has given him a chance, too.
Never Dark runs in the Apprentice Handicap with Marie Perrault on board. She claims a very valuable 7lb off his back and, as he’s 3lb out of the handicap, that will be a big help.
She rode a winner for us last year and she looks after Kameko, so it would be lovely to give her another winning ride.
Barossa Red wouldn’t want the ground to dry up as he absolutely loves soft ground.
He ran well at Newbury last weekend and, though we’re running him back sooner than we’d normally like, he’s in good form and we want to take advantage of his current mark.
Grove Ferry was slightly held up following his third in a competitive race at Lingfield in June. That race has worked out rather well, so it’s good to see him back on track now.
He seems in good form at home, too.
Auriferous was very green first time out, but hopefully he’s learned from that run. He’s the type to keep improving with racing but, in this contest, he does have a chance of running into a place.
Spring Glow has a fair bit to find with Arctic Victory, but I’m eager to get her back on a sound surface. She goes well on our polytrack at home, so it would be no surprise to see her run well.
Straight Right is a smart horse who is a handy performer on the All-Weather. This has been his target for a while, so we’re hopeful that he’ll run a big race. He’ll need some luck from stall 11, mind.
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