Day two of the Ebor Festival at York is on Thursday the 19th of August, and has the Darley Yorkshire Oaks (3.15pm) as the feature event.
*Check back in closer to the event for the latest tips from our expert horse racing writer, Enda McElhinney.
1.45 – Sky Bet Lowther Stakes (Fillies’ Group 2, 6f)
Queen Mary runner-up Sacred will be popular for the Lowther, the in-form William Haggas having seemingly opted to keep her for this race. This is no easy task however with 13 rivals to master. Irish raiders Miss Amulet and Sussex Gordon are respected along with Princess Margaret winner Santosha but it is HALA HALA HALA – second in that Ascot race – that gets the vote.
She didn’t get much luck in running that day, following the disappointing favourite before having to change course, and has undergone wind surgery since. That, coupled with first-time headgear, should see her competitive for a yard that won this Group 2 in 2016.
Tip: Hala Hala Hala @
2.15 – Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes (6f)
We may not see anything as impressive as Mums Tipple was last year in this race but DEVIOUS COMPANY could still hold a class advantage for trainer Tom Dascombe. Twice a winner at Haydock in June, he’s been runner-up in a brace of Group 2s since, including behind Battleground in the Vintage at Glorious Goodwood. That gives him very strong claims in this line-up and while he drops to 6f for the first time, he isn’t short of speed and the ground will draw out his stamina in any case.
Tip: Devious Company @
2.45 – Clipper Logistics Handicap (Heritage Handicap, 1m)
A puzzling handicap. The unbeaten Top Rank is feared despite a 12lb hike for his Thirsk win on comeback, he’s clearly talented but this is the shortest turnaround of his four-race career and it’s no easy assignment. Prompting is in the form of his life and should go well, while Sir Busker was luckless behind that rival in the Golden Mile at Goodwood and may bounce back.
French import WALHAAN was an eye-catching second last time at Ascot and is only 2lb higher on his fourth British start. Ian Williams’ charge is low-mileage and could have something to offer despite this rise in class. He’ll also have no worries on the rain-softened Knavesmire turf.
Tip: Walhaan @
3.15 – Darley Yorkshire Oaks (Fillies’ And Mares’ Group 1, 1m4f)
LOVE conquers all they say, and that’s exactly what this Galileo filly looks like doing in the Yorkshire Oaks. She has already pocketed the 1,000 Guineas and the Epsom Oaks – the latter by a whopping nine lengths on her first attempt at this distance – and it’s hard to see old rival Frankly Darling or that one’s stablemate Franconia getting to her. A showdown with Enable didn’t happen today, but may well do so in the Arc come October.
Jessica Harrington’s Nassau Stakes runner-up One Voice might be next best behind the uber-impressive Love.
Tip: Love / One Voice forecast
3.45 – Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes (Fillies’ And Mares’ Listed, 1m4f)
Vivionn was second in this last year and returned with a sound showing at Haydock in June but the softening ground may be a worry. GOLD WAND pushed Franconia quite hard in a Listed event over shorter here last month and should improve again upped in distance (flopped previously in The Oaks). That was on quick ground but her debut second on heavy at Yarmouth bodes well. In a wide open contest she appeals as much as anything.
Tip: Gold Wand @
4.20 – Sky Bet EBF Stallions Nursery (7f)
Mark Johnston has been in form this week already ay York and his Newmarket winner Basilicata likely won’t got down without a fight but she’s 4lb higher for that battling HQ success and nursery debutante BONNYRIGG might be the answer from a fair opening mark of 77 for Andrew Balding and Oisin Murphy. He has handled some give in the ground in two runs and looks certain to progress in this sphere.
Tip: Bonnyrigg @
4.50 – British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Handicap (7f)
Handicap debutante Lawahed is one to note for trainer William Haggas and could have excellent claims but there’s surely a race awaiting ODYSSEY GIRL somewhere soon. She won twice last year and has run excellent races in defeat on four of five starts this term. She was sandwiched by a rapidly progressive winner (completing four-timer) and a next-time-out scorer when second last time at Newmarket and might get the job this time with a first-time visor to aid the cause.
Tip: Odyssey Girl @
*All odds correct at time of writing