Saturday 7 December 2019

Something for the weekend!

Trainer Gosden can repeat the heroics of last year with a 1-2

LOOKING GOOD: Weekender can prevail in York
LOOKING GOOD: Weekender can prevail in York

The Sky Bet Ebor is fast becoming the Flat's equivalent of the Aintree Grand National, with this year's renewal consisting of 22 runners compressed into a handicap of just 8lbs.

Of course, with €600,000 in prizemoney on offer it is bound to attract a classy entry, but in essence this is a group race and in John Gosden, we know he have a trainer well capable of winning it.

He saddled last year's 1-2, and in WEEKENDER (3.40 York) and Ben Vrackie he may repeat the feat.

Ben Vrackie is sure to be popular with Frankie Dettori in the saddle but Weekender runs off a 1lb lower mark than when a clear second last year and he must go very close again.


Adding to the appeal is the 20/1 or so on offer and with Graham Lee in the plate he certainly won't lack for assistance.

He has had three runs so far this season, a pipe-opener at Ascot before a win at Chelmsford off a mark of 112.

He then came here over course and distance and finished a very decent fourth behind Red Verdon in the John Smith's Silver Cup Stakes, just over two lengths behind.

That would suggest he is in at least as good form as last year and at the forecast prices, and running off a rating of 111, he can be counted on to run a cracker.

The gutsy, admirable and lovable LAURENS (3.00 York) returns to Group Two company for the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes and she is selected to back up her top-level Prix Rothschild success at Deauville.

She won four Group Ones last year and was also an excellent second in this year's Lockinge, a race that is working out incredibly since.

She is the class horse in the race and should win well.

In the Celebration Mile at, SKARDU (2.05 Goodwood) can get back to winning ways for William Haggas and Tom Marquand.

The Craven winner ran a cracker to be third in the 2,000 Guineas, finishing first home on his side of the track.

He has run excellent races in defeat since, in the Irish Guineas and at Royal Ascot, and he should be tough to stop here.

Finally, at home, GIVE BATTLE (4.05 Killarney) looks well handicapped on his return to the Flat. He won off a mark of 96 at Sligo over hurdles recently and is in here off a mark off 55 today.

WEEKENDER (3.40 York)

LAURENS (3.00 York)

SKARDU (2.05 Goodwood)

GIVE BATTLE (4.05 Killarney)

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