York Saturday Preview - 09/07/22

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

York - July 08 2022
York 12:45
Clifford Lee

Eilean Dubh

J: Clifford Lee
T: K R Burke
Age: 4
Weight: 9-7
OR: 90
Days: 20

The first race from the Knavesmire is the Class 2 Handicap over a mile and Eilean Dubh for Karl Burke could play a big hand in the finish.

Seen on a consistent basis this year making his seasonal debut in January at Wolves in a Class 4 Handicap and finishing a good second.

Performing consistently after that winning three decent events, with the best of his runs seemingly coming of late when landing back to back wins at Hamilton and York when upped to 8.5f and a mile respectively.

Two starts ago off a mark of 84 he went on to score over course and distance but strangely was sent down in trip to 6f at Pontefract and didn't handle it at all.

Back up to a mile at a course and distance he is proven at makes him a player.

York - July 08 2022
York 13:20
Franny Norton


J: Franny Norton
T: Charlie & Mark Johnston
Age: 5
Weight: 9-0
OR: 110
Days: 44

One of the feature events of the afternoon at York on Saturday is the Group Three Silver Cup Stakes and it sees three strong runners head to post to battle it out over a staying trip.

We have sided with the Charlie and Mark Johnston trained Thunderous and we believe the gelding has been granted a big opportunity to get back to winning ways in what looks to be a tactical affair.

A highly talented two year old for the Scottish team, Thunderous won all three of his juvenile outings. Scoring over seven furlongs each time and rounding out the season with a convincing Listed success.

He was only seen twice during his classic campaign but looked a hot prospect when scoring a narrow success in the Dante stakes to beat Highest Ground by a neck.

Unfortunately his form took a major dip off last season and he failed to win in any of his four runs.Being brushed aside by Waldkonig over 10 furlongs before stepping up in trip. His best run came in a Group Three to be second behind the impressive Al Aasy.

A good showing at Royal Ascot rounded out his season as he came a respectable fifth in the Hardwicke Stakes behind Wonderful Tonight, with the form of that race looking exceptional.

Gelded ready for this season he’s again failed to put his best foot forward. He’s slowly been moving up in trip and has run well over 13.5-14 furlongs albeit not winning, but being an unlucky loser in some big races.

Coming second to the impressive Hamish at Chester in the Ormonde Stakes, before a valiant second to Stradivarius in the Yorkshire Cup.

He was last seen trying two miles for the first time it looked like he was outclassed as he only managed to come home in fourth.

More is needed here but he might be able to bully this small field from the front and the drop back to this trip is a positive.

York - July 08 2022
York 14:30
Oisin Orr

Rock Opera

J: Oisin Orr
T: Richard Fahey
Age: 2
Weight: 9-6
OR: 81
Days: 28

Our next selection on the afternoon at York comes in the Class 4 Nursery Handicap over six furlongs and the Richard Fahey trained Rock Opera takes the eye.

Making his debut in May of this year, the son of Unfortunately was a decent fourth of 13 behind a nice type for Tom Clover and then on his second start at Hamilton got off the mark in taking fashion.

Looking to make it back to back wins he went to Chester in June and was a narrow second behind a nice winner who he was giving 6lb to.

Now making his handicap debut off a mark of 81, he opposes Sanks A Million for a second time now only giving him 4lb and that makes us think he can reverse the form at a track this trainer has plenty of winners at.

York - July 08 2022
York 15:05
Stevie Donohoe

Rogue Bear

J: Stevie Donohoe
T: Tom Clover
Age: 4
Weight: 8-10
OR: 91
Days: 57

Another nice event is the competitive John Smith's Handicap over 1m2f and with over 20 runners going to post we have played two against the field.

The first is the Tom Clover trained Rogue Bear who has been a seriously unlucky loser all season and we think Saturday could be his day to get his head in front.

Seen eight times in his career, he made his debut in April last year when winning over 6f at Doncaster on quick ground and then backed that up over the same C&D when third on soft ground.

Moved up to 7f at Ascot he was a fair fourth of eight on handicap debut and then when stepped up in trip in October at Nottingham he got back to winning ways taking out two decent handicaps over 8.5f.

Making his seasonal debut this term he finished a superb third of 22 in the Lincoln handicap off 87, drawn on the wrong side of the track and still managing to get involved only going down by two lengths.

Off the same mark he went to Newbury in the 17 runner Spring Cup and again ran a stormer to finish a narrow third in a three way photo behind Modern News.

Stepped up to 1m2f last time out over course and distance he hit trouble in running but flew home late to again go down by a head in second.

Now off a mark of 91 he still looks on a workable mark and with him due some luck in running, this could be his big day.

York - July 08 2022
York 15:05
Harry Davies


J: Harry Davies
T: Andrew Balding
Age: 4
Weight: 9-3
OR: 98
Days: 52

At a much bigger price and one to note is the Andrew Balding trained Achelois who was a prolific winner last term winning three decent events between May and July between seven and 10 furlongs at Newbury, Ascot and Goodwood.

Rounding off last season off a career high mark of 92 he finished a narrow third over course and distance behind the highly progressive Sea La Rosa and then put up two close fourths in big fielded events at Newmarket and Doncaster, the latter run in Listed company.

Back this season the four year old went to Epsom in April and was a neck second to course specialist Soto Sizzler in a good Class 2 Handicap.

Looking to back that up he was a well beaten fifth at Ayr in a Listed event that was emphatically won by My Astra who franked the form at Group One level next time out.

Off a mark of 98 back in handicap company having course and distance form in a similar event, he should be taken seriously, especially with talented claimer Harry Davies taking a valuable 5lb off.

York - July 08 2022
York 15:40
David Allan

Winter Power

J: David Allan
T: Tim Easterby
Age: 4
Weight: 8-10
OR: 114
Days: 25

One of the big races on the Knavesmire on Saturday is the Listed City Walls Stakes and the super quick mare Winter Power is looking to land back to back renewals of the race.

The Tim Easterby trained mare has been a superb stable star over the last few years taking this race last year and then going on to land the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes in emphatic fashion.

However, since that run and away from York she has been extremely below par in some tough Group One races in France, Ireland and England.

We are rating her on Saturday on her York form and if there was ever a race that could see her get back to her best it is this Listed contest.

During her career she has raced four times on the Knavesmire and won three of them, she might just turn out to be a horse that does her best work at this track and on Saturday she can show that.

York - July 08 2022
York 16:15
Billy Garritty

Surprise Picture

J: Billy Garritty
T: Keith Dalgleish
Age: 4
Weight: 9-7
OR: 78
Days: 21

The final event of the afternoon looks to be one of the trickiest events on the card at the weekend with the 20 runner Class 4 Handicap having many smart runners at this level.

We have two each way punts in the race and the first is the Keith Dalgleish trained Surprise Package, who has not been up to much but having now fallen to a very workable mark makes big appeal.

Back to form last time out having not ran well since winning off a mark of 85 in July 2021, he finished a good third when dropped in trip to 6f at Ayr, just finishing behind the favourite Jordan Electrics.

Off the same mark of 78 he can go close once more and being 7lb below his last winning mark, he can't be overlooked.

York - July 08 2022
York 16:15
Daniel Tudhope


J: Daniel Tudhope
T: David O'Meara
Age: 8
Weight: 9-5
OR: 76
Days: 9

At an even bigger price is a horse that fits a similar angle with Muscika for David O'Meara loving it at York and is now down to a mark where he can be competitive.

A course and distance winner that has also ran well into places in big fielded handicap events on the Knavesmire, the eight year old has now dropped down to a career low mark of 76, having won races off a high of 88 in the past.

Struggling for form the gelding was last seen posting a better fourth at Epsom last time out not being too far behind the winner.

Dropped 2lb for that run and now off 76, also being drawn well makes him interesting at a price.