York Wednesday Preview - 17/05/23

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

York - May 16 2023
York 12:50
Tom Marquand

La Yakel

J: Tom Marquand
T: William Haggas
Age: 4
Weight: 8-13
OR: 92
Days: 222

The first selection of the Dante meeting comes in the Jorvik Handicap over 1m4f and La Yakel for trainer William Haggas should not be far away with the trainer winning the last two renewals for the same owner.

La Yakel has been seen five times during his career getting better the further he has gone and since being sent into handicaps.

Third to Secret State on debut at Nottingham back in May 2022, he then went to Windsor and again finished third in a Novice Stakes over a mile.

Getting off the mark for his career at Southwell in his final start in a Novice Stakes over 1m3f, he went on to bolt up revelling in the extra trip.

Since then he has been seen twice more in handicap company, winning on handicap debut off a mark of 87 at Ascot when taking the 1m4f Lavazza Stakes and then last time out over the same trip at Newmarket in the Old Rowley Cup when fourth behind Al Nafir.

That run came off 5lb higher and running off the same mark for this event makes him dangerous, especially with Haggas' record in the race.

York - May 16 2023
York 13:25
Oisin Murphy


J: Oisin Murphy
T: Kevin Ryan
Age: 8
Weight: 8-13
OR: 95
Days: 37

Another tough handicap follows at York on Wednesday with the Churchill Tyres Handicap over 6f seeing some familiar faces and we are siding with the Kevin Ryan trained Bielsa, who looks extremely well handicapped.

A horse who struggled last season being on a tough handicap mark off the back of a superb season the year before in 2021.

A winner in September 20221 in the Ayr Gold Cup off a mark of 98, he was then raised to a mark of 107 and in his runs at the back end of that year and 2022, the mission has been trying to get that down to something more reasonable.

Mission was accomplished on this front having not ran to a great standard last term seeing his mark fall to 94 for his first run of this term.

Given a spin round at Redcar over 6f when a good second to a nice type for Ruth Carr receiving over a stone from Bielsa, the eight year old ran a superb prep race for this event.

Only going up 1lb for that run to a mark of 95 for this event he is 3lb below his last winning mark and overall is 7lb lower than when 3 3/4 lengths seventh of 22 in this event last year.

He looks well handicapped and should go close at a double figure price.

York - May 16 2023
York 14:00
Clifford Lee


J: Clifford Lee
T: K R Burke
Age: 3
Weight: 9-1
OR: 113
Days: 30

One of the highlights of the afternoon on Wednesday from the Knavesmire is the Group Two Duke Of York Clipper Stakes over 6f and although Highfield Princess is very tough to beat, Marshman getting 9lbs looks the value in the field.

A winner on debut last term as a juvenile at Ayr over 6f, he then went to Thirsk under a penalty and bolted up by close to nine lengths.

Sent over C&D at York in August he finished a superb second behind the highly talented sprinter Noble Style in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes.

Finishing last season in the Group One Middle Park Stakes at Newmarket he ran a fair race to finish five lengths back in fifth behind winner Blackbeard.

Returning this term as a three year old, he has matured and improved for his Winter off, starting his season off at Chantilly when impressively landing the Group Three Prix Sigy.

He is taking on hardened professionals in this event, but receiving weight all round makes him one to watch at the prices.

York - May 16 2023
York 14:35
Clifford Lee


J: Clifford Lee
T: K R Burke
Age: 3
Weight: 9-2
OR: 113
Days: 222

The big race of the afternoon is the Group Three Musidora, used as a trial for many ahead of the Epsom Oaks and although the favourite Infinite Cosmos is respected, Novakai looks too big of a price.

Seen four times as a juvenile last season racing to a good standard in all of her races, she made her debut over 7f at Doncaster when bolting up in a Fillies' Maiden by just over four lengths ahead of a decent type in Crackovia.

She then went into the Group Three Sweet Solera Stakes at Newmarket on the July Course and although finishing fifth of nine she was only 2 3/4 lengths behind the winner Lakota Sioux.

Stepped up to a mile at Doncaster in the Group Two May Hill Stakes when second to Polly Pott, she then put up a career best to finish a length second on her final start in the Group One Fillies' Mile behind the talented Comissioning.

Always bred to want further she steps up in trip today and if improving for being a year older and her trainer Karl Burke in Solid form, she can put herself in the frame for the Epsom Oaks and at 7/1 looks value.

York - May 16 2023
York 15:10
Oisin Murphy

Zu Run

J: Oisin Murphy
T: Andrew Balding
Age: 3
Weight: 9-3
OR: 89
Days: 238

Next up is the Class 3 Handicap over 7f and with a decent field of 14 heading to post we have dutched the race with two horses who could hit the frame at each way prices.

The first is the Andrew Balding trained Zu Run who makes his handicap debut off a mark of 89 having performed well last season on all three of his starts.

Needing his first run at Salisbury when showing clear ability to run on well after a slow start, he then got off the mark at Chelmsford over the same trip, learning plenty off the back of his first run to win by over two lengths.

Finishing his season off at Kempton when second under a penalty behind Lord Uthred, he now goes handicapping with his trainer having a successful time at Chester last week and off 89 he could have a lot to offer.

York - May 16 2023
York 15:10
Joe Fanning

Hey Lyla

J: Joe Fanning
T: Charlie Johnston
Age: 3
Weight: 8-8
OR: 80
Days: 13

At a bigger price for trainer Charlie Johnston Hey Lyla is a filly that could outrun her odds of 16/1 off a mark of 90 holding some very strong back form.

Needing her debut at Doncaster in July last term, she then went to Southwell and finished second by a short head, being very unlucky not to get the job done.

Second next time out at Newmarket in a Maiden behind the talented Dream Of Love, she was then a good third behind the likes of Coppice and Whispering Love.

Second again on the all weather this time at Chelmsford, this time behind Majestic Pride who has already franked the form this term, she rounded out her juvenile career with a decent third behind Perdika for George Boughey.

Back in a Novice Stakes on her first run of the season at Epsom when second behind Kadovar when possibly needing the run, she finally got off the mark when last seen in a Maiden Fillies' Stakes at Ayr, bolting up by three lengths.

Gaining plenty of experience so far in her career and now having her second start in a handicap off a mark of 80, there is more to come from this filly and she looks a big each way price.

York - May 16 2023
York 16:15
William Buick

Paris Lights

J: William Buick
T: George Boughey
Age: 4
Weight: 9-8
OR: 84
Days: 116

The final selection on the first day of the day of the Dante meeting comes in the Class 4 Handicap over 1m4f and Paris Lights for George Boughey looks solid at the top of the market.

Moved from Jessica Harrington to Boughey in December 2022, he made a winning start for the yard in a Novice Stakes at Lingfield when winning by over two lengths, with the gelding operation bringing big improvement.

Given his first run of this season over the same C&D in a handicap, he was a good second behind Obsidian Knight who was receiving 6lb.

Racing off 4lb higher here off a mark of 84, he looks a typical handicap project for this trainer and if handling the step up to 1m4f he could go close.

He has an exceptional pedigree being related to the superstar St Mark's Basilica and Magna Grecia.