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There is some top-class racing this week at York, with the Dante being the jewel in the crown, but racing starts off with a bang on Wednesday, and the Group 2 Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes looks a really intriguing contest. There is a strong favourite in the form of the Kevin Ryan trained Brando, and the 5 year old son of Pivotal looks a cracking bet.
The start of Brando’s career was not indicative that the horse would become a group race performer. After three solid, but unspectacular maiden runs, the horse obtained a mark of 78. Improved on that form and was well backed once hitting handicap company, but connections were clearly seeing more at home than on the racecourse and the Ryan yard subsequently gelded the horse. Having his privates removed enabled this son of Pivotal to channel all of his focus on racing, and immediately the decision to have the operation was repaid, as Brando bolted up at Hamilton. Continued to improve throughout 2015, but came back in 2016 as an even better horse, with every run of the year hitting three figures on RPR’s. Ended up winning the Ayr Gold Cup off a very lofty mark and then went very close on his final run of the season at Ascot, after racing on the wrong side. Was strongly backed for seasonal reappearance at Newmarket and despite being several lengths down 2 furlongs out, the horse came through to win going away.
Brando excels when running on a galloping track, in a big field, chasing a fast pace, as he likes to be held up and then use a late burst of pace. York should be perfect, as he can get cover, and the flat surface and long straight is conducive to the horse showing his best form. Will have come on from seasonal reappearance and handles ground with cut in it, so this horse has plenty in his favour. Everything is set for a big run, and even at odds of 5/2 3.50 +250 2.50 2.50 -0.40 with Bet365, Coral and Ladbrokes he represents betting value.
Chessman is a ‘dark’ horse in the 7 furlong, Class 3 handicap at York and John Gosden’s runner could turn out to be significantly better than his current mark of 90. After a satisfactory seasonal reappearance at Newbury, the horse should be spot on for this and he should be closer to 3/2 2.50 +150 1.50 1.50 -0.67 .
Chessman started his career last November at Kempton over 7 furlongs, and the horse was well backed in the market. Travelled really smoothly and extended away from his rivals in facile fashion, going on to score by just over 2 lengths. Was put away for the winter and returned in April at Newbury, making his handicap debut off a mark of 87. Ridden by Frankie Dettori, the horse was held up in rear, and was given a sympathetic ride. Came with a strong run in the final furlong and was just denied, but put up a good effort and was raised 3lbs for that run.
John Gosden clearly thinks plenty of the son of Acclamation as he has the horse entered in the July Cup at Newmarket. The ground may have been a little bit fast last time out, as the sire’s offspring tend to prefer a little bit of cut in the ground. William Buick is jocked up today and York’s track should play to his strengths. Of course there are dangers, most notably in the form of Richard Hannon’s Harbour Grey, but this filly will need to be high class to finish in front of our selection who can be backed at 9/4 3.25 +225 2.25 2.25 -0.44 with BetVictor.
15:30 York – Brando to win
Wednesday 17th May
Odds: 5/2 3.50 +250 2.50 2.50 -0.40
16:35 York – Chessman to win
Wednesday 17th May
Odds: 9/4 3.25 +225 2.25 2.25 -0.44