The Mandarin’s Ebor Racecard for Saturday 21st August

Sky Bet And Symphony Group Strensall Stakes (Group 3) 1.50
El Drama
Roger Varian’s Lope De Vega colt might have been outclassed in the Coral-Eclipse at Sandown last month, but this is a more realistic assignment, and only the very smart Baaeed was good enough to beat him in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes at Goodwood next time out. Getting a whole stone from the likes of the top class Lord Glitters, and a 7lb pull from likely favourite, Real World, may just be too much of an edge for this Group 3

Sky Bet Melrose Handicap 2.25
It could pay to side with Roger Varian’s grey, a winner at Doncaster on his last outing on turf, before putting a good shift on the all-weather at Newcastle to finish third of six. Different underfoot conditions here will be an unknown, but he did finish a three-quarter length third to Derby runner-up, Mojo Star at Newbury on heavy ground last year, so there’s every chance he’ll cope. Solid each way claims

Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (Group 2) 3.00
Safe Voyage (nap)
John Quinn’s Fast Company gelding wasn’t really at the races when last of eight in the Lennox Stakes at Goodwood last time out, but is worth another shot at black type here, with some rain in the forecast only likely to help the cause. He won this race last year so acts on this track, and might still have a big run in him. Sure to be in the mix at the business end

Sky Bet Ebor Handicap 3.35
Fujaira Prince (nb)
Some of these are better handicapped, but Fujaira Prince likes it around here, winning this hot handicap last year and he can go close again. Remarkably consistent, the grey has never been out of the first three in eleven career starts so is expected to make the frame once again at the very least. William Haggas has a couple of good ones in Ilaraab and the lightly raced Hamish, and the hat-trick seeking Live Your Dream will attract plenty of support, but the selection has yet to finish anywhere out of the money, so gets the nod for the feature

Julia Graves Roses Stakes (Listed Race) 4.10
Karl Burke’s Wootton Bassett filly was just collared late on in the St Hugh’s Stakes at Newbury having led for a long way but there’s every chance she’ll repeat her impressive Haydock success sooner or later. This doesn’t look the strongest line up for a Listed contest so Attagirl should be thereabouts

Sky Bet Handicap 4.45
A pretty hot handicap and worth taking a chance on Wahraan, who showed a fancy enough turn of foot to slam his rivals at Newmarket last month. That was on a zippy surface, but he’s got form on slower so with tomorrow’s predicted downpours he looks a safe bet to wrap up the hat-trick for trainer Sir Michael Stoute

Sky Bet Apprentice Handicap 5.20
Miss Nay Never
In the final race a chance is taken on John Quinn’s Miss Nay Never, whose wins have come on the all-weather but should cope with the extra cut in the ground if the forecast rain arrives. This is a pretty competitive race to close the Ebor Festival but she’s every chance to be in the frame in the more than capable hands of William Carver, place claims

The Mandarin

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