Tanya Stevenson
Tanya Stevenson's Racing UK Blog
Wednesday 20th August 2014

Racing UK

Maharaja can Rule the Knavesmire

Kingman, Euro Charline, and Adelaide all sparkled in France and America over the weekend and there is more, plenty more, this week as we are going to be treated to Australia and Taghrooda at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. 

Looking at the forecast there might be some rain, so if I was a Sole Power supporter I’d be worried come Friday’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes and come Saturday we’ll find out whether the gambled-on Pallasator was well placed by Sir Mark Prescott. 

Over the last five years at the Ebor Meeting 28 favourites have obliged from 123 races and the top jockeys have been Frankie Dettori and Kieren Fallon.

The top trainers have been William Haggas and Kevin Ryan. 

I’ve spent a while researching the last twenty years of the Ebor, and it has brought back many memories. 

The heart warmed driving up the A64 in the knowledge that I’d soon be at the Knavesmire. 

York is a place that even though you are on your own, you will never be alone. 

Full marks to York as it is only £9 entry to the family enclosure, with children free, and you can take in a picnic. 

The course is such a wonderful setting and the atmosphere in the betting ring is always buoyant. The banter is top-class and there tends to be a disparity between prices, which very refreshing. 

There is plenty to contemplate for the layers - do they oppose Australia in the Juddmonte International with Aidan O’Brien stating slight concerns over his fitness, do they take on Kingston Hill, or must they be patient? 

There’ll be an estimated 17,000 clicking through the turnstiles with 150 bookmakers to bet with and it’s always an honour and a thrill to stand amongst them.  There are times I wish I was still standing on a bookmaker’s pitch and it’s generally during these four days. 

Chatting with the layers and getting their views on the current state of the betting ring will be enlightening. Expenses here before taking a bet will be nearly £1,000 and that’s before travel, accommodation and any sundries.  There is plenty for them to consider.

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The Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes on Wednesday will give an almighty steer towards the Ladbrokes St Leger next month.

The ante-post market will receive a huge shake up, whoever wins.  I love Windshear so for me the supporting race on the card is between Hartnell and Snow Sky, who have both defeated Richard Hannon’s horse in respective races.

Hartnell is a front-runner, while Snow Sky comes from behind. 

However my punting heartstrings were pulled last year by Indian Marahraja, when I watched him win both his starts.  He disappeared into oblivion, however, after his poor run in March.  That run in the 2000 Guineas Trial was while Aidan O’Brien’s horses were running without any consistency so he can be forgiven. For a speculative interest the Irish raider may be worth a very small each-way investment.   

As for the Juddmonte International it is hardly a race to have a bet, instead one to watch see how it unravels and the fluctuations in the market will be worth watching. 

The first day is not one I really fancy having a bet in, plus I’ll probably get a better feel getting closer to post time nearer each race.  Keep an eye out on the market moves.


Tanya Stevenson’s Wednesday tip:

3.05 York: Indian Maharaja each-way at 25-1 with SkyBet

Tanya Stevenson’s Wednesday pointers:

York has never been Mark Johnston’s lucky course, In 2012 he only had one winner from 45 runners and last season was no different. Of his 50 runners at the Knavesmire only one won. So far this year he has had 3 winners from 23.

3.40 York – Juddmonte International:

Since 1993 two Irish Derby winners have gone on to run in the Juddmonte International in the same season: 1997 Desert King was second, 2006 Dylan Thomas was second.

Since 1993 ten Coral-Eclipse winners have come on to run in the Juddmonte International and six have won, 2009 Sea The Stars, 2003 Falbrav, 2000 Giant’s Causeway, 1996 & 1995 Halling, 1994 Ezzoud.

Aidan O’Brien has had 27 runners in the Juddmonte International with three winners and three seconds.  Aidan has had the favourite in the Juddmonte six times winning with three of them 

Eight of the last ten winners of the Juddmonte International have come from the first three in the betting, five of the last six winners were favourite.

Five of the last ten winners of the Juddmonte International had run in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot.

3.05 York - Neptune Investment Management Great Voltigeur Stakes:

Over the last 20 years horses to have been beaten in the Great Voltigeur have included 1994 Double Trigger fifth, 1995 Singspiel second, 1997 Silver Patriach second, 1999 Mutafaweq fourth, 2000 Marienbard second, 2002 Bollin Eric third, 2003 Brian Boru second, 2009 Harbinger seventh, 2011 Al Kazeem second, 2012 Encke third, 2012 Noble Mission fourth.

Three of John Gosden’s last six horses to run in the Great Voltigeur have won: 2007 Lucarno, 2008 Centennial, 2012 Thought Worthy.

Sir Michael Stoute has won the Great Voltigeur seven times, yet none of the seven went on to win the St Leger.

Since Powerscourt won the Great Voltigeur for Aidan O’Brien in 2003, the trainer has had 14 runners in the race including two favourites (nine priced below 10-1) and all have been beaten

Only six of the last 20 winners of the Great Voltigeur had run in the Derby at Epsom.

Eight of the last 20 St Leger winners ran in the Great Voltigeur (1997 Silver Patriach second, 1999 Mutafaweq fourth, 2001 Milan won, 2002 Bollin Eric third, 2003 Brian Boru second, 2004 Rule Of Law won, 2007 Lucarno won, 2012 Encke third)

Sixteen of the last 20 winners of the Great Voltigeur came from the first three in the betting.

Only seven of the last 20 winners of the Great Voltigeur took in Royal Ascot.

2.30 York – Tattersalls Acomb Stakes:

The last 20 runnings of the Acomb have seen some racing greats compete: Legendary sire Grand Lodge was third in 1993, Pentire, the 1996 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes, was third a year later. English 2000 Guineas winner King’s Best won in 1999, St Leger winner Rule Of Law also won. Irish 2000 Guineas winner Araafa was second in 2005, while The Grey Gatsby, the French Derby winner who lines up in the Juddmonte International, was second 12 months ago. Triumph Hurdle winner Celestial Halo also finished fifth in the 2006 Acomb!

Fifteen of the last 20 winners of the Acomb Stakes won on their most recent start.

Six of the last nine winners of the Acomb came into the race unbeaten.

Sixteen of the last 20 winners came into the Acomb having finished no worse than third in their career.

Eight of the last ten winners of the Acomb were priced no bigger 7-2 – four of them were favourites.

Seventeen of the last 20 winners of the Acomb came from the first two in the betting.

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