Stratum heads the market for the York showpiece after confirming entry at the bottom of the weights and he will have plenty of support after an impressive win at Newbury last time out in a first-time hood.
But a price of 7/2 in a big 22-runner handicap is less than enticing and we’ll look further down the market for better value, starting with last year’s winner here, Nakeeta.
He is only 4lb higher than when picking up victory in 2017 and looked in fine fettle when finishing fifth in the Newbury race won by Stratum, in a first-time tongue-tie, which is retained here.
Add in the fifth in the Melbourne Cup and we have a horse more than capable of outrunning odds of 10/1. With Betfair Sportsbook paying five places, it looks a very solid each-way bet.
With such a big field, it makes sense to go in two-handed and we’ll add Blakeney Point to our betting slip, this time win-only, at 15/2.
He ended last season on a high with two wins in handicaps over 1m4f and while he hasn’t followed up with any victories this campaign, performances have been encouraging. The Roger Charlton-trained five-year-old actually did very well to finish fifth at Haydock after a bad start last month and kept on in a Group 3 at Goodwood last time out.
Both those races were also over 1m4f and this step up in trip should suit Blakeney Point – a three-time winner over two miles. With Jamie Spencer on board, we’re expecting a bold showing at York.
Don’t forget, Betfair Sportsbook are offering a free bet of up to £25 for every winner at 3/1 or over during ITV racing on Saturday (free bet matching original stake, max £25).
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