Early Bird – 15th June

2:20 York – Nathan

In a race which has an open look to it I do like the look of Nathan towards the bottom of a pretty tight handicap. Only the six runs to its name though was progressive last year, winning twice from four runs, including winning a handicap off 84. When last seen it was beaten off 1lb higher, though a combination of the heavy ground, tight track and small field didn’t suit this horse at all as it prefers holding up off a strong pace. Has since been gelded, it may be that this horse needs 1m 4f later in the year though hopeful a strong run 1m 2f will suit currently. Faster ground than what it has been used to shouldn’t be an issue either having finished 3rd on debut on fast ground to Crystal Ocean who is now group 1 placed and twice a winner at group 3 level. Going to have to take its fitness on trust first time up this year but suspect this will be a good winner at some point this season for me.

1.5pt win Nathan @ 6/1 widely available

3:30 York – Classic Seniority

Third in this race last year, it has a fine record over this course and distance of 313, all in fields of more than 16 runners! Is actually 2lb lower than last year whilst conditions look to have come good, with only 1 of its 8 turf wins coming on ground with any give in it. Recent form is not too bad. Its 9th of 15 at Doncaster was in a race in which it was hard to come from too far behind and this horse got a bit stuck out wide when switched. The latter race was more interesting though as despite 4th of 5 it was behind horses rated considerably higher than he was. Outpaced over the 6f it plugged on though couldn’t compete at the weights with those much faster rivals. At this level and back over 7f it should be thereabouts.

1pt e/w Classic Seniority @ 12/1 Skybet 1/5th odds 5 places

6:05 Goodwood – Pour La Victoire

Horse who has a preference for downhill tracks like Brighton and Goodwood. Also needs a strong pace to chase so it can come late. Should get that gallop with Poets Society and Black Caesar in the field who like to set the pace. Because it needs to be ridden a certain way it usually pays to have some experience of this horse which the jockey now has after finishing 2nd a couple of runs ago. That run is significant anyway as the winner as won twice since and been in tremendous form therefore bumping up the quality of its narrow second. No reason to think in this apprentice handicap that it shouldn’t go close again.

1.5pt win Pour La Victoire @ 6/1 Bet365, Ladbrokes, Betway and BetVictor