York Stakes Preview
The biggest race this weekend is the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes to be run at York at 3:10 on Saturday.
The York Stakes was introduced in 2006 to replace the discontinued Scottish Derby. It is run over 1m2f88y and this year will include 21 runners. The race has been won by a number of talented horses since its inception with last year’s winner Twice Over, a multiple Group 1 winner.
The favorite for this year’s race is the Luca Cumani trained Afsare. Afsare coasted when winning the Listed Ambant Gala Stakes, staying on well and running away from the rest of the field in the final furlong. Afsare barely rises in weight and if he can repeat his last start performance should be very difficult to beat. Afsare is currently favorite with all bookmakers with 4/1 at Bet365 the best price on offer.
The main danger to Afsare is likely to come from Group 1 winner Planteur. The five-year-old won the prestigious Prix Ganay last year and also ran a place behind Monterosso in the Dubai World Cup. Planteur was unplaced behind So You Think in the Princes of Wales Stake where he was simply outpaced by the leading horses. He will have to improve significantly on that run, but a horse with his credentials can never be discounted. Bet365 is currently offering odds of 5/1 for Planteur.
Side Glance was impressive behind Frankel at his last start and will likely appreciate the jump in distance. The gelding stayed on well to win the Group 3 Investec Diomed Stakes at his second last start despite over-racing slightly. This is probably his ideal distance and at odds of 10/1 at Bet365 is good value.
A potential roughie is the American 8-year-old Premio Loco. The Chris Wall trained horse seems to enjoy the big occasion as seen recently when he won the Group 3 IKC Racing Pramms Memorial at Jagersro. His last start, 8th behind Frankel in the Queen Anne Stakes, was disappointing but can be forgiven. Premio Loco could not handle the pace set by the mighty Frankel and there is certainly no horse with the speed of Frankel in this race. Bet365 has him listed as 20/1 and is well worth considering at that price.
Another horse worth mentioning is Jet Away. Jet Away was in fabulous form until his last start when he was beaten as a short-priced favorite in the Totepool Pontefract Castle Stakes. The galloper, trained by Sir Henry Cecil, missed the start and had to do a great deal of work to catch up with the leaders. If he can start with the field Jet Away should be a contender in the finish.
The York Stakes looks to be a fascinating race this year. The inclusion of Planteur in the field will likely be the story of the race and if he can capture his best form he is easily the horse to beat. However, favorites have an excellent record in this race so it would be wrong to discount the in-form Afsare. Side Glance and Premio Loco are good options for punters looking for horses at slightly longer odds.
Bet on the York Stakes and many other races at Bet365 this weekend.