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Saturday Racing - York Ebor Handicap

Saturday's feature race is undoubtedly the 15:45 Betfair Ebor at York. Historically the Irish horses have shown well here, and it's no surprise that they are showing high in the betting this weekend.

A lot of the talk has focused on the three year old Fields Of Athenry, and undoubtedly talented horse who is bidding to become the first 3yo to win this race since Mediterranean in 2001. He may well prove capable of doing it too - he's already a Group 3 winner, and all the evidence suggests he can run at the front in this company.

Our main concern is his draw. Starting out in stall 22 he's going to find it tough to get across and take up his favourite position in the leading pack. That one qualm aside we can see plenty of reasons to back him, and the best place to do it is at StanJames, whose 8/1 is as good as it gets right now.

Fields Of Athenry isn't the only decently priced favourite in this race though, and there are plenty of other Irish runners already jostling at the top of the bookies' boards. Our pick of the other shorter odds horses would probably be Quick Jack.

Although Clondaw Warrior seems to be attracting slightly more money, probably as a result of Frankie Dettori saddling him up, we fancy Quick Jack to show very strongly in Saturday's race. He impressed when coming second in the Chester Cup, and although the rise of 4lbs the ensued will be an issue we think he can still be a big feature in this field. His recent run, defeating Maz Dynamite, will have kept him fresh, and the best place to back him for the win on Saturday is at Coral, who are offering a market leading 7/1.

Finally, our longer odds choice is priced nearly double the front runners but we think he has every bit as much chance of victory.

Fun Mac didn't take to blinkers, but since switching to a tongue tie he's looked better and better every time out. With only two starts this season he's coming into the race fresher than most, and he came an excellent second to Clondaw Warrior in the second of those starts. That run at Ascot saw him lose by just half a length and confirm that he is still a major contender at his higher mark.

Now at a better advantage in the weights compared to Clondaw Warrior, and running as a distance he probably prefers on ground that suits, we fancy him to pull off a reverse on his former adversary on Saturday afternoon. The best place to back Fun Mac for the win is at BetFred, at a fairly tempting 12/1.

Thursday Racing - York

Having covered Thursday's feature race in another post, we've looked through the rest of the card at York to see where we think the best value can be found.

In the opening 13:55 DBS Premier Yearling Stakes we're looking at current favourite Tasleet to produce the goods. He was impressive running to second in the Richmond Stakes at Goodwood, and given his trainer's hsitory of success in this race along with the likelihood of further progress we think he's probably the horse to be on.

The best odds we've found on him are a market leading 15/8 over at StanJames.

Scrolling down the listings to the next race, the 14:30 Lowther Stakes, there's much to be said for current favourite Lumiere. She performed admirably on her Newmarket debut, but her victory there is slightly marred in our eyes by the way the beaten field have mostly continued to be well beaten elsewhere as well. For us this one is going to be a close call between Besharah and Easton Angel, and given their form and their history together we'd be hard pressed to call it either way.

Besharah possibly just edges it on form, but you can back either of them at a very decent 9/2 over at Coral.

Finally, our long odds pick of the day is definitely an outside choice for the 15:05 Clipper Logistics Stakes. Melvin The Grate has been excellent in the past but more recently has struggled to overcome his current mark. However, his first turf start since November was at Sandown last time out, and although he took a lttle time getting going he ran to a close sixth place in a field who have all gone on to perform extremely well since.

This is definitely one for the brave, but given that he was fresh there and likely to progress a little into his second race we think he may well outperform expectation. Being drawn in four will do him no harm either, and we reckon if you want an interesting each way bet you could do worse than to head to Ladbrokes, where he's offered at a very tempting 25/1.

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