|1pt win Racy in 13.30 York at 12/1 (General).||Goes well here and unlucky not to win this race last year.|
|1pt win Trade Storm in 15.00 York at 12/1 (General).||Scope to improve further over the trip and strong jockey booking.|
All eyes will be on a fascinating renewal of the Betfred Dante on Thursday, but our search for value leads us elsewhere and we'll start with the Betfred Mobile Sports Handicap which opens the card.
At the time of writing, Wednesday's impressive winner Secret Witness is set to line-up for Ron Harris but whether he goes to post or not he's worth opposing now dropped to five furlongs.
His victory over six on day one suggested that the stands rail might be the place to be, but with most of the pace drawn low that could all change and with that in mind the one to be on here is RACY at 12/1.
Kevin Ryan has enjoyed a terrific start to the meeting thanks to the victory of Tiddliwinks in the Duke Of York Stakes, and he'll be desperate to pick up a big pot with this five-year-old, who joined him from Sir Michael Stoute at the end of 2010.
Racy's debut for the yard came in this race 12 months ago when, drawn high and keen in the early part of the race, he was blocked in his run more than once and looked a most unfortunate loser behind Ancient Cross, who reopposes.
It's fair to say he disappointed behind Hoof It when returning to the track in July but they went hell-for-leather that day and Racy simply didn't get home over a fiercely-run six.
It was no surprise to see him leave that form well behind when agonisingly headed close home in a five-furlong handicap at the Ebor meeting, and he once again advertised his love for the Knavesmire when placed over six here in the autumn, leading inside the final furlong only to be collared close to home.
That effort came off a mark of 95 which negates concerns about the handicap mark of a horse whose sole victory came in a Pontefract maiden, especially as he's off 2lbs lower here, and in my opinion he's best when dropped in just behind the pace over a strongly-run five furlongs.
With Steps, Verinco, Fitz Flyer, Judge 'N Jury and Hazelrigg all drawn low and capable of forcing the issue, he should get a lovely tow and looks value to deservedly gain a first handicap victory in a race that may be weaker than the 2011 edition.
Mijhaar could prove a Pattern-class performer in time and if so he'll take the world of beating in the Betfred Hambleton Stakes, but he's surely worth taking on ahead of his return especially as they go 10/1 bar two in the race.
There are two I like at the prices, with TRADE STORM narrowly preferred to Navajo Chief who looks nailed-on to give his running but has less scope for improvement.
Sixth in the Gimcrack here when in the care of John Gallagher, Trade Storm retains the potential to climb into a higher grade and having won on his return last year we know he goes well fresh.
He ran a blinder off this mark on similar ground in last year's Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot, a race which has unsurprisingly thrown up plenty of winners, and since then has had excuses.
The four-year-old stumbled when leaving the stalls at Sandown and was quickly pulled up, ran just about as well as he was entitled to in Listed company at Goodwood and then found things happening too quickly for him over seven furlongs on quick ground at Newmarket.
Off this mark and with a bit of give underfoot he ran a good race to finish fourth on his final start for Gallagher, again over seven, before a creditable fifth on his debut for David Simcock at Lingfield.
He saw out 10 furlongs really well that day but it's over a mile where we'll surely see the best of him.
From a good draw and with William Buick booked to ride he looks overpriced at 12/1, especially when we consider that four-year-olds have won six of the last nine renewals and Simcock may yet draw further improvement from him.