Punting pointers as sprint handicappers open day two on the Knavesmire
Betfred 'Supports Jack Berry House' Handicap | 5f | 4yo+ | ITV4/RUK
El Astronaute's luck of the draw
Form figures of 23 in this grade over the last month already entitle El Astronaute to plenty of respect but, when you consider they have come off wide draws at Pontefract and Chester, the John Quinn-trained five-year-old can be further marked up for those efforts.
El Astronaute has a second and fourth from three trips to York, while his trainer has been firing in the winners in recent weeks.
"He hasn’t had the best of luck with the draw the last twice and still run very well," said Quinn. "I think he's drawn better and I think the low numbers have every chance. He's in good form so I hope he wins."
Jumbo out to maintain progress
While plenty of old favourites line up, Major Jumbo is still a horse who trainer Kevin Ryan will hope is making his way up the class ladder.
The son of Zebedee rounded off his three-year-old campaign with a course win over six furlongs and picked up where he left off when scoring in a Class 3 handicap at Newmarket's Craven meeting in April.
"He's a very progressive horse and improved all through last year," said assistant trainer Adam Ryan.
"He has grown and strengthened over the winter and won very well at Newmarket. He was always going to come on for the run and tighten up so, with that improvement, he should have a big chance, while he also has course form."
What the rest say
Tim Easterby, trainer of Copper Knight, East Street Revue and Excessable
They are all course-and-distance winners and they're all in good form. I couldn't split them.
Ruth Carr, trainer of Pipers Note and Poyle Vinnie
Pipers Note has been a grand old horse who always runs his race and it wouldn’t be a big surprise if he had a little squeak. We’ve changed the headgear on Poyle Vinnie and we’re hoping that blinkers might just get us that extra edge that we need. He's due to go up 3lb from Saturday so we’re very keen to get a run into him at York off his old mark. Hopefully things will pan out for him.
Rebecca Bastiman, trainer of Royal Brave
I couldn’t be happier with him. He won so nicely at Musselburgh it did his confidence the world of good. Good fast ground is ideal and I think York will suit him because he likes big fields and weaving his way through horses like he did last time.
David Easterby, assistant trainer of Carlton Frankie
She was a very progressive three-year-old after starting late at two. She has got course-and-distance form and is off a very fashionable weight. It’s also the first time she has run since we’ve pin fired her throat.
Read exclusive previews from 6pm every eveining at racingpost.com/news