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Sunday, 18 November, 2018

Ebor eyecatchers: six horses from York who must be followed

The well-bred Dream Today surges clear to make a winning start
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There were 336 runners at the Ebor meeting. Here, Keith Melrose picks out a select half a dozen of those to keep onside in coming weeks...

Tithonus (5th, 5½f handicap, Wednesday)
Already a winner of two big sprint handicaps this summer, Tithonus has had his share of the spoils in 2017 but has not finished improving on Wednesday's evidence.

He was drawn on the unfavoured stands' side and, beyond that, his only real fault was being unable to go the pace of Thesme, which few can. Tithonus was going as fast as he could all the way but kept on well to take fifth, finishing as strongly as any besides serial late-headway monkey Hoofalong. 

Tithonus has already won over further than six furlongs, so there could yet be another good handicap with his name on it if he steps back up in trip.

Euchen Glen (3rd, 2m½f handicap, Wednesday)
Another who has had a productive summer, Euchen Glen made his first start over two miles a winning one at the Shergar Cup and 11 days on furthered the idea he is a stayer on the up, albeit in defeat.

Few got involved from off the pace in the race Magic Circle won, so the late headway made by Euchen Glen, who had raced a little freely anchored in rear, was all the more noteworthy. 

The Jim Goldie-trained four-year-old is in the Cesarewitch. While he'll need to settle a little better over even longer trips, a big field could help and few would turn up at Newmarket less exposed over marathon trips.

Euchen Glen (yellow with stars) stays on strongly to finish third

Hey Jonesy (3rd, 6f sales race, Thursday)
The Goffs Premier Yearling Stakes was distinctly lopsided, that much was clear by halfway with the main body of the far-side group a handful of lengths ahead of the stands' side. 

Hey Jonesy was the one exception. He kept pace with the leaders on the far side and won his group by four and a half lengths (from fifth-placed Darkanna, who deserves a bit of credit too) but had to settle for a narrowly-beaten third.

Hey Jonesy was sent off favourite and is clearly well regarded by the Kevin Ryan yard. He looks like a Pattern-class juvenile and has the entries to back that up, but could go for the corresponding sales race at Doncaster first.

Hey Jonesy (near side) is well clear of his group but finishes third overall

Erik The Red (3rd, 1m4f handicap, Friday)
Erik The Red snapped his losing run at Doncaster this month and shaped on Friday as though he may yet be capable of defying his career-high mark.

Friday's opener was another race in which those to race prominently held sway. Restrained in rear, Erik The Red was in the worst position and Kevin Stott, belatedly alive to the danger, made a big move early in the straight. That meant his mount could not go with the more evenly-ridden front two, but he stayed on to take a clear third. 

It would be a surprise if he was all of a sudden ready to win a top handicap, but Erik The Red can probably win again in a quieter 0-100.

Erik The Red (green) makes good headway from the rear to finish third

Dream Today (1st, 7f maiden, Friday)
The ITV cameras had stopped rolling by the time the £70,000 maiden was run on Friday and they may have missed one of the best Guineas trials of the week.

In a race jam-packed with promising types, Dream Today ran out an emphatic winner. That it was his debut was evident by the way he hung this way and that under pressure, but he displayed a real engine and was able to prevail by a length and a half.

A brother to Al Wukair, bought for 42,000gns before his sibling hit the heights, Dream Today is a three-year-old on looks and his next run, more than likely in Group company, is keenly anticipated.

Look My Way (9th, 1m6f handicap, Saturday)
Experience can be a hindrance in the Melrose because it is just so competitive and full of unexposed types, but Look My Way, a veteran of 11 previous races, caught the eye more than most on Saturday.

Held up and still in rear turning in, Look My Way found room hard to come by and was not given a hard time by Jimmy Quinn once it was clear he would not win, yet he stayed on for ninth and might have got close to the frame with a clear run.

He is unlikely to get into the Cesarewitch with a mark of 80, but the trial in a few weeks' time would be a realistic target and his trainer Andrew Balding won the same race with another three-year-old, Bernie The Bolt, in 2009.


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The ITV cameras had stopped rolling by the time the £70,000 maiden was run and they may have missed one of the best Guineas trials of the week
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