Duke of York Stakes (York) Betting Tips & Preview – Wednesday 16th May 2018

York Racecourse opens its doors this Wednesday to get the three day Dante Festival underway, one of the top meetings of the flat racing season. Helping to get the festival off to a strong start is the highly anticipated Duke of York Stakes.

York first held a race by this name in 1895 but that event bears little resemblance to the one we see today. The Duke of York Stakes is now a race for sprinters and for this year’s renewal it’s Harry Angel who looks like having the speed to see off the competition.

Top Tips

Harry Angel to win @ 8/11

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

York Racecourse is largely considered to be one of the leading flat courses in the country. While the ground can become extremely testing at times, there seems to be no chance of this being the case on Wednesday. The horses involved here will be pitted against each other down a flat track which is level throughout, offering a very fair test of their ability.

GoingDistanceGroupPrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good 6f 2 £125,000 7 1/4 1-2

Recent Winners

Winners of this race have often been available at quite long odds, Magical Memory being the only victorious horse trading at single figure price in the past five years.

Retired trainer Michael Hills has the joint best record for most winners in this race (seven) and his son Charlie, got himself off the mark two years ago. Magical Memory was due to represent Hills in this race for a third time but was pulled at the declaration stage.

YearWinnerSPTrainerJockey
2017 Tasleet 14/1 William Haggas Jim Crowley
2016 Magical Memory 5/2 Charlie Hill Frankie Dettori
2015 Glass Office 40/1 David Simcock Jim Crowley
2014 Maarek 12/1 Evanna McCutecheon Declan McDonogh
2013 Society Rock 10/1 James Fanshawe Kieren Fallon

Analysis: Be wary of the form book

Checking form is a sensible thing to do but when it comes to the Duke of York Stakes you really don’t want to put too much value on it. Only a quarter of the last 16 winners won last time out and half of them finished unplaced.

A much better indicator than form is a previous win at a high level. All but two of the last 16 winners of this race had won at least one Class 1 contest. Harry Angel and Brando have four Class 1 victories to their name while Tasleet has three.

Harry Angel backed to impress on season debut

Harry Angel enjoyed a hugely successful 2017, his standout two performances coming with victorious displays in the July Cup and Sprint Cup. These two Group 1 victories had bolstered his reputation as being of the top short distance runners in the country. During the Sprint Cup he finished 12 lengths clear of the second favourite in this race, Brando (4/1), and looks a cut above the rest here. The bay colt is forced to concede five pounds this time but this is unlikely to be enough to stop this supremely talented sprinter being first past the line.

Tasleet looking to retain his crown

Tasleet (7/2) hasn’t won since claiming victory in this race 12 months ago but has come close on a couple of occasions. During the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, only a neck’s length stopped him from beating The Tin Man to the biggest share of the lucrative purse. He wasn’t too far off the pace in the British Champions Sprint Stakes in October either, putting the winner Librisa Breeze under some late pressure. The five-year-old twice finished comfortably behind Harry Angel last year though and it’s hard to see how he’ll make up the gap even with the five pound advantage.

Sir Dancealot to maintain long-odds trend?

There has been plenty of double-digit winners seen in this race and Sir Dancelot is the pick of the hoses further down the betting. His debut performance saw him second at Newmarket and had he not dwelt at the beginning, he could’ve beaten Brando to the line. After the race David Elsworth commented that he would consider a longer-trip next time but has since decided against it. With his horse winless over six furlongs since October 2016, it’s hard to see any more than a top three finish for him.

Final Verdict: Harry Angel To Win

Given his ability, Harry Angel is trading at a price to win on his first showing of the season. An earlier run could’ve perhaps been of benefit but he’s got more than enough class to win this without a recent showing. He was impeded when going for glory on his last start but Wednesday’s small field should ensure he has no such issues this time.

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