Duke Of York Stakes Betting Tips & Predictions – York, Wednesday 15th May 2019

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 Major Jumbo who looks like having the speed to see off the competition.

Top Tips

Major Jumbo to win @ 10/1

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

Race Info

The Knavesmire turf can be extremely testing at times but there seems to be no chance of this being the case on Wednesday. Although the six furlong test takes place on a straight track, there does appear to be some draw bias as 16 of the last 17 winners started from stall 9 or lower.

GoingDistanceGroupPrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good 6f Group 2 £125,000 10 1/5 1-3

Recent Winners

Winners of this race have often been available at quite long odds. Over the last 10 years, only three times did the horse first past the post set off trading at a price shorter than 10/1.

Good form coming into the Duke of York has long been an unimportant factor for hopeful horses. Out of the last 17 champions, four won on their previous start compared with nine who weren’t able to place.

2018 Harry Angel 4/9 Clive Cox Adam Kirby
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

Analysis: Ryan with strong presence

Kevin Ryan has won this race twice before and he appears determined to enjoy another taste of success. Three of the 10 declared runners originate from his yard including joint second favourite Brando. Further down the betting are Major Jumbo and Hey Jonesy, both of which are former six furlong winners at York. Although the North Yorkshire trainer doesn’t boast the best strike rate this season, he was posting a level stakes profit for this flat campaign at the start of the week.

Not so Invincible Army

Favourites have a decent enough record in this race so this is one promising trend for James Tate and his sole entry, Invincible Army (9/4). The four-year-old steamed out of the blocks this season, impressively winning a Listed contest at Doncaster, two lengths clear of Major Jumbo who also runs here. As good as he was then, two poor showings to finish last season beg the question if the performance was not just a one off. It was the four-year-old’s first success since 2017 on going firmer than soft and his first where he didn’t set off as the strong favourite.

Brando aims to go one better

Last year’s Duke of York Stakes was a poorly attended one with Brando (4/1) only facing two genuine challengers in the race. Although able to edge out Sir Dancealot, the then six-year-old sat comfortably behind an impressive looking Harry Angel, rated 125 at the time. Not facing quite such a formidable opponent in this renewal, could this be Brando’s year? A less than stellar reappearance at Newmarket puts his chances under question. He’s normally one who begins the season so energetically but this time he tired during the end stages of the six furlong battle.

Major Jumbo

Having given Wednesday’s favourite Invincible Army a decent challenge at Doncaster in March, Major Jumbo does seem awfully well-priced for success at York. It’s a course the five-year-old appears to be fond of too, having won or placed in five of his six efforts on the Knavesmire. Although not short of experience on what will be his 27th competitive outing, only eight efforts have come across six furlongs. He’s already shown ability over the longer sprint as his fine Coral Sprint Trophy victory indicates but there appears to be more to come.

Final Verdict: Major Jumbo to win

This race has seen plenty of double digit winners over the years and Major Jumbo could well be the next. The largely reliable grey gelding loves to race from the front and if he can take an early lead at York, he’ll stand a fine chance of holding off the chasing pack. Stablemate Brando could well follow closely behind but at 4/1 he’s too much of a risky pick on the back of his disappointing reappearance.

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