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2018 York Ebor Festival day three tips - Race-by-race selections for the third day of York's August feature

Day three of the York Ebor meeting goes to post on Friday.

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for the third day of the 2018 York Ebor Festival, featuring the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes.

Friday’s UK and Irish horse racing action is dominated by the third day of the 2018 Ebor Festival at York, and the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes heads up the day’s classy action on a racecard which also features the Gimcrack Stakes and the Lonsdale Cup on a cracking afternoon on the Knavesmire.

1:55 - Sky Bet Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m4f ITV
2:25 - Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes (Group 2) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (3yo+) 2m½f ITV
3:00 - Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 (2yo) 6f ITV
3:35 - Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (2yo+) 5f ITV
4:15 - British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo) 7f RUK
4:50 - Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap Cl2 (3yo 0-105) 1m RUK

The pick of the day three action will feature again on ITV Racing’s coverage of the meeting on Friday, and Ed Chamberlain and the team will once again be on hand to deliver their expert insights, analysis and tips on Friday’s top-class racing.

And Brian Healy casts his eye through the Friday racecard where he has race-by-race selections for all six of the afternoon’s races.

1:55 - Sky Bet Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-105) 1m4f ITV


The draw could have been kinder to ERIK THE RED (14/1, Ladbrokes) who is berthed widest of all from stall 20, but Kevin Ryan’s charge could be capable of a bold run having finished third in this race from a higher mark just twelve months ago.

He had won at Doncaster previously, and the Kendargent gelding was beaten just over three lengths behind Fidaawy in this contest prior to running below his best at Newbury when last seen. Possibly amiss, he has been given plenty of time, and he made his return to action back at Doncaster early in the month where he finished a creditable fourth of eight runners having perhaps been in need of the run.

He ought to prove sharper now with that run under his belt, and he could post a big effort if the draw hasn’t scuppered his chance; he can get involved nonetheless off this mark, and he ought to be competitive.

2:25 - Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup Stakes (Group 2) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (3yo+) 2m½f ITV


STRADIVARIUS (4/9, William Hill) looks impossible to oppose as John Gosden’s star stayer looks to extend his winning run this term to four successes after winning the Yorkshire Cup, Ascot Gold Cup and Goodwood Cup in his three runs to date in 2018.

The Sea The Stars colt was hugely progressive last season, winning three of five starts which included the 2017 Goodwood Cup, and he had excuses for subsequent defeats behind Capri in the St Leger, and Order Of St George at Ascot in the Long Distance Cup where the softer ground on each occasion might have been against him.

He has continued his rapid ascent towards the top of the staying division this term, beating Torcedor readily last time at Goodwood having also vanquished the top-class Vazirabad the time before in the Ascot Gold Cup; he ought to prove too much for this field of rivals to handle, and he can land the new £1million stayers’ bonus with a fourth success of the season.

3:00 - Al Basti Equiworld Gimcrack Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 (2yo) 6f ITV


Top-rated SHINE SO BRIGHT (4/1, Paddy Power) made a taking debut at Nottingham back in June where the Oasis Dream colt ran out an impressive winner over Implicit, scoring by two lengths; he then subsequently acquitted himself well under big odds to finish fourth in the Coventry Stakes where he was in with every chance inside the final furlong before fading.

That form has seen several subsequent winners come out of the Ascot heat, and having since joined Andew Balding in the wake of those runs he again acquitted himself well in defeat whn posting a close third to Land Force at Goodwood earlier in the month where he was beaten just over one length.

Those pieces of form give him every chance of success in a wide-open renewal of this classy juvenile heat and open to further improvement he can go close for his in-form yard.

3:35 - Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) Cl1 (2yo+) 5f ITV


Blue Point beat a below-par BATTASH (8/11, Paddy Power) in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, but it is hard to oppose Charlie Hills’ crack sprinter who should atone for his defeat in this race twelve months ago, and the Dark Angel gelding was an impressive winner at Goodwood latest when romping to a four lengths’ success over Take Cover.

The preliminaries will be all-important for the top-class sprinter who boiled over and disappointed in the race last year when finishing only fourth to Marsha; and it was a similar story at Ascot when beaten behind the Godolphin runner.

But he was well-behaved at Goodwood latest, and assuming Jim Crowley can keep his nervous energy harnessed then he ought to prove too good for this field if producing a performance similar to that of last time.

4:15 - British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo) 7f RUK


Several promising types on show in this contest, and it could pay to take a chance on BARYS (9/1, William Hill) finding most improvement to get off the mark at the second attempt.

Archie Watson’s Kodiac colt finished a good third on his debut outing at Yarmouth two weeks ago where he was taking on two previous winners, and he acquitted himself well with a solid run where he was beaten only a half-length.

He just couldn’t quite match the front pair for pace, but he pulled clear of the rest and likely to find improvement for that outing he ought to progress. Given the yard’s form this term with juveniles, he can post a big effort and it would be no surprise to see him firmly in the mix at the business end despite taking on similarly potentially progressive types.


4:50 - Nationwide Accident Repair Services Handicap Cl2 (3yo 0-105) 1m RUK


Crack On Crack On overcame a tardy start to beat several of these rivals at Goodwood last time, but URBAN ASPECT (9/2, William Hill) could prove to be a very smart sort, and the Cityscape colt can land a hat-trick of wins.

Third on debut on soft ground at Chepstow in June, Andrew Balding’s charge saw off a subsequent winner with a good performance at Chester later in the month when faced with quicker ground; the Cityscape colt then delivered another impressive win when thumping Verdigris and others at Nottingham earlier in the month.

He made all the running that day, keeping on strongly and giving the impression there was plenty more in the tank; and while this demands another jolt of improvement, he very much looks to be going the right way.

What he lacks in experience, he could make up for in potential, and he has looked smart thus far; he could have more to offer and he can post a big run in pursuit of his hat-trick of wins.

2018 YORK EBOR FESTIVAL TIPS - DAY THREE SELECTIONS


1:55 - ERIK THE RED (14/1, Ladbrokes)

2:25 - STRADIVARIUS (4/9, William Hill)

3:00 - SHINE SO BRIGHT (4/1, Paddy Power)

3:35 - BATTASH (8/11, Paddy Power)

4:15 - BARYS (9/1, William Hill)

4:50 - URBAN ASPECT (9/2, William Hill)

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2018 York Ebor Festival day three tips - Race-by-race selections for the third day of York's August feature

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for the third day of the 2018 York Ebor Festival, featuring the Group One Nunthorpe Stakes.

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