2019 Sky Bet Dash tips – Two against the field for Saturday’s feature sprint at York
Brian Healy takes a look through the potential field of runners for Saturday’s Sky Bet Dash at York, and he picks out two against the field who could post big runs.
In addition to a potentially high-class renewal of the Group Two York Stakes, Saturday’s fixture on the Knavesmire at York also features the latest renewal of the competitive Sky Bet Dash, which gets underway at 2.40pm.
The fast and furious sprint along the Knavesmire straight will see a maximum field of 22 runners heading to post to contest for the £30,000+ first prize over a six furlongs trip,and the action will unfold live as part of Saturday’s televised ITV Racing coverage.
Brian Healy picks out two against the field for York’s famous dash.
The first four horses home in the race twelve months ago could all line up again, and although he arrives here out of sorts following some lesser efforts this campaign, GOLDEN APOLLO (14/1, William Hill, each-way) could be worth chancing to bounce back.
Tim Easterby’s Pivotal gelding is on a losing streak stretching back to the 2017 Shergar Cup Sprint; but the five-year old was in decent heart last term without adding to his tally, including finishing a close second to Flying Pursuit in this contest where he was beaten only a neck.
He struggled in a trio of runs thereafter in some of the top handicap sprints, including the Great St Wilfred Stakes and the Ayr Gold Cup, and his runs this campaign haven’t set the heather alight so he’ll need to bounce back to form.
His last outing saw him finish eight lengths’ eighth behind Air Raid at Hamilton earlier in the month in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup, where he was slowly away; he had run well the time before though when finishing two lengths’ third to Gulliver over course and distance.
A previous course and distance winner who has largely acquitted himself well when racing on the Knavesmire, he turns out here from a mark 4lbs below the rating from which he finished runner-up twelve months ago, and he is 2lbs better off with Flying Pursuit from that encounter; while he had the same horse in arrears in that latest Knavesmire outing.
His overall form this term is a slight worry, but he is capable of posting a much better effort than has been the case in the majority of starts this term, and while he may ideally prefer slightly softer conditions he could post a big run in this contest if the draw is kind to him.
BRIAN THE SNAIL (25/1, Bet365, each-way) could be worth an interest having largely run well in his last few starts, including scoring at Doncaster in May when beating Buccaneer’s Vault.
The Zebedee gelding went 3-3 at the beginning of his career, looking a smart prospect in the making, although it is perhaps safe to say now that that haven’t gone to plan for Richard Fahey’s charge since.
That said, he remains a fairly capable performer when the mood takes him as he showed in that recent win, and he has held his form better in three subsequent starts since which includes only being beaten four lengths into fifth behind Tis Marvellous in the Heritage Handicap at Ascot recently where the drop to five furlongs might have been against him given that he looked outpaced before finishing well.
A return to six furlongs is likely to be more in his favour, and the handicapper has eased him 1lb in the ratings following that run so he holds a squeak at the weights of going close if he can run to something like his best.
He’s no certainty of course to be in the same form, and he has proven to be borth inconsistent and frustrating; he has however run well from higher marks in the past, and he could make his presence felt for all this will be a deep race.