WITH York’s biggest fixture of the season taking place next week, I’ve tried to dig out a few runners who might offer a bit of ante-post value for punters, with the intention of finding an overpriced selection on each of the four days of the Knavesmire spectacular.


Sky Bet Stayers Handicap

John Quinn is worth following with his older horses, and backing all four-year-olds and up from his Malton stable would have seen backers hit 17 winners from 96 runners this season, for a profit to a tenner at SP of £463.40. That figure doesn’t include big wins outside the UK from Mr Wagyu and Highfield Princess.

Quinn has Frankenstella entered for the Sky Bet Stayers Handicap, and the lightly raced five-year-old looks the one to beat. A winner of four of her 10 starts in handicaps, Frankenstella has maintained her progress, and looks to have been laid out for this meeting after just one previous run this season, which came over the course and distance in May.

The key to Frankenstella is the ground, and she is particularly effective with plenty of cut underfoot. York is due to get its fair share of rain next week, and the ground should ease enough for her to show her best form.

She ran her best race when beating Rajinsky and Just Hubert in the mud at Haydock last season, and that form has worked out very well, making her look ahead of her mark of 87, and she is sure to go well granted some ease.

A general 14/1 shot at the time or writing, I could see her odds collapsing if the forecast is accurate.


Clipper Logistics Handicap

I went with Blue For You in my ante-post piece for Goodwood, and I’m loath to desert him in the Clipper Logistics Handicap here after his excellent second to stablemate Orbaan in the Golden Mile.

That said, he is well found in the market for this at single figures, and preference at the early odds is for Air To Air from the George Boughey yard.

Twice a winner last year, including on soft ground, Air To Air also caught the eye more than once in defeat, notably in a Racing League handicap at Doncaster when he finished seventh but undoubtedly ought to have won with some ease. He started this season with a facile victory at Yarmouth, and wasn’t disgraced at Ascot in the International Stakes when again enjoying little luck in running.

Air To Air is a notably strong traveller, and is at least as effective at a mile as over shorter; he remains handicapped to win a major pot when getting the breaks, making him appear excellent value at the 22/1 on offer.


Sky Bet Ebor Handicap (Heritage Handicap)

Okita Soushi looks a sound bet to win the Ebor for Joseph O’Brien based on his excellent placed efforts in the Orby Stakes and the Copper Horse Handicap earlier in the summer.

He was arguably disappointing when beaten 10 lengths by a stable-companion at Leopardstown in July, but that contest for Qualified Riders was a farcical affair in which he was given far too much to do.

At Ascot in June, Okita Soushi finished best of all to grab third behind Get Shirty in the Copper Horse, and he can meet that rival on 9lb better terms, which looks more than enough for him to turn the tables.

The fact that the Ascot form has worked out well is a bonus, and Okita Soushi is unexposed as a stayer after just five lifetime starts. He coped with good-to-soft ground when second to Raise You in the Orby Stakes, and it’s hoped that the form of that race gets a boost when Raise You takes in the Irish St Leger Trial at the Curragh this weekend.