The Knavesmire has long been a favourite location of mine to watch racing. So it was that I and members of VG Tips had an enjoyable and profitable week backing winners at York during the May Dante meeting.
It began well when my 5/2 NAP trained by William Haggas called GAASSEE won the Jorvik Handicap at a shorter SP price. So often it is the case that the early bird punter gains the best returns and that’s why I offer my analysis and selections to subscribers the day before the racing takes place. That way they can, if they choose, take an early price.
EMILY UPJOHN (pictured below) was available at 4/1 to win the Oaks in June at the time that I tipped her, at 5/6, to win the Musidora Stakes at York. She did so in fine fashion, easily and by five and a half lengths, and bookies immediately slashed her odds for the Oaks at Epsom.
On day one there was also a profitable 18/1 each way bet when Aberama Gold was placed fifth in a Class 2 handicap for which bookies were returning on the first 6 or 7 horses past the post.
PILLOW TALK was one of my each way tips for the Listed Marygate Fillies’ Stakes, offered to members when available at odds of 10/1. My two other each way tips also filled the places with 8/1 selection Yahsat finishing second and 14/1 pick Beautiful Eyes returning further profit in fourth. Bookies were paying out each way bets about the first five past the post in a race of sixteen runners.
FONTEYN won the next race for us. A 15/2 selection to members, she beat Grand Dame by a head. The SP about the winner was 6/1.
It was very nearly a quick hat trick on the day but Rogue Bear was beaten a head by Bollin Joan. The jockey aboard Rogue Bear was on the receiving end of criticism for delivering the horse too late. But racing can be about fine margins and I have no doubt that Rogue Bear will be winning a race sooner or later.
The star of the week at York had to be Stradivarius. I didn’t back him or any other horse in the Yorkshire Cup this year. I simply wanted to sit back and watch the beautiful boy and his four white socks romp to victory for the third time in this race. I thought the SP odds of 6/4 represented value. But it was the warm reception the 8 year old and jockey Frankie Dettori received from the racing crowd at York that pleased me the most. Many a hardened racing person admitted to shedding tears. The owner, trainer and jockey should take a bow. But it’s Stradivarius himself who most earned the applause.
Meanwhile, last Saturday at Newbury racecourse, another star was on view.
BAAEED, tipped up by me to win the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes when priced 1/2. Baaeed is a horse I tipped to win early in his career but which, foolishly, I opposed twice last season. I wasn’t making that mistake on the final day of the Dante meeting. He won in style, by three and a quarter lengths and the William Haggas trained colt will have bigger targets ahead later in the season. Most notably at Royal Ascot and, perhaps, in France come October.