Twice value to outshine Midday and Dawn

 

The maddening reality, for those seeking to contrive a formal narrative for the calendar, is that the ancestral peregrinations of the Victorian gentry have bequeathed one pretty hard to improve on. After taking in Epsom and Royal Ascot during the London season, and Goodwood in time for Cowes, they would suspend the persecution of grouse on the nearby moors for a spot of racing at York. That legacy is cherished by all those, from every rank of society, to whom the Ebor meeting remains a delightful ritual of the sporting summer.

True, the organisers have not been able to resist meddling. The meeting's extension necessarily dilutes the quality, while making the fourth day a Saturday compounds a trend that infuriates the privileged minority who can watch racing during the working week. Shifting the Betfred Ebor Handicap to the weekend would seem to risk the blessed, holiday atmosphere that defines these crowded local festivals. It should endure in its purest form today, however, through a card that would warrant a day off for any aficionado.

The cornerstone of all three big races on the opening day is a stable that celebrated its 10th and 11th Group One winners of the campaign in Chicago last weekend. Aidan O'Brien is odds-on with many bookmakers to make it a dozen through Await The Dawn in the Juddmonte International Stakes, and this colt is already scheduled to follow Cape Blanco and Treasure Beach to the United States with a crack at the Breeders' Cup Classic in November.

But while Await The Dawn has progressed rapidly in a light career, and exudes authentic elite quality, he offers nugatory value against two proven Group One operators in the colours of the sponsor, Khaled Abdulla. Midday and Twice Over promise a far stiffer test than outclassing horses from a tier below. The former has just claimed her sixth Group One prize, winning the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood for the third year running, and benefits from a dangerous fillies' allowance; Twice Over, meanwhile, is an Eclipse and dual Champion Stakes winner. He seemed to have lost his way after an impressive resumption in Dubai, back in March, but was artfully placed to renew his confidence under a penalty over this course and distance last time. Twice Over (3.40) was an excellent second in this race 12 months ago, pounced upon close to home after a gruelling duel through the long straight, and Tom Queally's understandable fidelity to Midday leaves Ian Mongan's mount looking too big a price at 5-1.

Abdulla is certainly overdue a first win in his own race, it being typical of his breeding empire's reliability that he should be able to field two such formidable contenders. One or two of the other superpowers certainly appear culpable in failing to muster even one, given that Abdulla can afford to keep his own outstanding champion, Frankel, in reserve.

The bedrock of O'Brien's current success, of course, is the sire of Frankel. It is conceivable that Roderic O'Connor, another son of Galileo, could outrun his odds as the Ballydoyle second string. But his Irish 2,000 Guineas form has not worked out, and instead seems most pertinent as evidence of the competence at this level of his trainer's son, Joseph. Following injury to Ryan Moore, the teenager has been given his latest giddy promotion by O'Brien's patrons at Coolmore on Await The Dawn.

Seamus Heffernan gets his chance to tap into the golden Galileo seam, meanwhile, on Seville in the Sportingbet Great Voltigeur Stakes. Heffernan rode this colt into second in both the Irish Derby and the Grand Prix de Paris, after which he was made favourite for the Ladbrokes St Leger. Though Abdulla has a big improver in Sea Moon, Seville (3.05) has so far been keeping much better company than any of his rivals.

O'Brien saddles three youngsters in the day's other Group race, among which East Meets West appeals most after being desperately unlucky in a Listed race last time, but meets another exciting colt by the same Juddmonte stallion, Dansili, in Entifaadha (2.30).

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Ithoughtitwasover (4.50 York) Lightly raced three-year-old who can improve past more exposed rivals.

Next best

Racy (2.00 York) Caught the eye on first start for Kevin Ryan over course and distance in May, and has possibly not been ideally suited by a sixth furlong in more recent starts.

One to watch

Wigmore Hall (Michael Bell) confirmed his eligibility for big international races when flying into fourth in the Arlington Million last weekend.

Where the money's going

Hoof It is 7-2 from 4-1 with Paddy Power for the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York on Friday.

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Sport
The giant banner displayed by Legia Warsaw supporters last night
football Polish side was ejected from Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
news
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Java Developer - 1 year contract

£350 - £400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Cent...

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

SAS Business Analyst - Credit Risk - Retail Banking

£450 - £500 per day: Orgtel: SAS Business Analyst, London, Banking, Credit Ris...

Project Manager - Pensions

£32000 - £38000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone