It’s the first day of the Ebor Festival at York and I am really looking forward to 4 days of top-class racing. The Juddmonte International Stakes is the feature race of the day, however, there is a lot of class throughout the card. Let’s hope we can start the festival with a couple of winners.

York

Darain (14:45)

3/1

One of the highlights on day 1 is the Group 2 Voltigeur Stakes. This year’s renewal has plenty of contenders who come into the race with various backgrounds. Here we have some of the exposed 3-year old’s, such as Mogul, who won last time out at Goodwood when he defeated Royal Ascot winner Highland Chief.

That Group 3 win was impressive and he’s certainly the type that seems to suit to this 1 mile trip. That said, I can’t help thinking he may be a bit short at the prices.

With that in mind, I’d like to take him on with Darain (14:45) for John Gosden. By Dubawi, his two starts at Newbury and Newmarket have been impressive and he steps up to 1m 4f here.

I have no concerns with him getting the trip with in-form jockey Oisin Murphy booked to ride. John Gosden is operating at around a 35% strike rate in the last two weeks and he can add to that with another win here.

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York

Ghaiyyath (15:15)

6/5

The feature race on the first day of the Ebor Festival is the Juddmonte International Stakes. This is a cracking renewal, albeit with only 5 runners. Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath (15:15) is the market leader, giving way a few pounds to Aiden O’Brien’s Magical and a few more to 2000 Guineas winner, Kameko.

Admittedly, I was a bit sceptical about Ghaiyyath prior to this season. However, he’s shown he can put up these exceptional performances back-to-back. He got the better of Enable at Sandown last time out and defeated previous Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck at Newmarket. These two runs have been impressive off the back of a good win at Meydan in the winter.

At 5/4 he is very short; however, he should take all the beating and I think he will come out on top.

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Odds are correct at the time of posting

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