Sweet William backers guaranteed Ebor run

Ante-post favourite Sweet William is guaranteed a run as 39 stand their ground ahead of Saturday’s Sky Bet Ebor at York.

The prestigious handicap, which serves as an automatic qualifier for the Melbourne Cup is the highlight of the final day of the Ebor meeting and a maximum of 22 will head to post for a contest which has a prize-fund of £500,000.

John and Thady Gosden’s progressive four-year-old finds himself at the top of the betting following three-straight victories and will be bidding to add to the fine record of the Clarehaven team in the contest having won the race recently with Muntahaa in 2018 and Trawlerman 12 months ago.

It was thought Phillipa Cooper’s thriving stayer may struggle to make the final field for the contest, but those doubts have been allayed following Monday’s confirmation stage.

On the other hand, one horse who always had zero worries about making the final 22 is Saeed bin Suroor’s consistent performer Live Your Dream, who arrives on the Knavesmire on the back of victory at Newmarket’s July Festival and is set to carry top-weight.

“He’s done really well since he won his last race and the Ebor has been the plan for him since he won at Newmarket,” said Bin Suroor.

“He’s in good form, he’s working well, he’s one more piece to do but everything has gone well before the Ebor.

“The one-mile-six trip suits him well – also the track, he’s run well at York before.

“He is good enough to run well over a mile and a half like at Royal Ascot and he almost won over two and a quarter miles in the Cesarewitch Trial, he can run over many trip but the Ebor trip is his best.

“He’s going to have top weight which won’t be easy, but we’ll give him a chance and see how he goes.”

Willie Mullins could look for a second Ebor with his Royal Ascot runner-up Absurde and stablemate Jackfinbar, while there are eight Irish-trained horses remaining in contention at this stage including Joseph O’Brien’s smart hurdler Nusret who won a ‘win and you’re in’ contest at the Curragh in June.

Andrew Balding’s Scampi booked his ticket when winning the track’s Jorvik Handicap earlier in the season and will head to the race on an upward trajectory having landed a telling blow at the Shergar Cup, while Sir Michael Stoute’s Real Dream and Milton Harris’ Scriptwriter are two others who feature high up the betting lists.

Michael Bell’s Adjuvant finished second to Sweet William at Goodwood earlier this month and at present looks the highest-profile name not to get a run.

Source link