York Ebor meeting: three key questions for day one

Postponed (IRE) (Roger Varian – Andrea Atzeni)Postponed has developed into one of the best horses in the world   PICTURE: Dubai Racing Club/Andre Watkins  

 By Tony McFadden 5:30PM 16 AUG 2016 

With the York Ebor meeting set to start on Wednesday, Tony McFadden examines three key questions surrounding the opening day’s racing

Is Best of Days a star in the making? (York 2.30)

Hugo Palmer has quickly established himself as one of the most capable trainers in Britain and he looks to have a seriously talented colt on his hands with Acomb Stakes favourite Best Of Days.

Having impressed paddock judges with his physical appearance prior to his debut at Sandown, Best Of Days created an even deeper impression on the racecourse, overcoming a tardy start when sprinting clear to score by a widening six lengths. Few juveniles this season have won in such sparkling style on debut and Godolphin were certainly taken by the performance as they purchased the exciting the colt. Can he justify their presumably hefty investment and stamp himself as a contender for Classic honours next season?

Can Idaho step out of Harzand’s shadow? (York 3.05)

Idaho may be without a win from four starts this season but on three of those occasions he had the misfortune of clashing with the mighty Harzand. He arguably produced a career-best effort to get within half a length of Harzand in the Irish Derby last time and sets the clear form standard in what appears to be a substandard renewal of the Great Voltigeur.

On paper this looks like a fantastic opportunity for Idaho to bounce back to winnings ways – and reinforce his St Leger claims – but is there a chance those bruising battles with Harzand may have knocked the edge off him?

Harzand

Idaho pushed Harzand close in the Irish Derby

  PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)  

Will Postponed prove as effective down in trip? (York 3.40)

Many of those looking to oppose Postponed in the Juddmonte International Stakes – which is run over 1m2f88y – will point out that the pick of his form has been achieved over a mile and a half. Supporters of Postponed will point out that plenty of water has passed under the bridge since the 2015 Tattersalls Gold Cup, the last time he tackled a trip shorter than a mile and a half.

The bare form may give mixed signals about Postponed’s likely effectiveness down in trip but his running style would suggest that he ought to have few problems adapting. He displayed a notably high cruising speed and good turn of foot when easily winning the Coronation Cup at Epsom in June and, seemingly getting better with age, it would be a surprise were a lack of speed to catch him out.

 
Horse Racing News | Racing Post

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