York Ebor Meeting: My Cash Goes Here…

The Grand Old Duke of York may have had ten thousand men, dear reader, but they were good for nothing by the time he'd marched them up to the top of the hill, and he'd marched them down again. I'll be learning from his military mistake this week as I go looking for some lightly marched (or raced, if you prefer) types to bring home the metaphorical bacon (if you'll pardon the badly blended metaphors).

Yes, as tenuous introductions go, that one's up there with the best of them, but you're probably used to it by now. If not, stick around! 😉

York's four day Ebor meeting starts tomorrow, and there are some great race horses on show; and some great horse races to boot. It will not necessarily be the case that those two statements will go hand in glove as the week unfolds though.

The reason for my somewhat cryptic observation above? Why, tomorrow's Juddmonte International Stakes, one of the features of the week, of course. The brilliant Sea The Stars is due to run, and his presence has scared off pretty much everyone else, with the notable and worthy exception of another awesome 3yo, Mastercraftsman.

The trip looks ideal for the Guineas and Derby winner, and the fact that the O'Brien squad has pacemakers entered will surely only help Sea The Stars stalk and pounce.

In fact the absence of Tartan Bearer leaves just a quartet to go to post, one of which is a hopeless outsider, and another is a secondary 'bunny'. There's £32,000 for finishing 4th in this race, and I wish Obvious had an entry. She'd only have to beat one of the hares home to collect!

Nevertheless, the two at the top of the market may have a decent duel. The 'craftsman has put his 5th place finish behind Sea The Stars firmly out of sight since, with back to back Group 1 wins of his own: first the Irish 2,000 Guineas, and then the St James Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot, where he got the better of Delegator in a great tussle. He could relish the extra distance here.

That last race showed he has both class and guts, and it will be interesting to see if he can put the champ under pressure and, if he can, what response there will be.

It's not a race to bet on, and it is only to be hoped that the tiny field produces a true battle between arguably the two best Classic generation horses of 2009 over what looks an optimum trip for both.

So, if that's a race to watch but not to bet on, where's the Geegeez cash going this week?

Well, I think I've found a few worthy of investment in what is - the above contest notwithstanding - a ferociously competitive four-dayer.


Tuesday: first up, I'm going to the Acomb Stakes, and I'll avail myself of the each way fractions, in order to back Mata Keranjang. This one has yet to win a race, but his form is pretty solid despite that. Finishing third on debut in a Listed contest in France over the minimum trip, Paul Cole's colt improved to comfortably beat all bar Xtension in the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Glorious Goodwood last time out.

That latter race was over seven furlongs, and the drop back in trip here should be ideal. If there's any draw bias in the race, the results of recent years suggest it favours high, so 9 of 10 will not be a hindrance, at least.

In a race with the usual depth of unexposed types, it'll not be a maximum job, but I can see Mata K running a spirited race and hopefully breaking his maiden tag in the process.

Also on Tuesday, the St Leger winner is likely to be revealed to us. Unfortunately, the more pertinent question is which horse in the Great Voltigeur field this comment applies to.

It looks a hot renewal, with Goodwood winner Harbinger taken on by 'Sir' Henry's Father Time; John Gosden's Alwaary; and Mark Johnston's Jukebox Jury.

I sided with Harbinger at Goodwood, when he had a lot to find on the formbook, and I'm going to side with him again, despite the fact that he again has to improve to beat the proven level of form others have shown. Sir Michael Stoute is a master at improving stayers through their careers, and he'll know precisely where he is with this one.

As well as backing him tomorrow, the 11/2 with Ladbrokes looks too big for the last classic. I've supported him for that event too.


Wednesday's highlight is the richest handicap race to be run in Europe, The Ebor (named after the Roman name for York, Eboratum, as you doubtless knew).

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I shall be going racing on Wednesday myself, though - bizarrely perhaps - it will be at Carlisle rather than the Knavesmire, as I'm combining a spot of sport with a bit of business.

No matter, for my eyes will be cast askance to a telly beaming the nags from the more Southerly track.

The Ebor has favoured youngish horses, with a progressive profile and proven stamina in recent years. And it has been no respecter of the market price either, with some tidy payoffs for the more adventurous punter. I'll take a chance with a 20/1 shot, trained by that man, 'Sir' Henry Cecil, in the form of Ajaan.

Ajaan's two runs to date this season have been extremely promising. His seasonal debut was a battling neck second in the Chester Cup. Then last time out he was sent off as favourite for the ultra-competitive Northumberland Plate (not that this is any less combative). He finished 7th of 17 that day, beaten around six lengths.

A repeat of either of those two runs puts him bang in contention here, and - as I say - odds of 20/1 (Hills / Stan James) or thereabouts seem generous to me. Each way a pleasure...

In the preceding Gimcrack Stakes, the juvenile winning machine that is Monsieur Chevalier has a tilt at three quarters of a mile for the first time, having raced exclusively at the minimum trip to date.

The way he cruised through from last to first last time out was highly impressive, and - if he can repeat the feat here - he'll deserve his place as one of the top sprinters of his generation this season.

As ever in 2yo Group races, there's lots of horses ready to improve. But this chap's been there and done it, and it's not beyond the bounds of probability that he may continue to improve for the step up in trip (although the fact that he's raced exclusively at 5f does cast a small shadow of doubt over that).

I've no idea what price he'll be at this stage but, at 5/2 or bigger, I'd probably be a backer.


The card on Thursday is headed by the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks. This race again looks to be held hostage to the participation of a single entrant - this time it's the brilliant Sariska who may scare off the competition. There are a mere seven entries at this stage, and come post time it wouldn't surprise me if we were down to four again.

No matter, it's not her fault, and she ought to be way too good for these, albeit probably at money buyer's odds.

David Elsworth's doughty and progressive mare, Barshiba, may claim the silver medal.

In the Group 2 Lowther Stakes for juvenile fillies, Mick Channon has bagged the swag three times in the last decade including two wins for leading owner, Jaber Abdullah. No Channon representative this year, but Abdullah does have a runner, Lady of the Desert.

She's a daughter of 2001 winner Queen's Logic, and has the form to go close. It's beyond doubt that she's been trained specifically for this race, and she looks nailed on to run well (at least as nailed on as any two year old filly can be!).


It's a long way to Friday and by then I may be feeling as marched out as a member of the Duke's militia. The Group 1 Nunthorpe is the feature, and - appropriately enough with all these military metaphors - it's a five furlong cavalry charge.

There are plenty of good old sticks in here, none of whom it would surprise me to see come home in front, but all of whom look pretty exposed and fairly beatable.

Kingsgate Native is an exception, and looked back to his best when winning last time out for new trainer Sir Michael Stoute. (Apparently, he's been having, erm, droop problems at stud, and so has had to gallop for a living again - poor chap!)

The Native won this as a juvenile, getting all the allowances, two years ago, and he is one of the likelier sorts for this year's affair.

But it's a horse with a similar profile that I'm going to side with, in the shape of 2yo runner, Radiohead. He gets a whopping nineteen pounds plus from all his rivals here and, whilst that won't speed him up, a weight differential of such magnitude must decelerate some of the oppo.

The form of his facile first (in the Norfolk at Royal Ascot) has been franked since, by the aforementioned French Mister Cavalier (or Monsieur Chevalier, if you'd rather), and the Radiohead is likely to be fully tuned up (or in?) after two months off course. [It's worth noting, lest you didn't know already, that the big sprinters in the States normally have a protracted rest like this prior to major stakes races].

I reckon he'll run a nice race and, in a field with many possibilities (none of them especially robust), he looks the each way play.

Borderlescott was extremely unlucky last time, and could also run into the podium positions. He's finished in the first three in no less than 70% of his 40 turf career starts!

Whichever way your wagers wend this week, let's long for lots and lots of luck.

As the Grand Old Duke had it, when we'll be up we'll be up; and when we'll be down we'll be down. And should we be only half way up, we'll be neither up nor down.

Come Friday, break even may well feel like a reprieve!

Good luck!


p.s. What's your bet of the week? Add a comment and share a tip. 🙂

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15 replies
  1. Daniel says:

    Once again, an excellent read from a man that truly knows what he’s talking about.

    Harbinger, Sea The Stars and Monsieur Chevalier have all provided enough money in the past for me to back them again. We’ll see the outcome soon enough!

  2. John says:

    Hope you enjoy YORK cos I won’t done in all my bank on the lays you have been provideing pity this wasn’t a backing service we would be well up.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi John

      I’m very sorry to hear that. We’ve certainly had an astonishingly rough week, and most banks have taken a pounding. Equally, all banks that were of the recommended level will be depleted but not ‘done in’. I’m not crowing about pedantics here – my Laying System does require discipline, a bank and – for many – a strong constitution.

      It remains over 55 points up since November last year to Betfair SP, which demonstrates its long term viability. However, I do appreciate that may be cold comfort for someone such as yourself who has suffered the bad but not the previous good.

      Best Regards,

  3. Skint says:

    I do love reading your picks, because you do darned well, Matt, especially at the big meetings.

    However, I’m posting because, when i saw this bit of your blog: ‘I shall be going racing on Wednesday myself, though – bizarrely perhaps – it will be at Carlisle rather than the Knavesmire, as I’m combining a spot of sport with a bit of business.’

    I had to blink and read it over again, because I’d seen the last section as ‘I’m combining a bit of sport with a bit of knaveishness.’



  4. johnny says:

    Matt,Your lays are at least in profit since November. I went broke with Racing Secrets Exposed. Must be the worst laying results ever
    in the last 4 months.
    If I had backed every horse instead I would be a millionaire.

    This time next year Rodney.

    Good luck at York everyone. Remember,the smaller the field the bigger the upset.

  5. Rosie says:

    I have decided never to subscribe to anymore racing because I am sick of all the promises, after you have paid your money all those promises flew straight out the window and all you get is loser after loser when i can do much better. Today I had a text message for a free trial and how good this person was. He gave 2 horses I put my money on and of course both lost, they won’t even placed. That was my money down the drain.

    Another set of tipsters ask you to put so much on a horse that’s guarantee to win but of course it loses and that is your money gone twice. I have promised myself never to do it again. One good thing I did twice recently instead of backing to win I backed it each way which means I got most of my money back. Never again. You learn by your mistakes. Thats it, never again.

    • Matt Bisogno says:

      Hi Rosie

      Can I suggest that your mistake was not to paper trade first? It is YOUR responsibility to ensure that you track a system for a period of time before investing, in order to:

      a) confirm that the service is going to be profitable, and
      b) assure yourself that you can handle the approach / volatility

      That is why I offer a free trial with my service, and strongly encourage people to paper trade.

      I am genuinely upset at the number of people who are brand new to my service, completely ignore my advice, and then blame me for their losses.
      Horse racing is not alchemy. It cannot turn lead (or a few pounds) into gold. It is risky by definition (duh!).

      Please, please, PLEASE, when you try a new service that has either a free trial period or a money back guarantee, use that time to test the service for yourself.

      I cannot believe I have to write this OBVIOUS point again!!!


  6. DEREK says:

    HI MATT if had put my stake up to 20.00 has you advise i would 50.00 down to day i just don’t no about all the beting systems on the web they all say the same if you bet with us you win this but all i seem to get loosing bets i just don’t no if you can trust any body any more

    • Matt Bisogno says:


      My service is clearly not for you. You need to win every day, and you don’t seem to understand the simpler points of laying.

      Again, like Rosie and others, I wish you had paper traded, like I initially advised.

      There is no magic potion or silver bullet. My service is proven in the long run. Even after a nigh on disastrous week, it is still over 57 points up at Betfair SP (and including all commissions) since I started in November last year.


  7. g e richmond says:

    dear matt enjoy reading your posts my last bet was lately each way at 40-1 next will be ajaan.cheers george

  8. Stefan says:

    Hi Matt,

    As I don’t lay above 11.00 BFSP I didn’t loose a much as your system did last week but I am still 30 points down in one week (but still 83 points up including commission since June). I guess this just seperates the boys from the men.

    Greetings from Holland,


  9. John E says:

    Ref. all the whinging mail on your lays, I am a past expert on picking the wrong systems, but have only had yours a few days and am not ready to right it off until the end of the trial or my bank.Using money and not paper is more mind concentrating so that is what I do. My bank is still 85% intact, the soft ware is perfect to test with real money, I put in a small sum and set it to 1% of that per lay, what more can one ask for. It would take a long time to lose, ok I am not going to get rich in trial period,but that is exactly what it is, not the key to instant riches before one has to pay for it. Thanks for the opportunity

  10. Paul says:

    What happenned to Harbinger today ? Ran a shocker, probably still running. Hopefully just a bad day at the office for him, I feel for the fella that apparently put £30k on him which probably helped send him off at 15/8 fav. All part of the fun.

  11. Lucky (Coventry) says:

    Matt, like you, I really fancied Monsieur Chevalier today but having watched the race, I think he just didn’t feel like it today or the opposition was too good. Being outpaced all the way in a 6f race when you are used to the speed of a 5f shows that something was up.
    The winner did well though and I’ll be watching for him again. Hope you’re not losing too much this week 😉

  12. Lucky (Coventry) says:

    Only me again. I forgot to add my tip of the week (or at least my best fancy).
    On Thursday in York’s 4.05 I can see Flame of Gibraltar bouncing back to form to win this after a below-par effort on unsuited ground last time. ‘Sir’ Henry knows what he’s doing with these fillies and I can’t see him letting this big prize slip away on ground that will suit the horse perfectly.
    There will be enough opposition, but mark my words ………


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