The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival gets under way on Wednesday. I have three selections from there plus another at Carlisle.
The Betway Great Voltigeur Stakes looks set to be a cracking renewal. On the back of excellent efforts in the English and Irish Derbys Cracksman will be all the rage, but I think he is a thoroug stayer who is vulnerable to a progressive faster rival and that horse is Mirage Dancer.
He has the typical profile of a late maturing Sir Michael Stoute three-year-old. Last time out he posted a big speed figure in the Hampton Court Stakes at Royal Ascot when third to the very useful Benbatl.
That represented a marked improvement in form from his previous eye-catching effort behind Cliffs Of Moher in the Dee Stakes at Chester. He steps up to a mile and a half here and that should be within his compass given that his sire Frankel seems to impart plenty of stamina into his progeny.
However, it is the speedy distaff side of his family that will help him win this race in that I think he will be ridden patiently by in-form Andrea Atzeni and will be produced late to beat his rivals for speed. At around 5-1 he makes plenty of appeal.
Trainer Jim Goldie suffered a low blow on Saturday when his grand old sprinter Jack Dexter had to be put down at Ripon.
He can gain some compensation here with this progressive stayer. Trying two miles for the first time last time out at Ascot in the Shergar Cup he did very well to win coming from last to win going away in a slowly run race.
He is a lightly raced four-year-old and is completely unexposed as a stayer. He possesses a sharp turn of foot which is ideal given that he is usually ridden patiently.
There is still some scope in terms of his handicap mark (91) over this trip and there looks certain to be a decent set up for him here with plenty of pace signed in for him to attack late on.
This nursery is fiercely competitive, but there is plenty in his favour. For a start, his pedigree looks ideal for York's straight track which tends to suit horses who go well on the all-weather.
Tathmeen is certainly bred for that sort of surface given he is by Exceed And Exel out of a Storm Cat mare and he looks set to run a big race given his fine effort at Newbury last time.
In that race, on heavy ground which on pedigree is not ideal, he was an impressive winner in a fast time.
This represented a big improvement on his previous two starts and he looks well treated off a mark of 85.
The faster surface here combined with the nature of the surface could bring about even more improvement and being drawn in stall 11 gives jockey Jim Crowley options as far as track position is concerned. My advice would be to prefer the middle to far side. This nicely bred colt looks set to run a big race.
Wor Lass looks to be coming back to form, having slipped in the weights.
A two-time winner last year, she gets to race off a mark of 75 here - a mark she won off at Musselburgh last September.
She shaped well behind Dubai Fifty and Tor last time out at Ayr and those two horses have gone on to win since. Also, she gets to race off a 1lb lower mark here.
When this mare finds her form she is worth being with. She racked up a six-timer timer in 2015, albeit off much lower marks, and in 2016 her two wins came back to back.
She looks to be finding her form again and now off a feasible mark with Rachel Richardson taking off a further 3lb I fancy she will run very well in a handicap that lacks much strength in depth.
Angus McNae’s Wednesday selections:
4.50 York: Tathmeen at 8-1 with Bet365
4.55 Carlisle: Wor Lass at 8-1 with BetVictor