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Ebor Festival: Roaring Lion can be pride of York

We've picked out our ante-post York Ebor Festival tips ahead of the four-day spectacular known as the Royal Ascot of the North.

Each afternoon contains a mixture of top-class racing and ultra-competitive handicaps, providing the perfect balance for punters.

Here's three selections to consider from the feature events, with their early York Ebor Festival odds:

Juddmonte International Stakes

John Gosden's charge Roaring Lion returns to the scene of his superb Dante Stakes success back in May and can strike a blow for the Classic generation by beating King George hero Poet's Word.

Roaring Lion went on to finish a fine third in the Derby, when probably not quite staying the mile and a half trip at Epsom.

He then claimed Group One glory by edging out 2,000 Guineas winner Saxon Warrior in the Eclipse at Sandown back down at 10 furlongs and this trip does seem his ideal distance.

After watching the three-year-old work well recently, Gosden beamed: "He has been in good form since Sandown and we are happy with him. He has been in great nick."

Nunthorpe Stakes

Charles Hills' four-year-old Battaash has a bit to prove after finishing only fourth in this race 12 months ago and being picked off by Blue Point in the King's Stand at Royal Ascot.

However, he was outstanding when scoring at Glorious Goodwood for the second straight season and is hard to oppose following that spectacular performance.

October's Prix de l'Abbaye triumph showed that Battaash will not be inconvenienced by any recent rain in Yorkshire and we expect to see him blazing a trail down the Knavesmire.

Ebor Handicap

Blakeney Point regularly comes good at this time of year and Roger Charlton's gelding is expected to have conditions to suit in this 1m 6f contest.

The son of Sir Percy went into the notebook as one to follow when a staying-on fifth of 16 in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock over a couple of furlongs less.

Blakeney Point was then far from disgraced in the Group Three Glorious Stakes at Goodwood and the feeling is that Charlton has campaigned the five-year-old with this race in mind.

Stratum is a worthy favourite after scoring well for Willie Mullins in a Newbury contest which has worked out well, but our selection stands out on the value front at more than double the odds.

[All odds correct at time of publication]
Andrew McDermott
@a_mcdermott in Horse Racing