Frazzled looks at the Betfred Ebor ahead of what may prove to be an informative trial at Goodwood.
Betfred Ebor Handicap - Ante Post
The Gordon Stakes at Goodwood looks a very difficult puzzle to solve, as is evidenced by the very open nature of the market, headed by Somewhat based on some dubious form lines from the Coral Eclipse at Sandown.
The popular value bet in this race seems to be the John Gosden trained Cloudscape, on the strength of his unlucky 4th to Cannock Chase at Royal Ascot. He may well prove up to making the jump from handicap to Group 3 company, but there is another horse in the field that makes plenty of interest for a future engagement.
Scotland ran a really eye catching race last time in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes, when he was 3rd to Eagle Top and came from a long way off the pace. This was a big step up from his 3rd of 8 to Orchestra in the Chester Vase and his starting price of 25/1 showed that he greatly exceeded market expectations. Unlike many sons of Monsun, he seems much better on a sound surface and he looks a horse that will be suited by distances in excess of 1.5 miles going forward.
With this in mind, he does not make a huge amount of appeal over the relatively sharp 12 furlongs at Goodwood, but he has was talked about as a possible Leger candidate in the immediate aftermath of that Ascot race and that 14 furlong trip should bring about plenty of improvement from him.
However from studying his entries, we see that he remains in the Ebor after the latest forfeit stage and now that his handicap mark was raised from 95 to 109, he looks to have a far better chance of getting into the York contest.
There is a controversial rule that it is not the highest rated horses that get into the race first, but the ones with the most weight. This only affects 3 year olds with the valuable weight for age allowance, but off his current rating he is almost certain to get in near the bottom of the weights.
If Scotland does run well in this contest today and the Ebor is then mentioned, he could be something like 12/1 for the York race in a couple of weeks time. He is therefore worth getting involved with before Goodwood starts today and 25/1 is an appealing price.