Tom Lee's Ebor Festival Tips: Day 3 - Prince Of Lir Can Be King Of York At A Huge 33/1

Cups of tea sunk and half-time oranges consumed, we're at the mid-point of York's Ebor fixture, poised for more top notch action after an excellent opening two days.

Friday will have to go some to match the heights attained on Wednesday and yesterday, when headline displays from Seventh Heaven in the Yorkshire Oaks and Queen Kindly in the Lowther captured the attention of a giant ladies' day crowd, the latter earning a 10/1 quote from Unibet for next year's 1,000 Guineas.

That said, the quality of the card for day three is every bit as strong, with the long distance battlers in the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup equally as exciting as the Group 1 speedsters in the Nunthorpe. 

In the former, (2.30pm, live on Channel 4 or via the Unibet website if you place a bet) a field of seven will assemble to battle it out over two miles for a winner's cheque of £113,240, headed by fit-again Trip To Paris.

Dynamite in 2015 when winning both the Chester Cup and the Ascot Gold Cup, Ed Dunlop's dour stayer has class in abundance, but sustained a tendon injury towards the end of last year, and only recently returned to the track when third over an inadequate mile and a quarter at Newbury.

Can he get back to where he was?

Hopefully, but this'll be a severe examination, and at a tempting 4/1 at the time of writing this looks the right time to take him on with in-form Sir Mark Prescott's Pallasator.

He's been called a few names in the past, but has been right on his 'A'-game this campaign, winning at Sandown Park in May, before a super second to Big Orange in the Goodwood Cup last time out.

The ground will be perfect and he might still be improving, while Pallasator's stable could barely be going any better, with Sir Mark operating at a whopping 35% strike-rate for the fortnight to the close of play on Thursday.

Sandwiched inbetween the Lonsdale and the Nunthorpe is the Group 3 City Of York Stakes, a seven furlong heat worth a hefty £150,000 overall.

Right at the bottom of the field, Jeremy Noseda's Nemoralia looks an obvious pick getting weight from all comers, especially given her usual assignments come at Group 1 level.

She won nicely here in the spring, but on the flip side it should also be remembered she has only won one of her last five, disappointed last time out in France, and has to try and cope with a drop in trip.

If something is to call her bluff her again, where do we look?

Sir Michael Stoute's Forge looked good last time out and is definitely improving, but the one who looked every inch a Group horse in the making when hosing up to land a gamble at Ascot last month is Dean Ivory's runner, Librisa Breeze.

Supported all the way in to 4/1 favourite for the 24-runner International Stakes, he never looked like being beaten, easily going one better than when runner up in the Royal Hunt Cup.

A rating of 107 means he's well worth his place in the field, and as a four-year-old is likely still to find more improvement yet.

Last but very much not least, the day's feature race, the £417,250 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes comes around at 3.40pm, with 20 runners vying for a winner's purse of £236,622.

Supplemented for this, July Cup winner Limato tries five furlongs for the first time ever, while last year's solution, Mecca's Angel, desperately needs rain for her chances to be increased.  

You can make at least a bit of a case for almost all of them, but one angle which is frequently overlooked in the Nunthorpe contains the enormous two-year-old allowance, which means the juvenile contingent receive huge amount of weight (19 pounds or more) from the older horses.

Yalta has been talked up after his win in the Molecomb, but what about Royal Ascot hero palla?

Robert Cowell, who nowadays trains the last horse to win this race as a two-year-old, Kingsgate Native in 2007 when he was with Sir Michael Stoute, has a better chance of achieving that feat in his own right than the market suggests...

Available at 33/1 with Unibet, his Prince Of Lir is ground versatile and only beaten once in a three race career to date, including wins at Beverley and in the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal Meeting. 

Sent off favourite for a Group 2 in France last time, he is very fast and under a feather weight could be the surprise package in the hands of young Tom Marquand.

Good luck!


Friday's best bets with Unibet at York:

2.30 - Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup - 3 Pallasator (win)

3.05 - City Of York Stakes - 5 Librisa Breeze (win)

3.40 - Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes - 19 Prince Of Lir (each way)