Lucky 15: Brian Ellison’s charge tipped to be Top Notch at York

After three thrilling days on the Knavesmire, it’s time to bid farewell to York’s Ebor Festival on Saturday, unfortunately though it doesn’t get any easier.

The meeting’s eponymous contest is the feature as we aim to finish the week in fine style with our each-way Lucky 15 to tackle the racing with on Saturday.

It’s not just York on offer though, with racing from Sandown and Chester meaning there are eight contests for which you can bag a free bet courtesy of Ladbrokes’ 4/1 offer.*

For us here at Ladbrokes News though, we are sticking to the action in Yorkshire.

Top Notch Tonto – Strensall Stakes (14:00)

Never out of the first three in five starts at the track, it’s pretty clear that Top Notch Tonto loves his days out at York.

He won the Listed Ganton Stakes over a mile here two starts ago before finding only Tullius too strong in the Group 2 York Stakes over 10.5f, and looks a big price back down slightly in class.

The cheekpieces that he has worn for those two runs remain on once again after they apparently helped him regain some of his form from the latter part of 2013.

If the forecast light rain hits the area prior to the race his claims look likely to be enhanced, but even without that precipitation, don’t be shocked to see the popular horse make the frame.

Putting Green – Melrose Stakes (14:35)

A fairly consistent handicapper, Richard Hannon’s horse looks a mighty price in what is admittedly competitive handicap.

This will be his first crack at this trip, but was one of the first off the bridle at Haydock but stuck on gamely for third, despite having to be switched out for a run.

He is reunited with jockey Sean Levey who was on board for his victory at Doncaster three weeks ago when sticking gallantly to the task late on.

He has twice got to within a nose of smart Glorious Goodwood winner Dartmouth this season, form that offers more hope of their being more to come.

Raucous – Gimcrack Stakes (15:10)

You might think that this late in the season you would be looking for a juvenile already tested at the top level, but as far as the Gimcrack goes it’s not that simple.

Half the winners in the last two decades were making their first step up Group level for the race, so rule out the unbeaten Raucous at your peril.

William Haggas’ yard is flying on the Knavesmire this week and this unexposed one could spring a bit of a surprise.

He needs to step up from winning four and two runner affairs, but with Orvar behind last time out, and that one going on to finish a close-up fifth in the DBS Premier Yearlings Stakes this week, improvement could be forthcoming.

Nearly Caught – Ebor Handicap (15:45)

The Irish look to be dominating the market for this valuable handicap, but we’re interested in one trained closer to home.

Hughie Morrison’s gelding was placed in the Northumberland Plate on his last run, finishing ahead a couple of reopposing types here.

He’s only gone up 1lb in the handicap for that solid performance and back down in trip could be well treated.

He won a solid handicap at Haydock over this trip a couple of years ago, before running respectably to finish eighth in this race last year, before improving to place in a Conditions race at Chelmsford three starts ago. A replication of his trio of performances this year will see him in the mix.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.