York Ebor Festival 2015: Ebor Handicap preview (15.45)
Toe The Line has some solid form to her name and looks decent each-way value in a typically wide open and fiercely competitive renewal of the Ebor Handicap at York (15.45), on the final day of the Ebor Festival.
Trained in Ireland by the shrewd John Kiely, the mare is a consistent and tough sort who has won four of her 15 starts on the level and been placed on eight other occasions.
The six-year-old was last successful when landing a Listed 2m contest at the Curragh 11 months ago when showing a good attitude to beat Altese by a neck.
Toe The Line was then off the track for 188 days before making a promising return to action when a not knocked about fourth in a Listed contest at Cork back in April, and after two slightly below par efforts posted a really solid performance last time out when third to Panama Hat in a 1m 4f Listed affair at Rosscommon.
The daughter of Shantou stayed on well in the latter from well off the pace to be nearest at the finish and beaten three lengths, and the step back up in trip to 1m 6f looks sure to suit.
Panama Hat has also since come out and run a blinder to finish runner-up in the American St Leger to give the form a boost, and Toe The Line looks to have be brought along steadily with this race in mind.
A mark of 102 also doesn’t look harsh on the pick of Toe The Line’s form, and with Jamie Spencer taking over in the saddle everything points to a big run.
Fellow Irish raiders Clondaw Warrior and Fields Of Athenry look big players.
The former is a smart dual purpose horse trained by the all-conquering Willie Mullins who has sneaked in at the foot of the weights following the late withdrawal of Quest For More.
After landing a gamble in the Ascot Stakes at the Royal meeting, the eight-year-old followed up in good style at the Galway Festival when readily scoring by 1 1/2 lengths.
A 4lb rise for the latter looks on the lenient side, and with Frankie Dettori taking over in the saddle for the first time it’s hard not to see Clondaw Warrior going very close.
Fields Of Athenry is a progressive three-year-old trained by Aidan O’Brien who has won three of his four starts this season.
The colt comes into the contest on the back of smooth successes in a Listed contest at Leopardstown and a Group 3 at the same venue, and looks a classy type who should be up to making his presence felt in this off a mark of 119.
Coral’s top tip: A wide open renewal of the Ebor, and Irish raider Toe The Line looks decent each-way value