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York tips for Friday: La Rioja ready to roll

| 08.07.2016

David Metcalf | July 7, 2016

La Rioja has a vintage chance now dropped in class

La Rioja ran a blinder last time out and can take advantage of a drop in class to get back to winning ways in the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York (16.00).

Trained by Henry Candy, the filly won two of her three starts as a juvenile and looked a smart prospect in the last of those when quickening clear to land a Group 3 at Salisbury by 4 1/2 lengths.


La Rioja was then off the track for 268 days and shaped as if badly needing the run when fifth to Quiet Reflection in the Group 2 Temple Stakes at Haydock.

The three-year-old duly came on a ton for that outing when finishing a fine fourth of 10 to the same rival in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

La Rioja showed plenty of pace to chase the leaders and kept on well to be beaten 2 1/2 lengths, and a repeat of that effort should be more than good enough to land this lower grade affair.

Well-treated Gamesome each-way value

Gamesome has become dangerously well-treated and looks decent each-way value in the 5f handicap (14.55).

The gelding shaped well in some ultra-competitive handicaps last season when trained by Olly Stevens, finishing a solid fifth of 22 to Eastern Impact in a class 2 contest at Newmarket off a mark of 100 and an excellent sixth of 25 to Interception in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot off the same rating.

GAMESOME with M Barzalona wins at Nottingham 16-8-13. Copyright Martin Lynch.

Now in the care of Paul Midgley, Gamesome is able to race in this lower grade affair off a reduced rating of 93.

That gives the five-year-old major claims from a handicapping perspective, and Gamesome comes into the race on the back of an improved effort when fading late on to finish fourth in a 6f contest at Ayr.

If building on that, Gamesome looks weighted to run a huge race now dropped back to the minimum trip.

De Veer Cliffs weighted to deliver

In the 1m 2f handicap (15.30), De Veer Cliffs can take advantage of what looks a lenient mark to land the spoils.

The Martyn Meade trained filly shaped really well on her sole start as a juvenile when chasing home subsequent Oaks runner-up Architecture.

Doncaster day 3

De Veer Cliffs threw down a persistent challenge to go down by 1 1/2 lengths, and duly built on that promise to make a winning return to action at Nottingham when scoring eased down by 1 1/4 lengths.

The three-year-old has been allotted an opening handicap mark of 82 on the back of those efforts, and given that Architecture is now rated 114 it makes the unexposed De Veer Cliffs looks potentially thrown-in at the weights.

York tips

13.50: Naafer
14.20: Rosebride
14.55: Gamesome (E/W)
15.30: De Veer Cliffs (NB)
16.00: La Rioja (NAP)
16.30: Pinzolo
17.05: London Protocol


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David Metcalf

A lifelong Manchester United supporter, David has over 25 years’ experience in the media industry having worked for regional and national newspapers. He is a huge horse racing, football and greyhound fan and has done interviews on various radio and TV stations, including talkSPORT and Sky Sports, whilst working as a PR front man for a betting firm. David has also written for most of the top Premier League football fan websites, and produced a Cheltenham Festival guide with former eight-times champion national hunt jockey Peter Scudamore, MBE, after helping him to set up a syndicate for his trainer son Michael.