Horsebetting.com experts provide their 2018 Ebor Handicap betting tips for the feature race on the final day of the York Ebor Festival. Irish raider Stratum was ultra-impressive when winning last time out and looks the answer to the valuable 1m 6f contest on Saturday, 25 August. Blakeney Point is nicely treated on the pick of his form and feared most, while Muntahaa drops in class and appeals each-way. Read our in-depth 2018 Ebor Handicap betting tips preview for full details.Stratum a worthy favourite to land Ebor spoilsStratum scored in terrific style last time out, so looks a worthy favourite to defy a rise in the weights and land the spoils in the big betting race at York on Saturday, the 1m 6f Ebor Handicap (15:40). Trained in Ireland by Willie Mullins for professional gambler and Brighton and Hove Albion FC chairman Tony Bloom, this five-year-old could not have been more impressive when bolting up in the 16-runner JLT Cup over 2m at Newbury.
After being held-up in mid-division by Robert Winston, the son of Dansili made stealthy headway two from home to take up the running inside the last; he then powered clear to beat Kloud Gate by three lengths. Stratum made a total mockery of his handicap mark of 94 in what was a very competitive race.
The way in which he got the job done with tons to spare suggested he was miles ahead of the assessor and if that is the case, then an 8lb rise in the weights is unlikely to be enough stop him going in again. Prior to the JLT, Stratum had also ran well when a 2 3/4 lengths third of 19 to stable companion Lagostovegas in the 2m 4f Ascot Stakes, doing all his best work at the finish having been held-up in midfield.
The drop back to 1m 6f in this should hold no fears, given that he won over 1m 2f and was placed over 1m 4f earlier in his career when in the care of John Gosden. Stratum has a blend of speed and staying power, and those are the perfect attributes for a race of this nature.
He has also had just five starts for his in-form handler and Mullins has clearly found the key to him. The gelding could be a group horse masquerading as a handicapper, so there is nothing not to like about his profile and Stratum had to be our main pick among the 2018 Ebor Handicap betting tips.Blakeney Point weighted to go wellThe Roger Charlton trained Blakeney Point looks nicely treated on the pick of his form and has a good record in the grade, having won three times and been placed twice from 10 starts in class 2 company. He now drops back in class, so rates the main danger to Stratum.
This five-year-old rounded off last seen in terrific style when landing back-to-back contests at Newbury and Leicester. In the latter, he readily beat Dance The Dream by half-a-length off a mark of 100 and Blakeney Point is able to race in this off just 5lb higher having shaped quite nicely in three outings this year.
In the second of those, he kept on well to finish a 4 3/4 lengths fifth of 18 to Rainbow Rebel in the Old Newton Cup over 1m 4f at Haydock. Blakeney Point was then far from disgraced when fourth to Mirage Dancer last time out in the Group 3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood over the same distance.
Although he could never get involved at the business end that day, the son of Sir Percy did make some late headway and was not knocked about. This is easier and Blakeney Point will appreciate the step back up in trip to 1m 6f here.
He also looks to have been primed for this and now gets fitted with blinkers for the first time. The booking of in-form jockey Jamie Spencer to do the steering also catches the eye, so everything points to a bold bid from Blakeney Point.Class-dropping Muntahaa the each-way valueA case can be made for many in a typically fierce renewal, but Muntahaa makes more appeal than most and loos a lively outsider at the odds on offer. The John Gosden trained five-year-old landed the Group 3 John Porter Stakes at Newbury last season off an official rating of 113 and now drops back into handicap company for the first time since winning at Chester in August 2016.
It gives him major claims from a handicapping perspective and Muntahaa has shaped well in three outings this season. After looking as if badly needing the run on return to action when fourth of six to Idaho in a Group 3 at Chester, the son of Dansili ran a cracker when a keeping on two-length third of 16 to Monarchs Glen in the Listed 1m 2f Wolferton Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Muntahaa backed that up with a solid fourth to Best Solution in a Group 2 over 1m 4f at Newmarket where – after being held-up – he did all his best work at the finish to be beaten 4 1/2 lengths in a muddlingly run affair. Judged on that, he looks well worth another crack at the 1m 6f trip of this.
So, with his trainer in red-hot form, Muntahaa has more going for him than his odds would suggest. We therefore decided to put him up as the each-way punt among our 2018 Ebor Handicap betting tips.Your Next Bet