Horsebetting.com experts provide their 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes betting tips for the feature Group 1 contest on day three of the York Ebor Festival. Blue Point has already beaten Battaash this season, so looks the value bet to confirm the form in the 5f dash on Friday, 24 August. Battaash is top rated and the one to beat on the pick of his form, while Mabs Cross is a consistent sort and looks the each-way value. Read our in-depth 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes betting tips preview for full details on these horses’ chances.Blue Point the bet in cracking renewal of Nunthorpe StakesBlue Point looks worth a bet at the odds on offer to confirm King’s Stand Stakes form with red-hot favourite Battaash and land the spoils in the feature race at York on Friday, the Group 1 Nunthorpe Stakes run over the flying 5f (15:35).
The Charlie Appleby trained four-year-old son of Shamardal came out on top by 1 3/4 lengths when the pair met at this distance in that other Group 1 contest at Royal Ascot. Blue Point travelled strongly on the heels of the leaders and, after being driven to chase Battaash at the furlong marker. showed a nice turn of foot to get the job done.
There were no excuses for the runner-up, as he led but had nothing left in the locker at the business end of affairs. Blue Point was sent off favourite for the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket on the back of that taking success, yet could never get competitive when a 4 3/4 lengths seventh of 10 to U S Navy Flag.
It was a slightly underwhelming effort, but that race was over 6f and it was not the first time that Blue Point has failed to back-up a win. The drop back to 5f may well see him in a different light as he has only had two starts over it – finishing a head second in Meydan back in February before landing the King’s Stand.
Blue Point may well prove to be most effective in a strongly run race over the minimum trip and there is stacks of early pace in this line-up, so it could well be set up for a closer; he fits the bill and will hopefully get a good tow into the race and pounce late to land the spoils. In relation to Battaash he certainly looks overpriced, so we had to make him the main selection in our 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes betting tips.Battaash sets the standardBattaash is the highest rated in the line-up off a mark of 127 – that puts him 7lb ahead of Blue Point, who is closest to him in the ratings, and miles clear of the rest of the field. It also makes him the clear form pick in this and he comes into the race on the back of a scintillating success in the Group 2 King George Stakes at Glorious Goodwood.
The Charlie Hills trained four-year-old showed electric early pace to take up the running travelling strongly at the halfway stage. He then stretched effortlessly clear in the hands of Jim Crowley to slam Take Cover by four lengths in a very quick time close to the track record.
It was an awesome display visually and Battaash got put up 5lb in the ratings for it, but whether that is justified is highly questionable. The runner-up, for all that he is a tough and really likeable sort, is an 11-year-old that is fully exposed; while the third home Muthmir is also not a sprinter out of the top drawer and the field overall lacked any strength-in-depth.
Battaash was thus entitled to win at Goodwood in the manner that he did and he also boiled over pre-race in this contest 12 months ago when a disappointing 4 3/4 lengths fifth to Marsha. That is the only time that he has run at the Knavesmire, so it will be interesting to see if that experience has an effect on him now returned to this venue.
He is undoubtedly a class act, as Battaash proved when making virtually all to easily beat Marsha by four lengths in the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye at Chantilly back in October. He was beaten fair and square by Blue Point in the aforementioned King’s Stand Stakes, though; so – at odds-on – there are enough reasons to suggest he is worth taking on in this.Mabs Cross holds major each-way claimsMabs Cross is a tough and consistent sort who doesn’t have much to find in the book with Blue Point and Battaash. She hails from the yard of Michael Dods, who saddled Mecca’s Angel to land back-to-back runnings of this contest in 2015 and 2016, so looks cracking each-way value at the odds on offer.
This four-year-old filly has won five of her 11 starts and showed a willing attitude in the last of those at Newmarket when landing the Group 3 Palace House Stakes by a neck back in May. She backed that up with a cracking effort when staying on from off the pace to finish a three-quarters of a length fourth to Battaash in the Temple Stakes at Haydock.
Mabs Cross was then beaten only two lengths when third to Blue Point in the King’s Stand – again doing all her best work at the finish. It’s fair to say she failed to shine last time out when third of seven in a Group 2 at The Curragh, but that was a muddlingly run race and she will be far better suited by this bigger field where she looks guaranteed to get the strong pace that she needs to be seen to best effect.
The daughter of Dutch Art undoubtedly has a big prize in her and, on the pick of her form, has claims of making the frame at least in this. We therefore had no hesitation in putting up Mabs Cross as the each-way punt in our 2018 Nunthorpe Stakes betting tips.Your Next Bet