0.75pt each-way Wings Of Desire @14/1, 15:40 York, Wednesday

A really strong renewal of the Group One Juddmonte International Stakes, the feature race on day one of York’s Ebor meet and officially the highest rated horse race in the world thanks to its illustrious role of honour.

All the winners of the major middle distance Group One races in Britain this year have turned up and its the Coronation Cup winner Postponed that trades 6/4 favourite despite stepping down in trip.

Last season’s King George winner was forced to miss his defence at Ascot because of a lung infection affecting his stable, so he has to prove his wellness as well as his effectiveness at this quarter-mile-shorter trip.

He’s bidding for six wins on the bounce and has the best form of the race, with the prevalent good-to-firm ground probably his optimum conditions.

However, on this ground York’s flat mile-and-a-quarter track will place the emphasis on speed, and the way he races suggests his biggest asset is in fact stamina as he’s so often the very last off the bridle.

He doesn’t look short on speed but he does have to go out and prove that so we’re not afraid to take him on.

We selected Hawkbill when he won the Coral Eclipse over this trip at Sandown on soft ground from subsequent Sussex Stakes winner The Gurkha.

With the third a very good horse too that’s really strong form and there’s plenty of reason to believe Hawkbill, himself chasing a seventh win on the bounce, will improve for the good ground.

Paddy Power go 5/1 and that’s sorely tempting, but I’m not sure that pace is his game either given his last three wins have come in fairly testing conditions.

He certainly looked to have outstayed The Gurkha and I can’t help but think the opposite might happen here; he could get done for speed.

My Dream Boat won the other big Group One race over this trip in the Price of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot, but that was on soft ground too and I reckon he needs it.

Dariyan may have finally won a Group One this season in France but it was a poor one – though at a big price his consistency at this grade certainly suggests each-way value.

The Grey Gatsby gets his ground and is excellent on a good day, but those have been few and far between since his Classic campaign when he won the French Derby and Irish Champion Stakes, so he’s hard to fancy despite the big price.

I think the key piece of form could be the King George won by a fine front-running performance by Highland Reel.

Like Postponed, his best is over a mile-and-a-half and includes Group One wins in America, Britain and Hong Kong.

He was beaten by Postponed in the Dubai Sheema Classic this year but arrives at York in peak form so connections would expect an improved show.

However it’s debatable whether tactics or talent decided that race, and there doesn’t look to be much between him an WINGS OF DESIRE who finished second, and is backable at twice the price.

A course and distance winner at York after winning the Dante Stakes in May, Wings Of Desire is an improving three-year-old now proven capable of mixing with the best in Group One company.

Being by Pivotal, a sprinter, it’d be no surprise if this were his optimum trip and pace his biggest asset, particularly as his trainer believed he might have been outstayed at Ascot and in this year’s Derby.

He was a short price to win the Derby and soft ground ultimately undid him that day – though he ran very well to finish fifth – and he’ll have no such excuses at York.

Even if he doesn’t improve he has a great chance of placing, and at 14/1 I think he looks pretty good each-way value given placing him will return a similar amount to that we’d win by backing Postponed on the nose.

0.75pt each-way Wings Of Desire @14/1, 15:40 York, Wednesday (Bet365, 1,2,3, 1/4)

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