Starcaster Fancied to Land York Finale
A typically competitive handicap rounds off the first day of the Dante Festival at York, but there could be a very well handicapped horse in the mix to take the prize. That horse is Starcaster, who impressed on his first run for the Jedd O’Keeffe yard and he is fancied to go one better here to land the victory.
He has never won on seasonal debut, so there is a good chance he will come on for his run last time, which is very encouraging. Something else to get excited about is the fact that the horse won on his second start of last season, which this is. That was a small handicap off a mark of 74 and here he is now off a mark of 82 in a much better race, so he needs to do more, but the signs are all there.
His run at Thirsk was behind a horse from the Mark Johnston yard called King’s Advice. That horse has won all five of his starts so far this season, as he has climbed up the ranks and rose in the weights. His victory, with Starcaster back in second, was at Thirsk and his fourth win of his sequence. He has since gone on to win at Ripon, in what was a better race in my opinion, which adds some real substance to the Thirsk form.
King’s Advice was put up five pound for winning, and that wasn’t enough to stop him. Starcaster has been put up four pound for his second place that day, and I don’t think that will be enough to stop him from getting involved here. He was over four lengths clear of the third on that day, and looked as well handicapped as the winner.
I can’t blame the yard for trying their luck in a good race like this, their horse looks nicely handicapped and more than capable of picking up a race. I like his chances, and the bet in the last for me is Starcaster.