3.40 York Saturday June 11
6f Pavers Foundation Catherine Memorial Sprint Handicap (Heritage Handicap) (Class 2) (3yo 0-105)
A big field of 19 goes to post for this and it’s a race where for the past seven years it has paid to side with runners drawn seven or lower. In fact, eight of the last 10 winners have fitted that bill.
It’s been a bit of a graveyard for favourites, with half of those last 10 winners being double-figure prices and just one market leader, Body And Soul (2013) obliging.
Tim Easterby trained that mare and also the following year’s winner See The Sun and it’s one of his entries that I like in this race.
He saddles three runners, none of whom can be discounted, but in preference to both Bay Breeze and Roach Power, I’m siding with ATOMIC LADY. There are several good reasons why.
Firstly, there is nothing Tim Easterby enjoys more than having winners on the Knavesmire. It’s his local track, as he trains at nearby Great Habton and his runners regularly produce the goods here.
Atomic Lady is a case in point, having won over Saturday’s course and distance on good ground in a 0-85 nursery handicap last July. Further fuelling the case for this Kodiac filly is her run here last August in a valuable sales race, when she finished a short-head second to Ever Given.
The winner that day has already gone on to win both a 0-95 handicap at Chester and last week’s Listed Surrey Stakes at Epsom Downs this season, so boosting that form with Atomic Lady.
Conditions are again forecast to good on the Knavesmire, although she has won on good to firm and run well on so she is versatile in that respect too.
Provided her trainer has her straight and ready to go first time, she could be very well treated from an official rating of 91 and she should go very well.