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14:30 York: Fergie’s Balty Boys the one to beat in the Acomb Stakes

| 17.08.2011

It’s been nine years since Aiden O’Brien last saddled a winner in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes at York’s Ebor Festival, and today the Irish trainer saddles three in the hope of a win.

O’Brien has had two seconds, a third and a fourth in the last nine runnings so it’s worth having a look at the Ballydoyle runners, but the winner won’t be among them.

Furner’s Green (7/2) looks likely start the favourite but the trends are against the favourite with just three winning favourites in the last 10 years – including one odds-on shot – and it’s worth looking at the horse he beat last time out, his stable mate Battle Of Saratoga (20/1), for a place.

Battle Of Saratoga has finished second on both of his starts but in terms of the winner we can rule all three of O’Brien’s runners out.

We’ve narrowed down the 13-runner field to three potential winners, Balty Boys (11/2), Zumbi (9/1) and Moon Pearl (14/1).

Moon Pearl just gets into the selection as there hasn’t been a winner of the Acomb Stakes that has started longer than 16/1 in the last 10 years, and while he may be the horse that has had to travel the furthest for today’s race, he’s definitely worth a look.

Sir Michael Stoute and Kieren Fallon team up with Zumbi and he looks a very big price considering the two have teamed up four times in the last 14 days and winning twice and finishing third twice.

But the preference is for Balty Boys who is making his third start of the season after justifying his favouritism at Newbury comfortably last time out.

Part-owned by Sir Alex Ferguson, he struggled on his debut meeting over today’s trip but is bred to get 7f and the win at Newbury means he comes here high in confidence.

It’s a tough race to call but Ferguson should be celebrating come 14:33.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.