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Horse Racing

The Escobarr brothers go head-to-head in the Ebor at York – but I fancy the defending champ to go close at a big price

HERE’S a story.

So, I’m pretty sure that however spiritual they may be, brothers Roberto de Jesus and Pablo Emilio Escobar never thought they would see each other again. 

Our man has a big-price fancy in today’s Ebor at York

And yet, quite spookily to be honest, they both turn up in today’s huge betting race, the Sky Bet Ebor Heritage Handicap at York! 

Roberto Escobarr will be better fancied than his William Haggas-trained stablemate Pablo Escobarr, although as the latter is deceased that won’t come as the biggest surprise. The equine Escobarrs are also full brothers which is a clever twist. 

Clearly, respected Dubai-based businessman Hussain Alabbas Lootah, the owner of both horses, has an interest in the story of the drug cartels.

Pablo, who just about stays a mile and six furlongs, is known as the ‘King of Cocaine’ and was thought to be worth over $64billion at the time of his death. 

Roberto, who is lightly-raced and seems sure to get home having recently stepped up to a mile and three-quarters, is nicknamed ‘El Osito’ (Little Bear) but I’m not sure I’d want to cuddle him much.

Even if I did get one of his phones which appears to be his current line of business since leaving prison in 2006! 

While the Escobar brothers clearly have had questionable lives, I don’t think we make enough of the naming of race horses. 

Yorkshireman Haggas, a quite exceptional trainer and fun lad too, is also represented by Hamish – owned by his old man – ridden by stable jock Tom Marquand and Ilaraab, who gives the Lady Bowthorpe boy Kieren Shoemark a big chance. Haggas wants this prize, the feature of the day on the main ITV network. 

What a week it has been on the Knavesmire, and to witness some of the world’s best horses charging up the York straight has been a joy to behold. 

It all started on Wednesday with the Juddmonte International and a totally dominant display by Mishriff under young David Egan.

This victory put the Gosden’s bang in the mix for the trainers’ championship and was deserved by an animal who hadn’t shown his class in the UK before but is now without doubt a proven top class mile and a quarter performer. 

Long term, the Breeders’ Cup Turf at Del Mar would be the race I would aim Mishriff at, although the dam is by Raven’s Pass who won a Breeders’ Cup Classic. That, though, was on artificial rather than a dirt surface. 

Thursday was all about Snowfall in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks, and while not everyone was impressed I thought she smashed up the field in style.

She’s an absolute monster for Aidan O’Brien and off the lowest weight in the race she will be very hard to stop in the Arc. The Epsom Oaks heroine just cruised home eased down. 

Chappers was blown away by Snowfall at York

Yesterday, of course, speed was what mattered and the one that had it most in the Coolmore Wootton Bassett Nunthorpe was Winter Power.

They came from America and France in a bid to beat the Silvestre de Sousa speedball, but it was the horse trained in Yorkshire by Tim Easterby that came out on top.

Tim’s old man handled the great Sea Pigeon to land the Ebor back in the day off top weight. Winter Power is much faster, but equally got the crowd going.

Talking of the super tough-to-find-the-winner Ebor, and it won’t be easy under 10st, I’m staying with the defending champion FUJAIRA PRINCE for Roger Varian and Andrea Atzeni.

The lightly raced seven-year-old is one of the few in the field who is able to race close to the pace and see the trip out strongly. Stall 19 is not ideal, but if he gets into a good rhythm out near the front he will be hard to catch. Have a few quid on each-way.

Elsewhere on the card all eyes will be on Real World in the ITV opener, the Group 3 Strensall Stakes over 1m1f. A lot of hold up performers in this, and I have a feeling the Saeed bin Suroor-trained favourite is an absolute good thing under the likeable Marco Ghiani.

Good luck everyone. Yeeehaaa!

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