Day three of York’s Ebor Festival and there are stars whichever way you look with three Group races the headline acts. 

Here are Nick Luck’s thoughts on the action.

York

STATE OF BLISS could be the answer at 9/1 to a fiendishly competitive 12-furlong opener at York on Friday (1.50pm). Although it was something of a breakout performance in the Shergar Cup, it was broadly commensurate with a progressive profile and he’s lightly enough raced to think he can move forward again, particularly as he got on so well with Nicola Currie who retains the ride. Earlier efforts point to faster ground not being a problem, and there’s every chance that not being hurried and this longer trip proved the key factors.

SPANISH MISSION must be the bet in the Lonsdale Cup (2.25pm) at 5/2. Unless the rain comes for Trueshan, the ground will likely be too quick, while Stradivarius probably has another big gig in him, but can’t really be backed at current odds. The selection out finished him at Ascot, loves a fast surface, has great course form and has just about his optimum distance.

ORAZIO is quite a strong fancy in the Gimcrack (3.00pm) at 10/1. Everything that could conceivably go wrong unfolded against him at Newbury last time, but he still made a deep impression with the way he travelled through the race. This sharp six and fast ground should be ideal, and he looks well drawn in five to track the likely pace. Fellow William Hill ambassador Charlie Hills’ stable is in fair form to boot.

MOSS GILL is a nice each-way bet in a really smart looking Nunthorpe (3.35pm) at 20/1. Third in the race last year, and with a fine record at this track, Ed Bethell seems to have squeezed a bit more improvement out of the horse this year and he looks primed to run a huge race. The key to his chance is a furious pace that collapses, and Winter Power and Golden Pal (and possibly Dragon Symbol) could well ensure this sets up for a stalk-and-pounce merchant. While Suesa is the one that most obviously fits that bill, she is a pretty short price and there is a little value to be found in the selection.

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