Spread Laid Out For Ebor Bid

Newmarket handler Mark Tompkins couldn’t be more pleased with the way his Ted Spread has returned to form of late having very much lost his way in the second half of last term, and now has his sights set on getting the four-year-old to the Ebor Handicap at York in mid-August in the best possible physical shape, writes Elliot Slater.

At the beginning of last season Tompkins’ charge looked as though he might well develop into the best horse the Yorkshireman had handled since Bob’s Return, his 1993 St Leger winner. A win in the 2010 Group 3 Chester Vase where Ted proved too determined for the useful Icon Dream when prevailing by a head augured well for a lucrative future. Although things didn’t work out at Epsom when Ted Spread beat only one home in the Derby, he came back a couple of months later to run with credit in finishing fourth to Rewilding in the St Leger before his form tailed off badly and he finished last in each of his three subsequent outings at the end of the year.

Connections took the decision to geld the son of Beat Hollow over the winter and after being given plenty of time to get over the operation he returned to something close to his best when failing by a nose to beat Distant Memories in the Listed Pontefract Castle Stakes in mid-June. Those looking at the Betfair York Ebor betting would have been impressed.

Further evidence of the gelding operation having done the trick came at Longchamp last week where the four-year-old ran arguably the race of his life in being beaten just one length in the Group 2 Prix Maurice de Nieuil, leading until headed only in the last fifty yards in the race won by Watar.

Available at odds ranging from 16/1 to 33/1 Ted Spread looks set to take his chance at the Betfair York Ebor Festival and despite having to carry a big weight is one of the classiest horses in the line-up and should do his connections proud.