WHAT a super start it was to the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival with Bogart winning the very first race on Wednesday out of my father Kevin’s Hambleton yard.
I was just so happy to see him fill first spot. He is a horse that we have always thought a great deal of and he is owned by the nicest people you could wish to meet.
The victory in the Symphony Group Stakes, under jockey Neil Callan, was especially well deserved because of what happened in his previous race a month ago.
That was when my saddle slipped in the Sky Bet Dash on Knavesmire. He would have won that day but for that mishap.
Half of me was really disappointed that I wasn’t on Bogart on Wednesday. I did have the option to take the ride but that wouldn’t have been fair on the horse or his owners.
I wouldn’t have been able to ride at my best, at a guaranteed 100 per cent, as I injured my right shoulder in that fall. It was, though, a fantastic result all-round and everyone at the yard is cock-a-hoop.
After his fine win two years ago in the DBS Premier Yearling Stakes, Bogart clearly enjoys the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival as much as our stable does!
Our Royal Ascot star, York Glory, is looking for just that in the feature this afternoon, the Group1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. Over in under a minute, we’ll be holding our breath.
We have a fine team of runners going to York tomorrow for the climax to the four-day festival meeting.
We love having runners there, especially as the Yorkshire atmosphere is so good and the prize-money put up by the racecourse so excellent – over £3.2m this week alone.
We don’t have a horse running in the feature race on the final day – the Betfred Ebor – but, as always, it has all the makings of a superb race and one of the most competitive in British racing.
Astaire is our representative in the seven-runner Group 2 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes.
He won on his debut at York in May and, after defeat in the Group 2 July Stakes at Newmarket, he returned to headquarters at the end of last month and recorded a victory in a conditions event.
The two-year-old is a favourite of mine at the yard and I ride him out regularly. He has strong form coming into the race and I’m looking forward to seeing him run.
Earlier in the day, in the opening Listed Betfred City Of York Stakes at 2.05pm, we are doubled-handed.
Glory Awaits won his maiden at Haydock Park last season. He has run consistently well this year without getting the win that his form merits and he has been pleasing us with his home work.
Lightning Cloud is our other representative in the seven-furlong race. Of course, he won at Royal Ascot in the Buckingham Palace Stakes. Things didn’t go his way in the Betfair International back at the Berkshire racecourse at the end of last month, but he has come out that race well and he obviously enjoys the big occasions. So, fingers crossed for tomorrow.
Our final runner in the Ebor Festival is Hot Streak in the Listed Julia Graves Roses Stakes at 4.25pm.
He won on his debut in the Read Richard Fahey On sportinglife.com Median Auction Maiden Stakes on 27 July at York.
He is a lovely colt and won very nicely on his only race to date. He showed real professionalism, travelled beautifully and won like a horse which had run previously.
Hot Streak could be a very exciting prospect indeed and we are all looking forward to seeing him run tomorrow.
If we could have another winner tomorrow in front of a big Yorkshire crowd, it would be the icing on the cake at the end of a meeting which is a favourite with everyone.
The final two days of the Ebor Festival feature the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (today) and the Betfred Ebor (tomorrow). On-the-day admission in the Grandstand & Paddock and County Enclosures is £29 and £54, respectively. Accompanied under-16s are free of charge. More information at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk or by calling the course on 01904 620911.