Regular Yorkshire Post racing columnist, champion apprentice jockey Amy Ryan, returns to the writing seat today after former jockey Dale Gibson stood in for her during a short absence.
A big thank you to Dale Gibson, Industry Liaison Officer of the Professional Jockeys Association, for holding the fort in the Yorkshire Post over the last three weeks and analysing the major races at York Racecourse and elsewhere each Friday.
My father Kevin’s yard is a hive of activity as we prepare for the final two days of ‘Glorious’ Goodwood today and tomorrow.
Then we have the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival to look forward to later in the month to which we will send a lot of runners. It’s one of the great meetings of the year in British horse racing.
The very popular race on the final day at Goodwood is always the Stewards’ Cup. We have three runners in the six-furlong dash this year.
The first is Royal Ascot hero York Glory, who took the Wokingham Stakes at the Royal Meeting. Among his victories is one at York – at the Ebor Festival two years ago. He must shoulder second top weight tomorrow, under my weighing room colleague Jamie Spencer, but he is a class act as his record proves. York Glory loves big handicaps and the race should be run to suit him.
Another Yorkshire horse, Hoof It, stabled with Mick Easterby, carries the maximum 9st 12lb in the race.
Tiddliwinks is the second of our runners in the Stewards’ Cup. He is a yard favourite and another Knavesmire winner, having taken the Group 2 Duke Of York Clipper Logistics Stakes last season. Tiddliwinks always runs his race, has strong group form and loves to come off a strong pace which there always is in this 28-runner sprint.
Our yard’s third representative is Blaine, with Joe Fanning taking the reins.
He is a three-year-old whose form last year was impressive. He won twice at York, including the Group 2 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes.
Blaine hasn’t won on his two outings so far in 2013 but, were he to return to his two-year-old form, he too would have a chance.
In the Stewards’ Sprint Stakes at 2.05pm, Chooseday, a horse which I have ridden regularly myself, represents the yard, with jump-turned Flat jockey Graham Lee on board.
He has been going well this year, including when runner-up at Chester from a wide draw in June.
That day he came through the field from last place, so hopefully he will be suited by the contest tomorrow when he will get plenty of cover.
Following the action from the Sussex Downs this week serves to remind me that the opening day of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival is now just over two weeks away.
The latest stage of entries for the feature races was published earlier in the week and the £3.2m in prize-money has managed to produce a series of fascinating contests.
The opening day will see the richest-ever race at York, the Group One Juddmonte International, and the continued presence of French superstar, Cirrus des Aigles, means the race lives up to its name.
It is a ‘clash of the generations’ story for the best of the fillies, entered in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Ladies’ Day, Thursday August 22, as Epsom Investec Oaks winner Talent could yet meet The Fugue who was successful in the Nassau Stakes.
The fastest horses of the season will challenge for the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday August 23 with the action over in under a minute. Our yard has three still in this race.
The Betfred Ebor is the richest flat handicap in Europe and trainer William Haggas is having a great season at York, so I would really expect Harris Tweed to go well following his Goodwood victory.
The same Newmarket stable saddled Saayerr to success and they may well head for the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes, a famous contest now run on the Saturday.
Again we’ve got three contenders for this one in Astaire, Sleeper King and the Grey Gatsby, who all made their debuts at York, with the first pair victorious.
n The next racing at York Racecourse is the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival between Wednesday August 21 and Saturday August 24.
The feature races are the Juddmonte International (Wednesday), the Darley Yorkshire Oaks on Ladies’ Day (Thursday), the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes (Friday) and the Betfred Ebor (Saturday).
On-the-day admission in the Grandstand & Paddock and County Enclosures is £29 and £54 respectively, with early bird discounts available for advance booking until 14 August.
Four-day admission is £26 to £180.
As always, accompanied under 16s are admitted free of charge to all areas.
More information can be found online at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk or by calling the racecourse on 01904 620911.