I hit the crossbar in the very first race of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival when Move In Time was just denied by a short head in the Symphony Group Stakes.
It was frustrating, but I tried to make up for some of the disappointment later when I rode a double at Southwell. Though I have to say a very well done to Amy Ryan, my predecessor as The Yorkshire Post racing columnist, who triumphed on Blaine on Knavesmire and well deserved it was too.
I was back at York for two rides yesterday, although unfortunately without success in either, and I have up to eight more across this afternoon and tomorrow.
Chancery aims to achieve back-to-back wins in the Sky Bet Transfer Fund Stakes in the opener today. He loves York as he demonstrated 12 months ago and, if he returns to his best form, we could be celebrating. Penitent is a grand horse and one of the stable stars at David O’Meara’s Nawton yard. He is engaged in the Listed Sky Bet City Of York Stakes at 3.05pm.
This will be only his second run at York even though he is hugely experienced and has 11 victories to his name. The race has doubled in prize money to £100,000 so fingers crossed.
Then it’s the big one, the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, worth £265,000 in prize-money and part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
My mount G Force is one of the best horses I’ve ever ridden.
I think he goes into the five-furlong championship sprint with a good chance. As a three-year-old, with older horses in the race, he gets a weight concession. A drop of rain would assist his chances too.
G Force showed how good he is with victory in the Ralph Raper Memorial Stakes at the Dante Festival three months ago. Combined with his runner-up spot over course and distance last month, he has shown he performs well at York.
I round off my day on Knavesmire by partnering debutant All About Time in the Sky Bet Are You In? Convivial Stakes.
I open up tomorrow by getting back on board in-form horse Custom Cut.
I flew across to Ireland last week to win on him in a Group 3 at Leopardstown. That was his third win in his three most recent runs. I’m very hopeful that it will be four from four shortly after 2.05pm in the Group 3 Betfred Play Today’s £2Million+ Scoop6 Strensall Stakes.
Glenalmond won on his racecourse debut at Ayr last month. Karl Burke likes him so much that he’s going straight into the richest Group 2 for juveniles colts, in the Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes at 3.15pm. It will be a challenge but he’s a very nice horse.
Then it’s the big betting race of the year, the richest flat handicap in Europe, the £265,000 Betfred Ebor. I’ve been booked by Newmarket trainer Luca Cumani to take the reins on Sir Walter Scott. He’s a very lightly raced horse for a four-year-old and he holds a Group 2 entry on QIPCO British Champions Day at Ascot. That shows how well regarded he is by his trainer. He has quality clearly and that’s what needed in as prestigious and highly competitive heritage handicap as the Betfred Ebor.
My day’s racing at York, and my last ride of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival, ends with Awake My Soul in the Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Stakes at 5pm. He comes into the race off a recent win at Ayr. He likes York where he’s been placed a couple of times and would have a chance.
That isn’t my day complete though, as I leave the apprentices to contest the valuble £40,000 handicap backed by QIPCO and head up to Redcar. It’ll feel a little odd as my ride in the north east is York expert, Anderiego, in the 7pm contest.
It’s already been a fantastic Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival. Australia’s performance in the £800,000 Juddmonte International was sensational – and the Yorkshire-trained The Grey Gatsby gave a superb account of himself.
I’m hoping to share in some of the spoils by the end of tomorrow.
Admission on the final two days of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival ranges from £9 to £55 for adults. Further details at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.