I have a cracking weekend to look forward to.
It’s Betfred Sprint Cup day at Haydock tomorrow when I’m thrilled to be on G Force in the Group One race; then I’m likely to take a few good rides at York on Sunday.
I kick off at Haydock by partnering a two-time Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes winner, Borderlescott. He’s a popular veteran horse from Robin Bastiman’s Cowthorpe yard, and, hopefully, will reward his North Yorkshire fan club.
I have ridden the 12-year-old a couple of times – it’s amazing to think that he was winning on Knavesmire nine summers ago!
He hasn’t found his way into the winners’ enclosure for a couple of years, but it’s great to be on board such a stalwart of Flat racing, who is racing for the 79th time.
Penitent goes for the Group Three mile race at 2.40pm. He has winning form at Haydock from earlier in the season, but he hasn’t performed as well, including at the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival, since then.
Hopefully, returning to turf where he’s won before will stand him in good stead.
The same could probably be said of Chancery in the Old Borough Cup. We do like him at David O’Meara’s yard, but he’s yet to rediscover the form that led to him winning twice at York and once at Haydock last year.
Then it’s the Betfred Sprint Cup and I am on G Force, who would have been placed in this year’s Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes had he not been stopped in his run. He will once again be opposing Sole Power, who produced an astonishing burst of speed to win the big Group One sprint at York.
One furlong further at Haydock will not hinder G Force at all. I think the trip of six furlongs will assist his cause to win his first race since the Dante Festival.
G Force is not that far behind the leading contenders in the betting and I’m going into the race with some confidence. In the Listed race at 5pm, I partner Caprior Bere for Yorkshire trainer Karl Burke for the first time. He’s a nice horse and comes into the race with a win in France two runs ago.
After finishing at Haydock, I travel south for one ride at Wolverhampton. That’s Cousin Knee who represents trainer Hughie Morrison in the 7.20pm handicap. I won on the horse at Southwell last time and he must have an excellent opportunity running again on an all-weather surface.
Declarations for York’s Sunday meeting will be published this morning, so it’s best to check to confirm which horses are actually taking part.
However, the highlight of the afternoon for me is likely to be Supreme Occasion, who goes in the opening race, the Judith Marshall Memorial Stakes, for trainer David O’Meara. She has won on both her starts to date, at Thirsk in July and Newcastle last month.
It’s a step up in prize-money to York, but I think she must have a good chance of making it three wins from three runs. Hopefully, I’ll start with a winner and then find some nice rides for the next five races - with over £100,000 in aggregate prize-money I know connections will be keen.
I’ve partnered some nice horses at York this summer and am proud to be sitting on top of the winners’ table on Knavesmire.
Back to this afternoon’s action and I take the maximum eight rides on the middle day of the Sprint Cup Festival at Haydock.
I would highlight Magic Music Man, who goes in the opener at 2pm. He has yet to win, but I do like him and he should run well on the evidence of his second place at Catterick last month.
Enjoy York’s Family Sunday! There are still two days to organise your picnic as the weather forecast is dry and bright – just perfect for a relaxing and enjoyable day.
The next racing at York is their only Sunday meeting of the year, Press Family Sunday, when the Grandstand & Paddock and the Course Enclosure have combined for a single admission price (£12).
Peppa Pig will entertain youngsters. Dress code in the County Stand is relaxed for this one meeting. Pony Series races start at 1pm. Thoroughbred racing starts at 2pm.
Further details can be found at: www.yorkracecourse.co.uk