I take a trio of rides in the space of an hour at York this afternoon and I am hopeful that Dubai Hills can get me off to a good start.
He goes for the Geoff Pemberton Memorial Stakes at 3.40pm off the back of a good win at Haydock Park a fortnight ago.
He’s an eight-year-old with plenty of miles on the clock and experience can count at York. He has come back to his best form and I feel that he will run a big race today.
Half-an-hour later in the BetBright-sponsored fillies’ race I get back on board Bondesire, a genuine filly who ran well enough when sixth at the Investec Derby meeting at Epsom last weekend. She’s won twice already this season and can readily put a sequence of runs together.
Grandorio won at York at the corresponding meeting last season and targets a second Knavesmire June victory in the Garbutt & Elliott Stakes at 4.40pm. He has yet to hit his true form this season and steps up in trip to one mile and six furlongs which might prove the key to success.
David O’Meara continues the defence of his York Trainers Championship with plenty of runners tomorrow, but after some soul searching I’m missing a big York crowd to partner G Force, a winner for me during the Dante Festival. The horse earned my loyalty that day and now steps up into Listed company at Sandown at 2.55pm after just the one handicap race.
That’s one of three rides for me at the Esher track, but he’s the reason I am forsaking home soil and travelling south. We think a lot of G Force and his form at York was excellent.
One of my other two rides wouldn’t be without a chance either. St Moritz runs in a handicap race at 2.20pm. He won at York as long ago as 2011 and his last two runs at Redcar and Ripon have been victories too, with him having come down in the weights.
Although I’m elsewhere, David O’Meara is certainly hoping to pick up his share of more than £200,000 in prize-money at York.
Looking at the two principal races tomorrow afternoon, he is doubly represented in both.
Dutch Rose has run four times at York in her career – and she starts the day four from four. She bids to make it five in the Listed Ian And Kate Macmillan Ganton Stakes at 3.15pm. She obviously loves York and is a very tough mare. Custom Cut is the yard’s other runner.
Just over half-an-hour later and Rural Celebration goes for the £100,000 BetBright Charity Sprint. She’s two wins from three runs this season, all at Yorkshire tracks, and again she is a very nice filly. Eccleston, who ran third in a conditions race at the Dante Festival, also runs.
All of us have had our lives touched by cancer, so it is fantastic that everyone who attends York tomorrow will be helping to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Hopefully, the day will breech the £6m barrier for cumulative cash raised. Good luck to the 12 amateur riders in the Macmillan Charity Race.
It is an exciting time of year to be a Flat jockey, from the Derby meeting via York to Royal Ascot next week. I mentioned last week that my pick of rides at Epsom Downs was York winner That Is The Spirit.
His unbeaten run continues after he came up trumps on the Downs in a Listed race, my first winner at the home of the Derby.
The next target, as he goes for four in a row, would be the Group 3 Jersey Stakes, the first race on the Wednesday of the Royal Meeting. Let’s hope that he can continue a long list of horses that have gone on from York to victory at Ascot.
Other running plans for next week are still quite fluid, but I’m looking forward to some exciting rides, especially in some of the big handicap races. More on Royal Ascot next week.
Racing is at York today and tomorrow. Tomorrow features the BetBright Charity Sprint and the third Macmillan Charity Race. Admission ranges from £5 to £25 (today) and £8 to £37 (tomorrow). Under 18s are admitted free of charge. More details at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.