A winner at York’s Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival is always sweet and I was very pleased with the victory of Mondialiste in the Group 3 Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes.
That was the second time in a row that David O’Meara and I have landed the prize in the race after Custom Cut’s triumph 12 months ago.
The horse could now go for the Joel Stakes at Newmarket – another race won by Custom Cut in 2014 – or head over to France. As he needed every yard of the nine furlongs on Knavesmire, a step up to a mile-and-a-quarter could also be considered in the future.
I’m disappointed to not be riding at the only Sunday meeting of the year at York in nine days when there is a special family atmosphere, we might come down to meet Peppa Pig anyway!
However, tomorrow week is a Group 1 day at Haydock Park so I will be pleased to be on board G Force who should be defending his title in the six furlong sprint.More about that in next week’s column.
The Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival was a very enjoyable occasion and it was great to see so many racegoers of all ages enjoying themselves, including a record number cheering me home on Saturday. There was plenty of drama and the sound of a few betting slips being ripped up, but that is what makes our sport so fascinating.
Cooler review has confirmed that the winners were good horses winning competitive races.
If you can’t win a race yourself and sadly Move in Time didn’t, then it is great when the prize goes to someone who deserves it; step forward Paul Mulrennan, one of the hardest working and nicest guys in the Weighing Room.
Winning your first Group 1 is a moment to savour and I know Paul was thrilled that it came on his local track, as he partnered Mecca’s Angel to success in the Coolmore Nunthorpe. I think it was the biggest welcome back to the winner’s enclosure of the week – and Mondialiste and I are delighted for them.
Back to today and I start the afternoon at Thirsk, the closest track to home, before crossing the border to ride at Hamilton in the evening. I think I have rather better prospects of winners today rather than tomorrow when a Racing In Yorkshire double header sees me ride at both Beverley and Redcar.
The two-year-old Cape Love is a horse that is well thought of at the Nawton yard. He made a promising debut when just three quarters-of-a-length runner-up at Ayr earlier this month. That experience will stand him in good stead and I think he could go one better today at 2.20pm.
In contrast to the youngster, half an hour later I get the leg up on nine-year-old Dubai Hills who will be racing for the 70th time. He is coming back down to seven furlongs and that should suit him.
Eccleston was fourth in the Great St Wilfrid Stakes at Ripon a fortnight ago. He could do with a spot of luck so I hope he finds it in the 3.25pm.
Nice Thoughts has been running in better races than he does this evening at 7pm at Hamilton.He’s run up a series of second and third spots, so I think he could have a chance to get his head in front.
In the Lanark Silver Bell at 7.30pm, First Sitting is returning to the scene of a past victory. After a couple of disappointing runs, he needs to get back to the kind of form he showed when finishing second in the Ice Co Supporting Macmillan Stakes at York in June.
I round off the evening at 8.05pm on Makin A Statement. He’s dropping back in trip to five furlongs and that should benefit him. The one I would pick out from my rides tomorrow is the experienced Point North, trained by John Balding in South Yorkshire, in the 2.55pm race at Beverley. I have won on him three times over the years.
There’s fun for all at York racecourse on Family Sunday, September 6, including seven races plus Pony Races and an interactive racing zone. This year there will be special appearances by children’s favourite, Peppa Pig. Under 18s are free. Find out more at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk