I’m aiming to make this weekend equally memorable with victory in the Betfred Ebor, the race that gives its name to York’s four-day summer festival.
I also enjoyed being part of the Group 1 Juddmonte International on Yorkshire’s great hope, The Grey Gatsby. Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be for trainer Kevin Ryan’s star, but I thought Postponed ran an excellent race on Wednesday, his sixth consecutive victory.
I opened my account in terms of winners in the Clipper Logistics Stakes yesterday with a really good triumph in Firmament.
The race, which was a highly competitive affair as always on Knavesmire, went perfectly from my point of view. Indeed, the way it was run played into my hands and my lad travelled like a dream. It was pleasing too to win a race generously supported by my own sponsor, the Yorkshire-based Clipper Logistics Group.
After just two rides yesterday, I am in the saddle for three today and a further four tomorrow.
The horse who could give me the best opportunity of a second winner at the meeting is So Beloved in the Group 2 Sky Bet City Of York Stakes at 3.05pm.
I think he has a great chance.
Just over half an hour later the highlight of the afternoon is the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, the fastest race run at York during the year. With supplementary entries taking the prize fund to well over £400,000, this will be easily the richest-ever running of the Group 1 sprint.
In all honesty, my mount Out Do is an outsider in what is a top class field with the likes of Limato and Yorkshire-trained Take Cover among the leading contenders. However, Out Do is an experienced horse and he has winning form at York from last year. If he were to come back to his best form, he could give a good account of himself.
While the tens of thousands of visitors who will descend on York tomorrow hoping for this week’s fine weather to continue, the forecast of rain ahead of the day pleases me because that is what Tawdeea wants to boost his chances in the Betfred Ebor.
The horse’s hopes depend on the ground. He ran very well to win a heritage handicap at Haydock at the start of last month and then took his chance to go in the 57th John Smith’s Cup at York. He finished mid-division that day, but we come back to Knavesmire in optimistic mood – and he has got a very reasonable draw in stall three.
The Betfred Ebor is a terrifically difficult race to win, such is the competition that comes to York on the final day of the Ebor Festival.
Also tomorrow I am reunited with a York favourite in Chancery in the opening Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Stakes. He has three victories at the track to his name, the last of them in the autumn of 2015. He relishes York.
Custom Cut won the Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes two years ago and he’s back bidding to reclaim the Group 3 crown. I think he’ll run a big race and will be there or thereabouts.
The final two days of the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival take place today and tomorrow. Find out more and book tickets at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.