Ebor Festival: Lord Yeats hoping for York rain to make his return

TRAINER Jedd O'Keeffe has not looked back since Lord Yeats won the Fred Archer Stakes at Newmarket in July last year 24 hours after the trainer recorded a famous 8,882-1 four-timer that revitalised his career.

York Racecourse. Picture: Anna Gowthorpe/PA.

Now O’Keeffe is hoping there is sufficient rain so Geoff and Sandra Turnbull’s smart stayer can take his place in Saturday’s Sky Bet Ebor on York’s historic Knavesmire.

The dual-purpose Middleham trainer, whose hurdler Sam Spinner won a Grade One race last season, has had to be patient this summer with Lord Yeats, who has not raced since finishing fifth in France in late May.

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Given he needs a bit of dig in the ground, the heatwave has not been in his favour. “Lord Yeats is in very good form at home. We are very happy with him, but because of the quick ground conditions we have not been able to get a run into him,” said O’Keeffe.

“We would like to run at York on Saturday, but he is not a definite runner because of the conditions. We will be monitoring the ground and the weather throughout the week.

“I have been thrilled with him at home and it’s just been frustrating that we haven’t had any ‘soft’ in the going description, which has stopped us running him since May.

“Lord Yeats has won at York before and I just felt that in last year’s Ebor he had plenty of weight and that made things difficult for him. We will see what the weather does this week, but I am very happy with him.”

Angel’s Hideaway and Fairyland feature among nine contenders for the Sky Bet Lowther Stakes at York tomorrow.

The John Gosden-trained Angel’s Hideaway endured a rough passage on her way to finishing second in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket and the form received a significant boost after the winner, Pretty Pollyanna, landed Sunday’s Prix Morny at Deauville. Aidan O’Brien’s Fairyland looked a top-class prospect after winning her first two starts before finishing third at Royal Ascot.