It was fabulous to be part of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
I was especially delighted with Custom Cut triumphing on the final day.
Races at York are always competitive, none more so than during the Ebor Festival when the quality is red hot and everyone wants to win.
Custom Cut, who took the Betfred-sponsored Group 3 Strensall Stakes, was winning his fourth race on the bounce.
He holds a Group 2 entry at the St Leger meeting at Doncaster in a fortnight, but he could be heading for the Joel Stakes at Newmarket later in the month, a race that is part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
G Force was really unlucky when mid-division in the fastest race of the week, the Group 1 Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. He got no sort of run.
If he had, I reckon he could have been runner-up, because Sole Power is a rare sprinting talent.
As it is, he is a horse to look forward to riding in 2015. Before then, he’s set to go for the Group 1 Betfred Sprint Cup a week tomorrow at Haydock Park.
All four days of the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival were to be savoured. So many people have been saying it was the best for many years – and that’s saying something.
The big crowds at Knavesmire on each day contributed to a cracking atmosphere and brought a buzz to those of us in the Weighing Room.
It’s a shame we have to wait another 12 months to do it all again.
I’ve still been riding in Yorkshire before a rare summer day off yesterday.
I enjoyed a couple of winners at Ripon – and avoided becoming involved in the charity camel racing at Catterick on Wednesday.
Today sees me back in North Yorkshire, at my local track, Thirsk, where I take five rides.
Things step up a notch tomorrow when I travel south to the principle meeting of the day at Sandown, on the southern outskirts of London.
Although I’m only taking a couple of rides, both of them are crackers.
Eccleston won over course and distance – five furlongs – on his seasonal debut in April.
He’s a good little sprinter and was third at York for me during the Dante Festival.
He’s currently two wins from seven outings, so hopefully he can make it three in the handicap at 2.05pm.
Just over an hour or so later, I take the reins on trainer Karl Burke’s Odeliz in the Group 3 Atalanta Stakes (I think the race is named after a character in Greek mythology rather than a misspelt US city!).
She’s a filly who has been running well this season but just hasn’t got her head in front yet.
Odeliz showed her quality at the Dante Festival when she was placed in the Group 2 Betfred-sponsored Middleton Stakes. If she runs to that kind of form then she will be in with a decent chance tomorrow.
Her last victory was for me at Longchamp in Paris almost a year ago.
It’s been Group 3 and Group 2 races since then for her.
She was a very narrow runner-up in soft/heavy underfoot conditions at the Curragh in Ireland on her seasonal debut.
She certainly performs better when there is more than a little bit of cut in the ground.
With all the rain that has fallen over the south in recent days, she should get the turf to her liking which makes me quite optimistic.
Though I’m happy with the ‘autumn’ weather for my main chance tomorrow, I do hope we get an Indian Summer for the big family meeting at York, a week on Sunday, as the picnics, pony races and Peppa Pig are always better when taking place under blue skies.
The next racing at York is the racecourse’s only Sunday meeting of the year, Press Family Sunday on September 7, when the Grandstand & Paddock and the Course Enclosure have a single admission price (£12).
The dress code in the County Stand is relaxed for this one meeting. There are two Charles Owen Pony Series races starting at 1pm. Thoroughbred racing starts at 2pm.
Further details at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.