The injury to my hand continues to be frustrating and I am eager for progress when I return to the doctor in Leeds next Wednesday.
My thumb hadn’t healed 100 per cent when it was X-rayed earlier this week. I am hoping that there will be sufficient improvement in coming days and I can get back to riding at York when the 56th John Smith’s Cup meeting begins this time next week.
I’ve certainly been missing plenty of rides as David O’Meara’s yard has been busy as always in recent weeks. But, touch wood, I can look forward to some big days this month and next when I return to the saddle.
I noticed that one pundit in the Racing Post newspaper has tipped G Force as a good bet for the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday, August 21, the third day of the four-day Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival. It would be nice to think that he would put up a big show in that race. G Force enjoys a good record at York and was very unlucky in the Group 1 sprint 11 months ago.
The Nawton stable has quite a number of runners later today and tomorrow.
On today’s cards, I would highlight three with decent chances – Halsall and Fattsota at Sandown and Regal Dan at Doncaster, who all run in the space of just over one hour.
After recording his first win at Redcar in May, Halsall was stepped up in class in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. He performed creditably on that stage. Staying in Listed company in the 2.50pm race at the Esher track, I think he could run a big race.
Regal Dan won a competitive handicap at York in the middle of last month under my weighing room colleague Sam James. That was well deserved after he had hit the crossbar a couple of times in the Spring. It wouldn’t surprise me if he followed up his Knavesmire victory in the 3.35pm race on Town Moor.
Back at Sandown, Fattsota – an entry in the John Smith’s Cup at York – goes in the Listed contest at 3.55pm. He ran a blinder under champion jockey Richard Hughes at Royal Ascot when one-and-three-quarter lengths behind the winner of the Wolferton Handicap. He’s a tough horse and will give a good account of himself today.
On to tomorrow, and I think the track at Beverley will suit 2013 York winner Innocently in the 3pm race at the East Riding racecourse. The likelihood of quick going will assist.
Over at Haydock Park, two horses with winning form at York set out to enhance their winning records.
Algar Lad, whose York victory was as recently as the Dante Festival in May, ran okay in his Royal Ascot race. The conditions contest at 4pm gives him a chance to get back to winning ways.
Alejandro had a splendid season in 2014, winning twice on Knavesmire. He’s paying the price for that this term with the weights he is carrying. It would be good to see him winning once again, in the 5.10pm handicap.
The next racing at York is the two-day John Smith’s Cup meeting on Friday and Saturday, July 10-11. Find out more and book tickets at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.