I’ve had a brilliant week and it will get even better if I can win the Ayr Gold Cup for the first time later today.
A Group 1 winner on the Yorkshire-trained Laurens in Ireland last weekend has been followed by five more Ws, including three on the opening day of the Western Meeting.
When assessing my rides – six for six different trainers – the best course of action is to look at York form. It could be crucial in determining whether I enjoy more success.Danny Tudhope
This afternoon’s six-furlong dash is probably the most famous Flat race in Scotland, so, as I originally hail from nearby Irvine on the west coast, I would love to claim first prize.
When assessing my rides – six for six different trainers – the best course of action is to look at York form. It could be crucial in determining whether I enjoy more success.
I open up at 2pm on Fire Brigade, a horse I won on for Newmarket trainer Michael Bell at Haydock a year ago.
He will appreciate the softer underfoot conditions so I expect him to be a major player.
The highest quality race is the Group 3 Firth of Clyde at 3.15pm – and this is when form on Knavesmire comes into play. My filly, Queen Jo Jo, for Hambleton trainer Kevin Ryan, was placed in the Group 2 Sky Bet Lowther at the Ebor Festival just a couple of lengths behind Aidan O’Brien’s favourite, Fairyland. She’ll go well and won’t mind the soft ground.
Then it’s the big one, the Ayr Gold Cup.
Summerghand, trained by David O’Meara, showed his quality when placed in a big York handicap – the Sky Bet Dash – two months ago.
He’s a consistent sort of horse and, once again, there is no issue with the ground.
I like my ride in the Kilkerran Cup at 4.25pm. That’s Mafaaheem for trainer Owen Burrows. Lightly raced this season, his last outing was when second at York on Mr Green’s Gentleman’s Day in June. Hopefully, he can go one spot better.
It was great to partner Laurens to victory in the Matron Stakes on the opening day of Longines Irish Champions Weekend for Hambleton trainer Karl Burke.
Another Group 1, the Sun Chariot Stakes at Newmarket, is the most likely port of call for her in October when I would expect that regular partner PJ McDonald will be back from injury and back on board.
Her Leopardstown success backed up a French Oaks win, so she is a real flag-bearer for the county and connections should have an exciting autumn with her.
October will also see the final meeting of the year at York with more races offering six-figure prize money; not to mention Qipco British Champions Day when stars seen on Knavesmire earlier in the year, such as La Ti Dar, will make their final UK appearance of the season. Flat race fans will then follow these stars on global campaigns at the Breeders Cup in the USA or to Melbourne for their big Carnival.
The final fixtures of the year at York are Countryside Day and Coral Sprint Trophy Day on Friday and Saturday, October 12-13. Find out more at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk