NORTH Yorkshire trainer David O’Meara has made very few mistakes in his burgeoning training career – but he clearly regrets his decision not to enter Grandorio at Royal Ascot after the horse’s emphatic triumph in the Neptune Investment Management Stakes.
The three-year-old gelding made a mockery of what looked a really competitive heat as he sauntered eight lengths clear of Lilac Lace under Danny Tudhope, the in-form rider leading the race to become the recipient of the Cock o’ the North cap that the Yorkshire Post and Racing Enterprises present to the region’s leading Flat jockey.
“He pulled too hard at Musselburgh last time – a bit like Dawn Approach (in the Derby) but not of that calibre of horse,” said Nawton-based O’Meara who is enjoying a meteoric rise through the training ranks after a career as a jump jockey which was defined by his association with Tim Easterby’s chaser Turgeonev.
“We should maybe have had him in at Royal Ascot as he’s a good horse, but this has been the target for a long time.”
One York winner from O’Meara’s stables that could still make a late dash to Ascot is Smarty Socks who trounced Nameitwhatyoulike by three-quarters of a length in the Garbutt & Elliott Stakes under a tenacious Tudhope ride.
Montaser was delivered with near-surgical precision by Jamie Spencer to claim the Jigsaw Sponsorship Services Stakes after the David Simcock-trained four-year-old swiftly came from last to first.
Yorkshire Relish emerged as the winner of the SKF Rous Selling Stakes under Phil Makin. The colt is owned by former trainer Jack Berry, a stalwart of the Injured Jockeys Fund, and his wife Jo.
Winning trainer Kevin Ryan, based at Hambleton, said: “I worked for eight years for Jack and Jo and without them I wouldn’t be here today.”
Above Standard added to his gains at Redcar a fortnight ago by edging out Ponty Acclaim in the Bell Trailers 25th Anniversary Stakes for Mick Easterby.