It is all about York over the next two days and I will be taking nine rides in front of huge Knavesmire crowds.
I will be seeking to get back into the winners’ enclosure for the first time since my comeback from injury at York.
Riding winners tonight and tomorrow afternoon would certainly provide sweet moments.
No victory comes easy on Knavesmire because of the quality of runners, but I have some good horses under me.
Added to all the racing there are concerts by Sir Tom Jones after racing tonight and from Scouting For Girls tomorrow, so there is a lot for everyone to look forward to during legs eight and nine of the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival.
The feature race of the two days is the Group 2 Sky Bet York Stakes at 2.55pm tomorrow.
I have a major chance on Custom Cut, who famously won five races on the bounce last summer, including the Betfred-sponsored Group 3 Strensall Stakes at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival.
It is a little bit of a step into the unknown as he goes over 10 furlongs for the first time in his 40 race career. He is top weight, conceding at least three pounds to all his 12 rivals. However, he is top weight for a reason – he is the best horse in the race.
This would be a nice time to win my first Group Two at York – and I am in confident mood about Custom Cut as he is in tremendous form at home.
Back to this evening and I ride in four of the six races that start at 6pm.
The pick of the quartet for me is He’s No Saint in the Novus Stakes at 8pm. He has winning form in Ireland and Dubai, but needs to get on the scoresheet in Britain. He was placed at York last month, and I think he is set to run a big race.
Dreese, trained by Marjorie Fife in North Yorkshire, comes into the 6.30pm Clifton Park York’s Specialist Orthopaedic Hospital Stakes off the back of a win at Catterick, his first victory on turf. It’s a step up in class to come to York, but fingers crossed he goes well.
I have a 100 per cent record riding for trainer Paul Fitzsimons – one win from one ride.
I’ll be aiming to make it two from two on board debutant Compton Sky, in the Batleys Cash And Carry Median Auction Maiden Stakes at 7pm.
Tomorrow and, before the £100,000 feature, I start with Supreme Occasion in the Sky Bet-sponsored EBF Fillies’ Stakes at 1.45pm. She enjoyed a good season as a two-year-old and is now starting to show that kind of form again, having been second at Ascot earlier this month.
Alejandro is a horse that likes York so I’ve chosen him over stable mate Mont Ras in the seven-furlong handicap at 2.20pm. He goes best on the kind of quality of ground that one comes across at York. He triumphed at Knavesmire twice at this time last year, so, hopefully, he can rediscover winning ways back on familiar territory.
Highland Acclaim, my mount in the Sky Bet Dash at 3.30pm, has experienced a frustrating time this season after a super year in 2014 when he won several times, including at York. He would have a chance tomorrow if he returns to his form of 12 months ago.
Big Thunder has arrived at David O’Meara’s yard from Sir Mark Prescott’s stables in Newmarket. It was felt a change of scenery would do him good and this is his first run for us. Hopefully, the Yorkshire air will have done him good.
After all the excitement at York, I’ll be at Pontefract on Sunday for the conclusion to the Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival which is a great showcase for racing in the county.
Then I’m likely to be heading south for ‘Glorious’ Goodwood – more of that in next Friday’s column – but expect stable stars like Move In Time and Out Do to be involved.
There is racing at York tonight and tomorrow during the Music Showcase Weekend. Sir Tom Jones is in concert after racing later today – with only course enclosure tickets now available when the turnstiles open at 4pm. Tomorrow, Scouting For Girls are performing – a band that becomes the first to return to Knavesmire after a huge crowd enjoyed them in 2011. Gates open tomorrow at 11.15am. Find out more and book Saturday tickets at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.