Moving on to the third day of York’s Ebor meeting where I’ve got three rides to look forward to, including Dee Ex Bee who takes on Stradivarius again in the Lonsdale Cup. It will be a busy day as I’m flying back home to ride three at Chelmsford before coming back here again on Saturday.
To say I bumped into one on Rayong in the Goffs UK Premier Yearling Stakes would be the understatement of the year !!! My fella ran a cracker in second and appreciated the overnight rain as I expected but goodness knows how good the 11 length winner Mums Tipple is. The time of the race was good and horses don’t normally win competitive sales races by 11 lengths. What a prospect.
A word on Enable who was a bit special this afternoon on her final start on British soil before heading to the Arc. Sometimes you just have to step away for a moment and appreciate how lucky we have been to have a mare like her race at the highest level for three consecutive seasons. She again showed her class when briefly joined by Magical and Lah Ti Dar two furlongs out and pulling away in style after that. She is very special and it may be a long time until we see one as good as her again.
PERSIAN MOON (1.55pm)
My first ride of the afternoon is Persian Moon for Mark Johnston in the opening handicap. This will be his eighth run of a busy season and he has run some nice races despite not winning. He races from a mark of 99 now which is just 3lbs lower than the mark from which he began the campaign, so he may need more help. He ran his usual solid race at Goodwood last time and a reproduction of that should see him bang there again. It looks as competitive as you would expect for a tough York handicap with the John Gosden trained and Frankie Dettori ridden Corelli looking the one to beat. Everything they touch seems to turn to gold at the moment.
DEE EX BEE (2.25pm Lonsdale Cup)
Only the five runners in the Lonsdale Cup which probably suits me aboard Dee Ex Bee (pictured) as we line up again against Stradivarius. We finished second to him at both Royal Ascot and at Glorious Goodwood last time, so we will try and make it third time lucky now! We were only a neck behind him last time and get a 2lb pull at the weights so hopefully that will help. He is some horse though Stradivarius and stopping him will be no easy task. However, Dee Ex Bee is just so tough and relishes a battle. I’ve said before he is a little bit like a bicycle in that if you stop riding him, he stops and then when you push again and again, he responds. He is a real trier and it’s a pleasure to be asked to ride a horse like him. He really deserves a prize like this and I’m hoping this will be his chance. If there isn’t any pace, we certainly won’t be afraid to go forward with him and it will take a good one to get past him.
3.35pm (Nunthorpe Stakes)
No ride for me in the big race of the afternoon where all eyes will be on Battaash as he takes on Ten Sovereigns. You couldn’t have failed to have been impressed by Ten Sovereigns in the July Cup last time, but he will have his work cut out to beat Battaash. I was taken with how easy he won at Goodwood and reckon now that he has matured, he has a race like this in him.
FOX DUTY FREE (4.15pm)
My last ride of the afternoon at York is Fox Duty Free for Andrew Balding and King Power Racing in the Convivial – just about the hottest maiden in our racing calendar. He made a really pleasing debut when third to Owney Madden at Newbury last month and will have learnt plenty from that. That horse won a decent race here on Wednesday and my colt was closing on him all the way to the line at Newbury having been badly hampered early on. He should step forward again and hopefully won’t be far away in what is always a good race.
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