Hopefully better luck for me on day two of York’s Ebor meeting and all eyes will be on the super-talented filly Snowfall as she meets her elders for the first time in the Yorkshire Oaks. She’s run out an emphatic winner of both the English and Irish versions, so it will be a shock if she doesn’t win again. Here are my thoughts on that race and the remainder of the second day including my three rides…
1.50pm Lowther Stakes
No ride for me in the opening Lowther Stakes where Andrew Balding’s Sandrine will be pretty hard to beat despite having to carry a penalty. She has won all three of her starts and built on her Royal Ascot win with a battling success in the Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes at Newmarket last time. She seems to handle all ground and has plenty of class. Looking at the others, I was taken with the way Zain Claudette picked up in the Princess Margaret at Ascot last time and she looks the biggest threat.
FOX CHAMPION – 3.00pm
My first ride of the afternoon comes in the valuable Clipper Logistics Handicap where I ride Fox Champion for King Power. He actually ran a lot better than his finishing position suggests at Goodwood as he wasn’t drawn well and found traffic problems on the way round. His two best runs this season have come on better ground so the return to these conditions will certainly help. He’s also dropped a tiny bit in the handicap which is another plus. This is a competitive race though with the top one Maydanny being the one I fear the most despite carrying a huge weight.
3.35pm Darley Yorkshire Oaks
We will get a chance to see quite how good Snowfall actually is when she takes on her elders for the first time in the Darley Yorkshire Oaks. She was breathtaking at Epsom (pictured below) and the Curragh, but in Wonderful Tonight she meets a proper proven Group One filly. The reality is that the ground will probably be a bit too lively for Wonderful Tonight to be seen at her best and the 9lbs weight concession makes life even tougher. It promises to be a real good watch though and I expect Snowfall to come out on top.
TROPEZ POWER – 4.10pm
Next up I ride Tropez Power for King Power in the Nursery. He just never ran his race at Goodwood where the track didn’t play to his strengths. I am hoping the return to better ground and a more conventional course will see him in a better light. He’d previously taken a big step forward at Newbury and hopefully he can bounce back. I rode Global Wisdom for Chris Dwyer at Chester last time, and he is better than he showed that day too as that track didn’t suit him either. The horse that finished in front of us that day was Maglev who was a very unlucky loser. He looks the one to beat here.
IMPROVISED – 5.20pm
I won’t be eating much breakfast as I have to do 8st 2lbs in the finale aboard Improvised for David O’Meara. She isn’t a filly I know too much about as I’ve never ridden her before, but she looks progressive having won her last three on the bounce. The handicapper has bumped her up another 4lbs for winning at Epsom last month and she is stepping up in class. However, she is in top form and hopefully can be competitive off her light weight.