It’s day two of York’s Ebor meeting and after drawing a blank with my first two rides on the opening day, Monoski ran well off top weight in the competitive finale to take fourth.
We go again with another three chances on Thursday. The Juddmonte International was one hell of a race with Japan just getting the better of Crystal Ocean. It was a great battle with the three-year-old allowance just proving enough to give Japan the edge. Looking ahead to day two’s action and the main race of the day is the Yorkshire Oaks and all eyes will be on Enable to see if she can keep up her extraordinary form. She really is a special mare and ones like her don’t come along that often. I completely understand why connections opted to miss the International with her and go for this instead. They have to be thinking about a record third Arc and it is only sensible to map out the easiest route for her to Longchamp. Having said that, she faces two very smart fillies and it won’t be that easy for her. Here are my thoughts on that and my three chances…
FLIPPA THE STRIPPA (1.55pm Lowther Stakes)
A really good-looking renewal of the Lowther Stakes where I ride Flippa The Strippa for Charlie Hills. She steps up to six furlongs for the first time having shown a decent level of form over the minimum trip. I won the National Stakes at Sandown on her and she was a solid third to Mrs Bouquet at Goodwood last time. She will need to step up on that to take a hand here as she takes on some really smart fillies. Liberty Beach looks the one to beat as she keeps improving and looks classy.
I’m not sure if York is going to get the rain that Rayong would ideally want in the valuable sales race. Being by Mayson I really think he wants some cut in the ground to be seen at his best. He is better than he showed at Deauville last time and actually ran really well when hampered in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot. His third to Liberty Beach on ground that would have been a bit too lively for him at Sandown is another strong piece of form which puts him in the mix. However, with so much money up for grabs it is a really competitive race with the likes of Show Me Show Me and Mums Tipple looking huge dangers. Hopefully some rain arrives and every drop will help my lad’s chances.
3.35pm Yorkshire Oaks
No ride for me in the feature race with all eyes on Enable. That race between her and Crystal Ocean in the King George last time (pictured) was one of the best battles I have seen and as long as that hasn’t left its mark, she should be too good for her rivals. Magical and Lah Ti Dar are smart opponents though so it may not be the procession many are anticipating. You can sometimes get turn-ups at York, so it will be intriguing to watch. That said, I’d be as shocked as anyone if she got beat!
My best chance of a winner on day two at York is most likely Whitefountainfairy for Andrew Balding and King Power Racing. She ran really well at Goodwood last time after a bit of a break when she was very short of room late on. I got a four day ban for that manoeuvre so hopefully we can get some compensation for that here. She has dropped down to a very nice mark and can hopefully go well. It does look a competitive race though so it will take some winning. She wouldn’t want the ground to dry out too much either.
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