Ebor day on the Knavesmire and a top quality card that brought about the end of four amazing days of racing in this historical city.
The meeting may be full of Group races of huge quality from 2yo races to stayers but for the faithful who turn up year on year it’s all about Europes richest handicap,The Ebor.
Seven races and thanks to some help your intrepid writer here was able to enjoy the best seat in the house due to being allocated an owners badge which saved the normal £57 entry, after many years in the game it’s always good to get a little bit back.
Today also included the Gimcrack Stakes, a race in which the winning owner is invited to give a speech at the annual dinner in December,so £124672 and your tea which makes for one of the most unusual prizes in the sport.
2.00 Betfred Mobile Strensall Stakes,Group 3,1m1f,3yo+
A good renewal of this race even with five non runners in it.
Judge Di Clarke was in for a busy afternoon here with plenty of close finishes to keep her on her toes.
Mondialiste followed up a recent win at Pontefract but he had to work for it as he just got past likely looking winner Mutakayyef in the last half furlong to secure the prize for David O’Meara and Danny Tudhope, Basem and Top Notch Tonto came third and fourth
Mondialiste is getting his act together now,he looks like he could get 1m2f although he does hold an entry in the Mile on Champions Day,off this race you would be thinking about upping him in trip.
Mutakayyef kept good company at this level,maybe the Doonside Cup at Ayr would suit him and is set for a good autumn campaign, Basem is a Sandown specialist and ran well while Top Notch Tonto ran well given he needs it soft.
2.35 Betfred Melrose Stakes (Hcap),Class 2,1m6f,3yo (0-105)
A wide open race even though only five of the eighteen runners had won the trip.
Not Never was mugged on the line here by Liam Jones on the Mark Johnston trained Polarisation who missed the break and was hard ridden down the long York straight but like so many from this yard he kept working and found extra to just get his head on the lollipop in a tight finish which only a length and a half separated the first five home.
Polarisation came here after flopping over 1m4f at the Shergar Cup, he has two wins over 1m5f and 1m6f this season and is loving his racing,no doubt he will turn up at Doncaster for something.
Not Never set a good gallop after a furlong and was very unlucky to go down here,the Mallard at Doncaster would be good compensation for him, Outspoken in third ran a stormer but would need to improve more to be a Leger horse, Botany Bay ran on into fourth and could go over timber at some point.
Al and Hernandoshideaway ran poor but this looks like a race to follow and see how the form works out.
3.10 Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Gimcrack Stakes,Group 2,6f,2yo
A good quality race here in which the best Group form came to the table as Ajaya followed up his recent runner up spot in a Group 2 at Maisons-Laffitte to go one better and land this prestigious prize.
All eyes were on the Wesley Ward trained Finnegan,he set the early speed but was headed in the last two furlongs and soon waved the white flag,Ajaya took over approaching the last furlong and had the race put to bed, Ribchester and Raucous in second and third kept on but the winner had plenty over them.
Ajaya is clearly getting better and now heads to the Middle Park,bred to make a nice sprinter he will be in the big 3yo sprints next season.
Ribchester ran a blinder in second,he should easily get a maiden unless Richard Fahey turns him out quick for the Ripon 2yo Trophy next Monday, Raucous ran well in defeat and has plenty good days ahead of him.
As for Finnegan he will better back in the States.
3.45 Betfred Ebor (Heritage Hcap) Class 2,1m6f,3yo+
A top quality running of Europes richest handicap produced the story of the flat season as the talented but fragile Litigant who has had more problems than what that Jay-Z claimed in one of his ditties as he ran out a 1.5 length winner from Wicklow Brave.
Litigant had not been sighted since taking the AW Champs stayers race last year, the 7yo was making his eighth start in all and was given a peach of a ride by Oisin Murphy who sat up with the pace until moving through to lead over 1f, he was chased all the way to the line by Wicklow Brave who went down by 1.5 lengths, Suegioo stayed on into third as did Toe The Line in fourth with the 3yo Fields Of Athenry fading into fifth.
Litigant along with eight others holds an entry in the Long Distance Cup on Champions Day,he should make up into a Group Class stayer next season.
Wicklow Brave was down the field when last sighted in the Galway Hurdle,he could go for the Cesarewitch before a hurdling campaign,Suegioo will probably be Newmarket bound too.
Toe The Line could go in mares hurdle races, Fields Of Athenry could still go for the Leger and would be an EW chance at best, Clondaw Warrior and Quick Jack both flopped but can be forgiven.
4.20 Julia Graves Roses Stakes,Listed,5f,2yo
A real shock to the formbook here as 33-1 outsider Shadow Hunter just got the better of Godolphins Rouleau by a neck in a thrilling finish.
Shadow Hunter came to this race after a couple of runs without a win but was fourth last time out in a Newbury Listed race, she could go in the Flying Childers and holds a Chevley Park entry so that will test wether this was a fluke or not.
Rouleau came here after being third in the Molecomb,a step back up to 6f will help, Ornate who regular readers will notice won well at Ripon last time was fourth,he should be capable of better.
4.55 Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Stakes (Hcap) Class 2,1m2f,3yo+ (0-105)
A real top notch race that would be a stand alone big race on any other race day.
Godolphin got the prize for this but only just in a scintillating finish,Elhaame under James Doyle just edged out Adam Kirby on Roseburg by a neck, going in off 101 he could go to Doncaster in a few weeks for a 10f Conditions race then no doubt the Dubai Carnival will beckon in the new year.
Roseburg was an unlucky loser,he was leading with 75yds left but should pick something up as he deserves a nice prize,oddly his three career wins have all been in the north,he could be ideal for the Doonside Cup at Ayr.
Off Art came third for Tim Easterby,he looks held still by the handicapper,he made up plenty of ground down the straight but is still tricky to place right, Pacify the 5-2f stayed on into fourth and is still unexposed at the moment.
5.25 Betfred Apprentice Stakes (Hcap) Class 2,5f,3yo (0-105)
Rachel Richardson did what Edgar Prado couldn’t do here by making all on Nigel Tinkler’s Thesme as she jumped out on the far side group and never saw another horse for dust, Favourite Imtiyaaz came second but could not make the ground up,Handsome Due was third.
Jockey Rachel Richardson has won plenty of praise this season a dose showed why here as she and her filly followed up a recent course win,It’s likely she will be put away now until next season as she is all about speed
Imtiyaaz,another filly,has been consistent all season,upped 8lb after her recent win looks to still be on the up.
An excellent days racing here on the Knavesmire with shock results and excitement all contained within seven races.
The Ebor proved to be an excellent race as always and with the big yards all getting scalped by Joe Tuite,a smaller trainer who learnt and worked with people like Jenny Pitman,Charlie Egerton and Mick Channon, this was a day that showed what happens with hard work and persistence
All being well next weekend will bring the first football coverage of the season, racing wise the Sprint Cup at Haydock will be possibly the last flat of the season here.
Till then thank you for reading