Jamie Spencer looks ahead to Ebor day at York
In the first race on day four of the Ebor meeting, the 2.00pm, my horse Captain Cat does not run, I am afraid. Looking at those who will line up, I thought Mondialiste was impressive last time out at Pontefract. He won by 10 lengths on that occasion in a Listed race and a repeat of that run could be good enough to give him Group success.
At 2.35pm, I take up the ride of Botany Bay. I spoke to Fran Berry the other day and he said he is a nice horse. He beat Field of Atherny in the Ulster Derby at Down Royal earlier in the year. He’s off a mark of 85 so he’s eight pounds higher than that victory but I don’t think the weights will stop him. He’s bred to stay so the trip suits him. The big danger is Wonder Laish for William Haggas, who has had an excellent week so far at York. I was very impressed with that horse at Lingfield and he looks like he has been kept for this race.
I’ve no ride in the Group Two Gimcrack Stakes at 3.10pm, however, if I was riding one, I’d like to be on Ajaya. He ran well when second last time out in the Prix Robert Papin at Maisons-Lafifitte where he was only beaten by a head on that occasion by a horse of Richard Hannon’s called Gutaifan. He won his maiden at York so that is a big positive. Of the rest, they will be worrying about the ground with Buratino and Finnegan so Ajaya looks good value.
The feature of the day is the Ebor at 3.45pm. I partner Toe the Line who needs to step up if she is going to have a realistic chance in this race. She’s near the bottom of the handicap with 9-3 in the weights. The one I like is Wadi Al Hattawi, who will have the blinkers on for the first time. He looked very lazy in his last run so they should wake him up. My filly has plenty to find on the ratings and looks handicapped up to it.
In the 4.55pm, I’ll be riding Forgotten Hero. He usually wins when he is rated around 89 or 90 but he is on a mark of 96 in this so there are no secrets with the handicapper. I rode Roseburg last time out when he finished second at Doncaster, he only got beat by a short-head on that occasion. That was his first run in eight months and being a Cumani horse, I think he could be hard to beat.
Looking back at the week so far, I think the highlight has to be David Elsworth winning the Juddmonte. He’s been around so long and people with that amount of longevity have to be applauded. He may have been portrayed as the villain by the media for Wednesday, but he is a very kind-hearted man and I was delighted to see him win the big race.