Our Man from HQ looks ahead to to the Ebor Festival
With the arrival of The Ebor meeting at York, it signals the start of the second half of the flat season.Traditionally this meeting is like the Royal Ascot of the north where the northern trainers try their hardest to keep the prize money up yonder away from their ‘southern softie’ counterparts.To be fair, they do pretty well until it comes to the top class events where class always prevails. I’ve been keeping my eyes out for decent ew alternatives to the favourites and hopefully we can make a few quid.
Sir Michael Stoute saddles Snow Sky in the Great Voltiger (3.05pm). Followers of this blog will recall his win at Goodwood in the Gordon Stakes where he put himself firmly in the picture of the St Leger. Since then he has continued to thrive and looked amazing when I saw him bound up Long Hill last week.
William Haggas is the most successful Newmarket trainer on the Knavesmire in recent years and I’m keen to be with Mukhadram in the Juddmonte International (3.40pm). He is in the form of his life and when Paul Hanagan sent him up the Limekilns the other day he looked every bit top class. He is a beautiful individual and I know for a fact that his trainer couldn’t be happier with him.
Far be it from me to give you a 1/5 shot but Taghrooda (Yorkshire Oaks) is jumping out of her skin and will take this in her stride for her trainer John Gosden. She could be the first leg of a Gosden treble as he saddles Stella Bellisima (4.20), a likeable daughter of Sea The Stars. She showed her class when winning her maiden at Newbury where nothing went right for her as she was keen on the outside with no cover. It was a big ask to contend with Glorious Goodwood over an extra two furlongs and she plainly didn’t handle the track not stay the trip. However, having learned plenty from that experience, and by the sound of everybody close to her, being back over this trip on a more conventional track like York, we will see a classy filly and will take all the beating. Gosden also saddles Enraptured (4.55), after having nearly twelve months off, he made his seasonal reappearance at Newbury over a mile and he needed that quite badly. Since then he has strengthened up so much and really come to hand. On his recent homework he looks to be seriously well handicapped and is ready to make a name for himself.
Another one to note is Foreign Diplomat in the 4.20 on Friday, who is by Oasis Dream and thought to be one of William Haggas’s best two-year olds. We haven’t had the declarations at this early stage but he has been working the house down lately and if there is market support for him get stuck in.