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York Review – Mecca’s Angel Rewards Patience

And so the summer interlude has past, York, one of the most intriguing of racing festivals of the flat campaign has passed with a multitude of big race shocks, form lines and brilliant horses alike. We take a moment to re-cap on some of the big-race clues and delve into the form book of the festival.

The Acomb Stakes began the group action for the week and the second placed horse, Bing Bang Bong, was a horse I was really impressed with. Tim Barron’s two year-old finished second behind Recorder, but what really caught my eye was the positioning of both horses in the race. Dettori managed to get plenty of cover on Recorder before pushing the button in the last furlong and a half to come down the middle of the track. Bing Bang Bong on the other hand was keen from the start and pulled himself into the lead and had to make his own running on the stands side rail. He was a sitting duck for Recorder who was much the best horse on the day but I think there was a lot to like about Tim Barron’s Bing Bang Bong and given he pulled three lengths clear of the rest and he could be the one to take out of the race.

In Thursday’s Lowther Stakes, Lumiere’s performance justified Mark Johnston’s decision to step the two year-old up straight from maiden to group company. Besharah was very impressive and she really stretched clear of the field and was possibly even better on the softer ground. There are concerns amongst connections she may not improve a lot from two to three, but she’s clearly full of ability and should be in good form going into the final part of the flat season. The one I want to take out of the race though is Easton Angel. She looks ready for a drop back to five furlongs having just been run out of it in the final furlong. She put in her arguably best performance in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot when finishing second to the incredible Acapulco. That was over five furlongs and she looked much better than Besharah that day who finished back in third and I would expect her to confirm that form at the five furlong trip. She’s entered in the Cheveley Park Stakes at Newmarket which looks to be her last race of the season.

Another Angel in the Michael Dods yard which needs a mention is Mecca’s Angel. She’s been pulled out left, right and centre this year on the count of fast ground but as soon as she got her soft conditions, Darlington based Dods let her take her chance and she put in an incredible performance. She looked a little outpaced by Acapulco at the furlong pole but she soon kicked into another gear and won going away in one of the most powerful performances of the meeting. She looked in rude health and with conditions in her favour, she looks one of the best sprinters in the country.

Willie Mullins has slipped into the York coverage with the brilliant performance of Max Dynamite in the Lonsdale Cup. He travelled beautifully that day and stretched clear when asked by Dettori to win by four lengths. He’s now being aimed at the Melbourne Cup and looks a very serious player at the trip which he’s unexposed at.

On the final day of York, Ribchester took a huge leap forward to finish second behind Ajaya in the Gimcrack. The once raced Richard Fahey inmate did all his best work late on and stayed on powerfully. He’ll get better with more racing and looks to develop into a very smart performer. The other unexposed horse, Raucous, improved again having looked a shade green in the early stages. He raced a lot more professionally than when beating Orvar at Newmarket and looks sure to make a very good three year-old.