Start of the York Ebor meeting today, this is one of my favourite flat meetings of the year. York is a grand City with so much going on, the racecourse is also fantastic and it’s just a lovely place to visit.
Gran Maestro fell at Market Rasen on Saturday, he was going great but made an error at the 8th that put paid to his chance. Granny jumped a bit careful from there on and came down 3 out when jumping high and crumpling on landing. He’s absolutely fine and we live to fight another day.
Charlotte Dujardin and Valegro claimed the individual dressage Gold with a stunning final display. The routine was pretty much faultless and she wiped the floor with the opposition. Dressage might not be considered an Olympic sport by some but I can’t think of many other events at the Olympics that require so much skill and patience. Valegro is the Frankel of flat racing, he’s the best we’ve seen and likely the best we'll ever see.
The feature race on day 1 of York is the Juddmonte International Group 1 stakes.
Postponed is the hot favourite and should take a huge amount of beating if at his very best. I’m taking him on though for a few reasons, firstly his short odds and secondly the form of the Roger Varian yard that have been in near lockdown for the best part of a month with a virus. If he wins he wins but I’m looking for some value.
Hawkbill is likely the one to pick up the pieces but he’s not ran on a firm surface before, I’ve baked The Grey Gatsby EW at 12-1 & Almodovar EW at 28-1.
Daniel Tudhope takes over from Jamie Spencer on The Great Gatsby. Sometimes a fresh jockey can turn thing around and it's fair to say the Kevin Ryan trained horse hasn’t had much luck in running at times. The faster they go the better for The Grey Gatsby. Cheekpieces might also bring more improvement.
Almodovar looks like he’s been crying out for a fast run one mile two furlongs, the horse travelled like a dream at Royal Ascot but just ran out of gas in the Hardwicke Stakes. Almodovar has fair bit to find on the book but i'm happy to take that chance at huge odds.
The only other horse I like today is Oceane in the 4:20. Alan King has done very well with this smart dual purpose type. Oceane ran a belter at Royal Ascot finishing 3rd, I’m not too worried about the drop back in trip this afternoon as Oceane will keep galloping all the way to the line. 13-2 EW with 4 places on offer looks ok.