Typically top rated Bogart decides to come back to form and win and one of my favourites Declaration of War finally shows his best form! Toronado and Cap O'Rushes couldn't have run any worse than they did. A poor day all round but I am pretty bullish about tomorrow's selections.
The highlight of tomorrow is the Yorkshire Oaks which is a very interesting race with four horses having decent chances. We are involved in four races tomorrow, but again are keeping stakes relatively low in each race.
A couple of winners should see us in a decent position entering the final two days.
Clipper Logistics Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 3.05 York
Windhoek is the top rated due to having won his first three races as a two year old, but he has been disappointing since. Mark Johnston can bring disappointing horses but it looks like a big ask here.
Sandagiyr was under consideration here but his wide draw makes this very difficult here. He is one to watch for going forward.
Two of the more experienced horses Brae Hill and Smarty Socks have place claims here but are unlikely to have the legs to win here. Smarty Socks especially has a place chance and William Buick booked is a plus.
Norse Blues won well last time and as a result he is on a career high mark and others have better chances this time.
Navajo Chief is an old favourite of Cleeve’s having won for us twice at decent odds at York. He needs a career best performance to win but he loves the course and should place at very generous odds.
Wentworth I think is likely to move up to Group races if things go according to plan here. He has taken time to find his way but showed at York what a good horse he is and he has more improvement to come.
Darley Yorkshire Oaks (British Champions Series) (Group 1) (Fillies & Mares), 3.40 York
I had come into York with the view that the Fugue was a horse I would back now she was back amongst the girls. However I am still not convinced she stays 12 furlongs and think like last year she will be passed by a horse with more stamina. It can be dangerous to ignore the only Group 1 winner in a race but hopefully my reading of the form is correct.
Riposte and Wild Coco are probably just the level below this race despite Wild Coco winning so impressively for us at Goodwood. Both would need to improve a lot to win this and Wild Coco is older than the normal winner here.
Venus de Milo is an improver and definitely stays having finished second in the Irish Oaks and winning a Group 3 at Cork. This is much tougher but she has more scope than most.
Secret Gesture has not had any luck in running this season but one thing is certain she will be staying on at the finish. I think she is incredible value having finished second in the UK and German Oaks both Group 1’s. She can outstay The Fugue and outbattle Venus de Milo to win here.
"Breeders Backing Racing" EBF Galtres Stakes (Listed Race) (Fillies & Mares), 4.20 York
Say is the likely favourite which has a lot to do with the Aidan O’Brien/Ryan Moore combination. She drops in class into Listed company and that certainly gives her a favourites chance, but she seems to just lack that killer punch at the end of races.
Star Lahib is a horse I noted down to follow this season after an earlier promising performance. Like most of Mark Johnstons she has had plenty of action and has probably shown everything she has to offer. This makes her vulnerable to an improver.
The same could be said of Coquet which has had ten runs and has won three of those. She has a chance here but like Star Lahib will be vulnerable to an improver.
Our Obsession is that kind of horse having only had three runs, but has improved with each run. I think she will have the speed at the finish to see off the classy Say and Star Lahib in a close finish. Willie Haggas does very well with his three year olds at this meeting and it will be no surprise to see this one improve a lot.
eventmasters.co.uk EBF Fillies´ Stakes (Handicap) (CLASS 2), 4.55 York
Nurpur is the favourite here but is well down on my ratings due running in lower class races; however you cannot fault her consistency with only two runs out of the first three in sixteen. However they have been in a lower class and she does not win that often with only three wins in her fourteen places.
Malekat Jamal has also been very consistent but was disappointing last time and looks like she needs a break. She does like quick ground so if conditions stay the same they will suit her more than some.
I’m So Glad could produce a surprise here, but has a lot of weight to cope with and a wide draw which is tough. She is now back on a winning mark and will win again soon but probably not tomorrow.
Indignant was well beaten in a Group 3 at Goodwood and drops back into something more her level, but has a lot of weight. She has place claims if running up to her best again.
Shesastar beat Dutch Rose last time but now is worse off at the weights for half a length. She will undoubtedly go close again with David Barron being in decent form.
Dutch Rose can reverse places with Shesastar and can win this for the second year running. David O’Meara has multiple entries here but I think she has the strongest claims with the able assistance of Kieran Fallon.
Tartiflette is similar to Bogart as she has some very decent form going back a bit and is now at last back on a winning mark. She has a seven pound turn around with her latest conqueror Malekat Jamal and that can prove the difference here.
Willie Haggas unexposed Ghasabah is a likely threat off a very low weight but her price is probably going to be short enough.