It’s been a brilliant week at York so far and we now have a hugely competitive Ebor to look at. Last year’s winner Fujaira Prince is back for another crack at the big race with Andrea Atzeni on board once again, but he is now a seven-year-old and only two horses seven or older have won this race since 1976.
The Irish champion national hunt trainer Willie Mullins sends over Mt Leinster for the big race and he has to be taken seriously. Willie Mullins knows exactly what it takes and I put him very high on my list for the race. Willie has also booked the very talented Jason Watson who I spoke to and Jason said, “Riding for Willy is always a great pleasure and an honour. You feel you have something over the field in these staying handicaps if you’re riding for him. We have good form going into the race – he’s only been beaten once in three runs on the flat and has won over this distance. He also has good form over hurdles with last season’s 3rd in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown.
My only concerns would be the ground and draw… it’s hard with a wide draw to not use up fuel in the early stages of the race. It’s become a very competitive handicap especially the last couple of seasons. But I’m riding for Willie so I can only be positive.”
Humanitarian has been off the track for a long time, but I think this race could be ideal for him and if anyone can get a horse fit after a lay-off It’s John Gosden. James Doyle will ride the lightly raced five-year-old gelding and at a big price this is my idea of a bet in the Ebor.
Space Blues is NAP of the Day
Space Blues is one of my favourite horses on the flat and I think Charlie Appleby has found the ideal race for him here in the City of York Stakes. Space Blues travelled really well in his last race the Lennox Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. I think the soft ground went against him and he will definitely have the surface to suit at York this today, my NAP of the day.
Real World in Great Form
The Group 3 Strensall Stakes kicks off Ebor day with the short price Real World who is in great form. He won the Royal Hunt cup in style at Royal Ascot and then went on to win the Steventon Stakes at Newbury last time out very impressively. He will be hard to beat but I’m taking a chance on David O’Meara’s superstar Lord Glitters to get his head back in front today. Lord Glitters has had a brilliant year so far winning twice in Meydan and running very well in the Lockinge Stakes and the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot. David O’Meara said to me “He’s in good form and has won the Strensall Stakes before so it’s the right race for him. Carrying the penalty makes it tough but I’m hopeful he’ll run well.”