YORK DAY 2
A little success on the opening day but only enough to keep us going into Thursday. We go again with a little more confidence...
1350 Lowther Stakes
Strong G2 2yo fillies' race to start the programme. Dramatised looks the obvious fav after winning the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot but leave me out of her at even money in this field. Kinta worked home nicely in the Princess Margaret at Ascot after being checked in the run, and should enjoy these race conditions. Lady Hollywood came through novice races before winning a Listed race at Naas in front of subsequent winner Mauiewowie. Matilda Picotte has been close up behind Meditate (Albany Stakes winner at Rotal Ascot ahead of Mawj), highly-rated G2 winner Statuette and most recently second in a big field 2yo stakes race at Naas when she won her side of the rtack but was beaten by a colt on the opposite rail. She's in the mix here, while Dramatised, Mawj and Queen Me (looking to become the fourth generation of her family in a row to win this race!) running well would not surprise.
Kinta, Lady Hollywood, Matilda Picotte
1425 Goffs Yearling Stakes
After copping interference in the Chesham at Royal Ascot, it could be Redemption Time here in a much richer, and yet weaker, race. Go back to his second start and he finished behind Noble Style and Walbank - there's no rival in that class here. Washington Heights gave 6lbs to Braveheart Boy and just missed at Pontefract recently. That should be good enough to compete here, while Dare To Hope had no luck in the Super Sprint and gets his chance at a big sales race pot, after being beaten by a massive plunge horse Catch The Paddy last time.
Redemption Time, Washington Heights, Dare To Hope
1500 Clipper Logistics Handicap
Blue For You is in a rich vein of form for David O'Meara without winning, running second three times in a row - twice here and most recently in the Golden Mile at Goodwood. On that occasion he was caught on the rail a bit too long and then couldn't match the stablemate winner Orbaan who had a sharper sprint. The rail draw here makes me a little concerned but the flatter track should hopefully see the field fan out a bit more. Ouzo was a great run in the same race, narrowly behind Blue For You in fourth and can hold that form. He hasn't won for nearly two years, but that last success was over this course & distance in a field of 20. Cruyff Turn won this race last year at 28/1 and another course & distance handicap in May. He should go close again despite a wide draw, while the previously unbeaten Shining Blue can be forgiven for his last run at Goodwood went everything went wrong. The addition of a hood and Frankie Dettori in the saddle should reboot his form.
Blue For You, Ouzo, Cruyff Turn, Shining Blue
1535 Yorkshire Oaks
Magical Lagoon has won the Ribblesdale and the Irish Oaks recently but the strength of that form has to be queried when none of her rivals who have since raced (8/11) have won. Both times though, she fought off concerted challenges in the straight, she won't give up without a fight. Alpinista is the obvious one to beat. Since finishing runner-up to Love in this race two years ago at 33/1, she has claimed four Group 1s (three x German, one x French), all in open company, as well as the G2 Lancashire Oaks and a Listed race at Goodwood in Britain. Just how good is that European form? The jury is out. Lilac Road ran third in the Nassau behind Nashwa who would probably start favourite here. Her best puts her in the frame.
Magical Lagoon, Alpinista, Lilac Road
1610 Cecil Galtres
Mimikyu for Gosden & Dettori looks a very strong prospect. She beat Time Lock in a Haydock novice back in May (receiving 6lbs) but then followed it up by thrashing Haseefah, who then finished close behind Alfred Boucher who won easily on day one. Voodoo Queen has made big steps forward by winning her two starts this season and this daughter of Frankel should have more up her sleeve. Time Lock hasn't raced again since just failing against Mimikyu, this time she faces her on level weights. A Juddmonte home-bred by Frankel, watch for market confidence in her.
Mimikyu, Voodoo Queen, Time Lock
This looks very hard to solve with all runners showing promise but also some limitations as well. Plenty of longshots with a chance here. Despite that I'll lead with X J Rascal, a horse I have followed this season. He has beaten a head at his last two runs, at Goodwood and Doncaster, and only marked up two pounds. Ryan Moore climbs aboard for George Boughey. Mystical Applause beat one of X J Rascal's conquerors, Zabble, earlier in the season, and was undone by the weight at Chester last time, conceding 11lbs to the late-closing winner who got her just on the line. Meanwhile Charlie Appleby keeps racking up winners, especially with his juveniles, and two of his top the weights. One Nation looks the number one by jockey bookings.
X J Rascal, Mystical Applause, One Nation
1720 Fillies Handicap
Queen Animatu was desperately unlucky 11 days ago at Haydock, flying home late after being blocked for a run for most of the straight. She will come up rather short though, while Mobadra for Roger Varian also looks talented. She has won three of her last four starts and still looks well treated by the handicapper. Espressoo started the season in fine form with two wins and a second but went off the rails in June, flopping at Royal Ascot and Haydock. A freshen-up and a return to a track where she has previous form could see her fire again.
Queen Animatu, Mobadra, Espressoo
Best of the day: Redemption Time and Mimikyu