Racing UK ambassador Paul Mulrennan reflects on the Welcome To Yorkshire Ebor Festival and pinpoints horses to look out for on Saturday and beyond.
I thought there was no way Mabs Cross had not won the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes at York last week.
At worst I thought it would have been a dead-heat and, while it’s a cliché, it’s a shame there had to be a loser. But all credit to the winning connections of Alpha Delphini, trainer Bryan Smart and jockey Graham Lee – and what a spectacle it proved to be.
I don’t think we’ll see Mabs Cross now until the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp in October. She showed at York how she is still learning and improving. She settled and relaxed into the race much better than she had been and there could still be more to come from this talented filly.
There’s no reason why Longchamp won’t suit. It’s traditionally a big field with plenty of pace on, and she’ll just need some luck in running.
Hopefully, I’ll be at Longchamp to ride Mabs Cross. My rehab has really stepped up and my trainer at Jack Berry House, Danny Hague, nearly killed me today (Friday) with his strengthening and conditioning programme.
James Doyle will get balance right:
The other highlight at the Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival was the performance of Sea Of Class, who looks tailor-made for the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe. It will be interesting to watch James Doyle get down to 8st 9lb.
James is the ultimate professional so he won’t in any way jeopardise the filly’s chance if he’s not 100 per cent for the ride. But there’s no reason why he can’t make the weight.
It’s all about working back from October 7. He doesn’t want to be doing any light weights before then and he’ll know when to start tweaking his diet. It’s not rocket science.
You just need to stay off any junk food, cut out the fizzy drinks, alcohol and so on. We can also count on dieticians and professional advice to help us now, and it’s a far cry from the dark days of how jockeys tried to lose weight.
Keep on right side of Que Amoro:
Michael Dods’ horses are in great form and I would certainly follow Que Amoro for the rest of the season. She won her second two-year-old race very nicely at Catterick on Wednesday and she’s a filly we’ve always rated highly.
There’s a lot more to come from her and she could run next in a Listed race at Ayr’s Western Meeting.
Michael runs Proud Archi in the Minster Handicap at Beverley on Saturday. He loves it at the track, having won there three times there,and a strong pace will see him come late. He’s got a serious chance.
I’d side with Final Venture in the William Hill Beverley Bullet. He ran a hell of a race when second at York last week and deserves to get his head in front as it’s been a while. He’s drawn well in the middle and there will be plenty of pace on which will suit.
Finally, best of luck to Harrison Shaw and Phil Makin, who are making recoveries from their falls on the gallops and at Redcar respectively. It’s another reminder of how dangerous this sport is.