Paul Mulrennan column: York rides plus 2,000 Guineas preview

By Paul Mulrennan@PMulrennan
Fri 26 May 2023

Racing TV ambassador Paul Mulrennan provides the lowdown on his four rides at York on Saturday plus also shares his views on the Tattersalls 2,000 Guineas, as well the 2024 Fixture list changes which were revealed by the BHA this week.

Four rides at York on Saturday

I’m booked for four rides on the Knavesmire at York before the continuation of a four-day suspension rules me out of action until the middle of next week.

It’s my first time aboard Floral Splendour (1.35pm), so I wouldn’t know what to expect there, but I do think that Wickywickywheels (3.15pm) will run well at a big price in the feature William Hill Bronte Cup Fillies’ Stakes.

Mimikyu is top-rated on 112, so we have a few pounds to find there, but Jim’s (Goldie) filly is similarly rated to most of her other opponents. She wintered with Bhupat Seemar and seems to be working her way back to peak form, posting a solid effort in the Braveheart at Hamilton. She could well sneak a place.

The Wetherby novice scorer American Affair (3.50pm) makes his handicap debut in a typically competitive seven-furlong Class 4. As I mentioned last week, he’s improved with every single run, but is still a work in progress. He has a difficult draw (14 of 14) so I’m sure he’ll learn a bit more here, and we’ll learn a bit more about him, too.

Fools Rush In (5.00pm) hasn’t been with Jim Goldie for long. He was denied a clear run when racing over six furlongs at York last week, running better than the bare result (18th of 21) suggests. He reverts to seven furlongs on Saturday.

Side with Scotsman in the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas

Make sure you watch On The Wire for a thorough preview of the action at the Curragh this weekend plus the team were joined by special guest Aidan O'Brien

I thought Royal Scotsman was very fresh for his first run of the year in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, and suspect that he’ll be all the better for that re-introduction to action. It isn’t difficult to understand why Fitri Hay was willing to supplement her Gleneagles colt for the Curragh.

With Jim Crowley having other commitments at York, Jamie Spencer takes over in the saddle, and his patient riding style promises to suit. He’s an excellent horseman and an all-round top-class rider.

2024 Fixture list reform thoughts

This week, the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) published detailed plans for a major shake-up to the 2024 fixture list, with the consequences of those decisions becoming ever clearer to those working in the industry.

Individually and collectively, we should never be fearful of change. I’m always mindful of the importance of having the flexibility to move with the times but will take plenty of convincing that floodlit Sunday evening fixtures are the way forward.

For stable staff, the game is already hard enough, and yet here we are asking those same hardworking and dedicated individuals to sacrifice their precious Sunday evening downtime. I see the same faces on a racecourse day after day. Listen to the trainers who say that there is already a staffing crisis. Is Sunday evening racing the answer? I don’t think so!

Furthermore, time will dictate how successful plans to create a Saturday afternoon ‘Premier tier product’ will be, but we need to be careful to protect the grassroots element of our sport. Many people, me included, forge their livelihood from grassroots racing. We all want to be sitting at the top table, but unfortunately there aren’t enough seats to accommodate everybody.

Sea Of Thieves delivers at Haydock

Sea Of Thieves (66-1) caused a surprise by winning at Haydock on Thursday, but she gave me a lovely feel and I think she’s quite a nice filly. She improved significantly from debut and being by Cracksman, she’ll have more to offer once stepping up in trip. That was her first run on turf and as a big, scopey filly, she’s very much one to look forward to for Ed Walker and Brightwalton Bloodstock Ltd.

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