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Keeping things Simple at York this week

17 May 2017

I’m up at York for the Dante Festival over the next three days, a course that I have some fond memories of, having won the Ebor there with Litigant in 2015. Come rain or shine there’s always a great crowd there and hopefully they’ll be cheering some of mine home!

Obviously I can’t wait to be partnering up Simple Verse again in the Betway Yorkshire Cup on Friday. She seems in really good order at home, I sat on her on Monday and she’ll be in good shape for her reappearance. Ralph Beckett is also really pleased with her and we’re excited about what’s in store for her this season. The forecast rain should not be a problem on Friday either. Looking forward, the Gold Cup at Ascot could come into play, but let’s get Friday out the way first and hope she comes out well.

On Thursday I don’t have a ride in the Dante Stakes itself. Of those that do run in the race I’m interested in seeing how Aidan O’Brien‘s Exemplar gets on, obviously he’s inexperienced but there doesn’t seem to be a standout Derby horse in this. John Gosden has a very strong hand too, and Cracksman will be very tough to beat I imagine.

Away from the Dante I’ve got three to look forward to tomorrow. Firstly Union Rose, who is a very quirky type! Silvestre De Sousa rode him at Ascot’s Shergar Cup and he fell off him after the line, hopefully I’ll be able to stay aboard! He’s a horse who has good form in the book, but he’s not the most consistent. With any luck I’ll have him on a going day.

My next ride, Blond Me, gave me a great day out last year when winning a Group race in Turkey. I rode her when she was 2nd at Sandown on her last start when there was a little cut in the ground, but she wouldn’t want too much more rain as she’s most effective on a faster surface.

My final spin of the day, Here Comes When has got form on soft ground. He was very high class in his day, and he’s well in himself at home. Andrew Balding‘s horses are going well at the minute so hopefully I can land another big handicap!

On Friday I ride Southdown Lad for William Knight who was very good to me as an apprentice so hopefully I can reward him with a winner. His rating rose significantly last year but he’s not without a chance in this.

In the lucky last on Friday I ride Dominating for Mark Johnston. He’s by Jukebox Jury, and should stay well wand isn’t ground dependent. It’s always great getting a ride for Mark as he doesn’t tie you down with too many instructions, you can race wherever you feel the horse is most comfortable. His horses tend to go well at York and I hope I’m on the right one.

Horse to follow: Marine One

I’ll be making my way down from York on Thursday evening to Newmarket and am very much looking forward to riding this son of Frankel in the 6.20.  He ran OK at Yarmouth on debut, and by the looks of things he’ll come on a lot from that. Hopefully he’ll be breaking his maiden soon.