York, Friday

I’m up at York for the next two days which I’m looking forward to. York is one of the country’s premier tracks, so it’s always great to ride there. Hopefully I’ve got some nice chances and here are my thoughts on them.

I kick off with Ghaly in the mile handicap (5.55pm). He ran a great race on the back of a long break at Hamilton last time and possibly just got tired late on. He has every reason to build on that and although he has won at Newmarket previously, I think a flat track will suit him better.

Next up is Cynical in the Novice Stakes (6:55pm). He’s a Night Of Thunder colt who has been given plenty of time, it’s a big ask first time out at York against a few with experience, though.

Lastly, I will be riding Alia Choice in the Summer Festival Handicap (8:25pm). Unfortunately, she has let herself down in the stalls of late and giving away crucial lengths at the start is not ideal. She has been running on well, though, so if we can jump smartly she can go well again. The start is the most important factor with her and the return to five furlongs is a plus.

York, Saturday

To start off Saturday, I’m riding Dark Moon Rising in the York Stakes (3:15pm). Dropping back to 10 furlongs is sure to help and he ran very well over course and distance in the Dante before a disappointing run in the King Edward at Royal Ascot. He’ll need a career best and arguably would be better suited with a bit more juice in the ground.

I’m then on Catch The Paddy over six furlongs in the nursery handicap (3:50pm). He took three starts to win but did so nicely enough at Hamilton when still pretty green. An opening mark of 82 seems relatively fair but it’s a very competitive nursery as you would expect at York.

I’m excited to ride Shake A Leg in the 1m4f handicap (5:00pm). He’s been in really good form this season, although he wasn’t quite at his best at Carlisle where he wasn’t entirely suited by the track and being pressured for the lead. Hopefully we can make the running and set some even fractions back on a flat track. He did actually win here in the Macmillan Charity race under Julie’s daughter, Sam, so we know he likes the place.

Finally, I get the leg up on Monsieur Jumbo in the seven-furlong handicap (5:35pm). He has proved tricky to win with his only victory coming on the all-weather and he’s been inconsistent since. He’s down to a career low mark but will need to improve plenty to win this competitive race.