The Ebor Festival began bathed in sunshine and with the eyes of the racing world firmly fixed on the Knavesmire. York began with perhaps the highest quality of racing it has to offer through the week, with three Group races and three hot and ultra competitive handicaps. Idaho notched up his first win of the season, as surprising as it sounds, in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur Stakes; which also meant Aiden O’Brien passed John Gosden’s previous record of prize money earned in a single season. There has been much doubt hovering over Roger Varian’s yard recently, but this was squashed for the afternoon as his star silenced the doubters with another victory at the top level.
3 40 POSTPONED (R Varian) 15/8, Group 1, 1M2.5F, Good to Firm
The market reflected the mood of uncertainty surrounding Postponed and his return to the track after a brief lay off. Anyone that didn’t feel some level of doubt was having you on, although it was surprising not to see one horse really come in for some money to take Postponed on as the drift continued from yesterday. Postponed and Andrea Atzeni took matters into their own hands at York and using the pacemaker King Bolete, Postponed was ideally placed entering the straight as the field was already somewhat stretched. A few stuck at it the best they could, but only Highland Reel and Mutakayeef really threatened as Postponed stayed on gamely past the post. This wasn’t as flashy a victory as previous wins have been, but it was impressive nonetheless and showed Postponed has more up his sleeve than many anticipated. Even a race over a mile seems as if it could be achievable, although Roger Varian was quickly quizzed on the Arc and gave a quietly positive response in retaliation. There is no doubt in our eyes that Postponed is the best horse in training currently, this side of the pond anyway and the news that Sheikh Obaid wishes to continue racing next year is a breath of fresh air and a massive boost for the sport. Good on him.