The Ebor Festival came to a stunning conclusion at York on Saturday, but there was plenty of other action around the country that more than supplemented proceedings at York. Sandown hosted a number of top races, the racing at Chester was exciting and the Curragh featured a number of Group races with Order of St George returning to the track with a cosy win.
2 30 PERSUASIVE (J Gosden) 6/4, Group 3 Fillies, 1M, Good to Soft
Persuasive extended her marvellous unbeaten run to five at Sandown and was a comfortable winner of the Atalanta Stakes, her biggest win to date. The 3L margin doesn’t do the win justice and once she ran clear in the last couple of furlongs it was no contest. There were some nice horses in the race and for a Group 3 the standard was definitely a good one. She now has Group One targets for the near future and she has entries in the Matron at Leopardstown and the Sun Chariot Group 1 at HQ. Connections did note that they have a couple of other top fillies that they also need to plan routes for and try to avoid each other with.
3 25 BLUE POINT (C Appleby) 11/8, Group 2 2YO, 6F, Good
Blue Point got back to winning ways in fine fashion in the Gimrack Stakes. Undoubtedly he picked a fight with the wrong horse at Goodwood, in Mehmas, but has learnt a great deal from this encounter. He looked a lot more assured in the closing stages and quickened clear right up until the line. Mokarris ran a tidy race in second, but can’t be considered in the same league as Godolphin’s star juvenile. There has been much talk of Blue Point being Godolphin’s big hope for the Guineas next spring, but Charlie Appleby swiftly questioned whether the mile was an achievable target. A 3Yo campaign is certainly on the agenda though and connections will be praying that he doesn’t go the way of last years star 2Yo, Emotionless.
4 00 HEARTBREAK CITY (A Martin) 15/2, C2 H’Cap, 1M6F, Good
Scenes like the ones witnessed after Heartbreak City’s win in the Ebor are why so many of us love the sport. A syndicate horse owned by an Irish group based in New York that are enthusiastic about racing to say the least. The post-race interview with Nick Luck is one of the highlights of the season so far and a definite moment for years to come at York. The horse itself ran a blinder and bolted up by over 5L in what is meant to be an ultra competitive handicap. The horse has never been easy to train and patience has been key to the success now being found. In recent months something has clicked and the gelding’s win at Galway over hurdles was built on impressively at York. Adam McNamara had somewhat of a breakthrough day and connections quickly credited him with a huge part of the horses Ebor win and that they’d wanted him to take the ride for months. Onwards and upwards for this 6YO and long may this rich vein of form continue so we can witness scenes just like we saw at York.