Thursday Racing: More To Come From Royal Village6 min read
The Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks is the highlight of day two at York and what a race we have in prospect with preference for the classic generation against their elders.
Magic Wand may not have been at her best when fourth in the Irish Oaks, but preference is for the classic winners Laurens and Sea Of Class (3.35) with marginal preference for the latter who looked to have more to offer when getting up close home in the Irish Oaks last time.
Laurens steps up to a mile-and-a-half for the first time and has shown her grit and fighting spirit to win a couple of Group 1’s by narrow margins in France including the French Oaks by a neck at Chantilly last time. There is plenty of stamina on the dam’s side of Laurens pedigree and there is every chance that Karl Burke’s filly will improve for the step up in trip, but I feel she might need to if she is to cope with the finishing kick of the selection.
The William Haggas trained Sea Of Class has won her last three starts but needs to maintain her improvement given this is a stronger race than her latest Curragh success when jockey James Doyle put her head in front in the shadows of the post. The Newmarket handler is a proud Yorkshireman and would love to win one of the great races of this wonderful meeting – it is Sea Of Class for me.
The Group 2 Lowther Stakes opens the card and it looks a match between Fairyland (1.55) and Angel’s Hideaway with preference for the Ballydoyle runner who is returning from a two-month absence. The filly won her first couple of starts in Ireland before losing her unbeaten record when third at Royal Ascot in the Albany when she had Angel’s Hideaway over a length back in fourth.
The selection is 15/8 ahead of the opening day’s racing on the Knavesmire which was a big day for the Aidan O’Brien yard given they have been not carrying all before them so far this term. If Ballydoyle have a good first day at York I feel Fairyland could go off a short price – if they don’t I feel Angel’s Hideaway will head the market come post time.
Original Choice (3.00) ran twice at Glorious Goodwood finishing third on both occasions in valuable handicaps over 10f and a mile. The 4-year-old has a 3lbs pull with Her Majesty’s Seniority (6/1) for three-quarters of a length last time, but I feel the selection can reverse the form given I feel he has a better draw today in stall four. The gelding is 9/1 and gets the each way vote (five places).
The unbeaten filly Lah Ti Dar (4.15) holds an entry in the St Leger next month and I feel connections would have wanted a bit more juice in the ground today, but she remains an exciting prospect and gets the vote in what looks a very competitive Galtres Stakes. Sun Maiden bombed out at Goodwood last time, but I wouldn’t be surprised if she bounced back at this more conventional track.
I’m not convinced the drop back in trip will suit, but few horses have impressed me more this season than Move Swiftly (4.50) who was in a different class to her opposition when scoring at Goodwood over a mile last time and an 8lbs rise looks fair.
The selection holds a Group entry in Ireland next month over 9f so there is no doubt that this 7f trip is on the sharp side, but I am convinced she is better than a handicapper.
Sea Of Class
Lah Ti Dar
Royal Village (3.10) dead-heated at Market Rasen last time although it was later proved that he had finished a nose ahead of Whoshotwho and there was a problem with the photo-finish. In the circumstances a 4lbs rise is fair, although his high head carriage didn’t impress all on the run from the last. I feel there is more to come from the Ian Williams’ 6-year-old.
Natural History (5.05) is not exactly thrown in on his handicap debut, but the form of his sixth at Newcastle last time has been well and truly franked and the hope is that there is a bit of cut in the ground with showers forecast to hit the course overnight.