It’s the first day of the Ebor Festival at York and I am really looking forward to 4 days of top-class racing. The Juddmonte International Stakes is the feature race of the day, however, there is a lot of class throughout the card. Let’s hope we can start the festival with a couple of winners.
One of the highlights on day 1 is the Group 2 Voltigeur Stakes. This year’s renewal has plenty of contenders who come into the race with various backgrounds. Here we have some of the exposed 3-year old’s, such as Mogul, who won last time out at Goodwood when he defeated Royal Ascot winner Highland Chief.
That Group 3 win was impressive and he’s certainly the type that seems to suit to this 1 mile trip. That said, I can’t help thinking he may be a bit short at the prices.
With that in mind, I’d like to take him on with Darain (14:45) for John Gosden. By Dubawi, his two starts at Newbury and Newmarket have been impressive and he steps up to 1m 4f here.
I have no concerns with him getting the trip with in-form jockey Oisin Murphy booked to ride. John Gosden is operating at around a 35% strike rate in the last two weeks and he can add to that with another win here.
The feature race on the first day of the Ebor Festival is the Juddmonte International Stakes. This is a cracking renewal, albeit with only 5 runners. Godolphin’s Ghaiyyath (15:15) is the market leader, giving way a few pounds to Aiden O’Brien’s Magical and a few more to 2000 Guineas winner, Kameko.
Admittedly, I was a bit sceptical about Ghaiyyath prior to this season. However, he’s shown he can put up these exceptional performances back-to-back. He got the better of Enable at Sandown last time out and defeated previous Derby winner Anthony Van Dyck at Newmarket. These two runs have been impressive off the back of a good win at Meydan in the winter.
At 5/4 he is very short; however, he should take all the beating and I think he will come out on top.