THE Go Racing in Yorkshire Summer Festival gets under way this weekend followed by a full week of racing, with meetings at eight out of the nine courses in the Broad Acres.
Starting tomorrow (Saturday) at Ripon and finishing the following Sunday (July 28) at our local track Pontefract, the Festival also includes an open afternoon at Jack Berry House in Malton next Tuesday, where racing fans can see what it takes to get a jockey back to fitness after injury.
Another Super Saturday also sees the big Super Sprint at Newbury and the Irish Oaks, so there’s plenty to catch the eye.
Malton handler Richard Fahey looks to have a very strong chance of winning the Super Sprint with well-backed favourite VENTURA REBEL in the juvenile contest. Odds of 6/4 look very skinny in a race that is usually ultra-competitive, but he deserves his position at the head of the market.
He put down a big reputation when beating Wes Ward’s Lady Pauline on Royal Ascot trials day and ran a cracker into second place in the Norfolk Stakes at the Royal meeting, which looked one of the strongest juvenile races of the week. This strong-finishing two-year-old will be well suited by the fast gallop generated by the big field.
The Jamie Osborne-trained filly EMTEN made an impressive debut when winning at Windsor and the bookies will also be looking to keep her onside. She is a lovely individual with size and scope and ran a stormer to finish fifth in the Norfolk Stakes last time out, and is easy to back each-way at 7/1.
Powerful owner and high-profile punter Tony Bloom has two good chances in the £100,000 handicap at 2.25, including last year’s winner STRATUM. The Roger Charlton-trained WITHOLD is a smart second-string for the Brighton chairman but CARWENNAN can’t be ruled out of the equation.
He has got better with each start and improved again with an easy win in the Northumberland Vase last time out, and looks like developing into a classy stayer. The 7lb rise is perfectly fair and may not be the limit of his ability.
The Group 3 Hackwood Stakes over 6f has produced plenty of Group 1 winners and former winner THE TIN MAN looks well above this grade. While he has yet to match his Group 1 winning form this year, this looks like a good opportunity for a confidence boosting success before he goes in search of bigger prizes. Mick Channon’s BARBILL has an each-way shout after producing a career best run in a competitive handicap at Newmarket last week.
Joseph O’Brien trains the ante-post favourite for the Irish Oaks and has a very strong chance of winning the classic with IRIDESSA. She comes here having beaten the older fillies in the Pretty Polly over a mile and a quarter (fellow three-year-old Pink Dogwood came third) and it didn’t look like she would have any problems with the extra couple of furlongs at the Curragh.
Ribblesdale winner STAR CATCHER is improving all the time as she matures and also has tons of stamina. John Gosden was patient with the filly and didn’t go to Epsom for the Oaks, and that approach is paying off with Frankie Dettori booked to take the ride.
The Tote Scurry Handicap would normally be all about English sprinters but one to watch down the bottom of weights is ICE COLD IN ALEX, trained by Ken Condon. He gets in off 8-5 and with a kind draw should go really well having won over 7f here last year.