The Ebor Festival Preview

This week sees the start of Yorkshire’s premier race meeting which, over the years, has proved extremely fruitful for the Bedford House team and, once again, we are extremely excited about the week ahead of us. With other targets in mind, Postponed bypasses the Juddmonte International, which means we do not have any runners on the opening day of York’s Ebor meeting, however, the festival is set to start with a bang with Golden Horn, Gleneagles and the unexposed Time Test all clashing in the Group 1 contest.

Our week begins on Thursday, with Lady of Dubai, when she lines up in the Group 1 Darley Yorkshire Oaks. As with any Group 1 contest the competition is fierce but she is in excellent form and has been working very well at home since Goodwood. The Darley Irish Oaks winner Covert Love has been supplemented and the presence of the Hugo Palmer trained filly should help insure a decent pace, which will suit Lady of Dubai and, granted more luck than in the Qatar Nassau Stakes, we are confident she will be in the shake up. Adam Kirby cannot do the weight of 8-11, while Andrea Atzeni is banned, so Lady of Dubai will have a new jockey in the shape of James Doyle. This should not pose any problems as she is a very straight forward filly.

Later in the afternoon we will be represented by Jordan Princess and Koora in the Listed EBF & Sir Henry Cecil Galtres Stakes. Jordan Princess (pictured) has a tricky task conceding weight to the whole field but she remains in good form at home and there are no other races for her at present. They have both been declared on ground described as Good to Firm, Good in Places which will be in the favour of Jordan Princess. However, if the ground eases, then it will probably suit Koora better. Koora could do no more than win her maiden in decisive fashion and she has always been a filly that we have held in high regard. While it is a bit of a fact finding mission for Koora (it may be that this class of race comes a bit early for her) she appears to have the quality to participate in the race and the experience will not be lost on her. She is very likely to stay in training next year as she is by Pivotal and from a female family (we bred, owned and trained her dam Kithanga who won the 1993 St Simon Stakes) whose progeny tend to progress with age, so she has all the chances of being even better next year.

Penhill looks a likely contender for the mile and a half handicap on Friday though we will keep an eye on the Betfred Ebor in case the rain comes (as mentioned in the last update we would like to run him on soft ground) and whether he looks like getting a run. Mizzou definitely goes in the Group 2 Weatherbys Hamilton Lonsdale Cup on the same day. We did not see the best of him in a steadily run Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and we then bypassed the Goodwood Cup as we didn’t think the track would have suited him. York will play to his strengths with its long straight and he has been training well. We are hopeful of a big run in a race that we have already won with Capricorn Line in 1982 and then with Boreas twenty years later.

The British Stallion Studs EBF Convivial Maiden Stakes is now worth £50,000 which makes it a very attractive contest and one that we won last year with White Lake. This time we are set to run Beautiful Morning who ran well first time out when fourth at Newmarket though the form has not really worked out yet. At York she would be taking on colts, which might be tough, but you never know what you are going to come up against in fillies races anyway and we do like her very much. With her pedigree – by Galileo out of Date With Destiny (the only offspring left behind by George Washington) she is one to look forward to next year too.

Elsewhere on Friday, Bartholomew Fair will run in a mile handicap at Sandown. He has been gelded since his last run and, as usual, he has been working well at home. We just hope that he finally shows on the racecourse what he has been showing us at home. He will wear the headgear that he wears on the gallops at home for the first time and, hopefully, it will bring about the improvement we expect.

Al has a safety entry at Salisbury in case he does not make the cut for the Betfred Melrose Stakes at York on Saturday although, at the time of writing, the chances of him running at York seem pretty good. . We also have King Bolete entered alongside Al in the Melrose Stakes, but he is another who is ground dependent and he will not run should the ground be any faster than good.  Ajman Bridge could be our only runner in Saturday’s Betfred Ebor, a race we have won three times with Vicious Circle in 1999, Mephisto in 2004 and Purple Moon in 2007. His most recent run, when a close fourth at Goodwood, confirmed his stamina for a mile and three quarters and we are hopeful he can put in another big performance.