Ortensia and Frankel ready to shine at York’s Ebor meeting
Frankel steps up to 1m2f for the first time in the Juddmonte International
We’re now counting down to the big Ebor meeting at York and I’m really looking forward to it.
I love York, it’s a really friendly meeting and I think the people in charge there do a great job. The crowds are huge and they get great racing there. This is a big, buzzy meeting and it’s not too formal.
I lived in Yorkshire for ages and went to school there until I was 16 – some of the older members at the course like to remind me that I used to turn up there in my school uniform now and then.
I’ve got some great memories of York. My parents won the Gimcrack when they were training with a horse called Chilly Billy, and years ago I won the big race for lady amateur riders there.
Seeing Sea The Stars win the Juddmonte there in 2009 was also brilliant; this year that looks like being the highlight of the meeting when Frankel steps up to 10 furlongs.
I can’t wait to see Frankel in action again but it will be intriguing, it’s not a complete formality now that he runs over more than a mile for the first time.
I’m surprised that people are criticising Frankel’s team for taking in “easy races”. They’ve gone for Group Ones all the way, haven’t they? The fact that there’s nobody willing to take Frankel on isn’t his fault.
There were only four horses in his last race, the Sussex Stakes, which was a bit of a shame but I guess if you’re the owner of a horse like Excelebration, who’s been beaten by Frankel many times, you’ll ask what is the point of running against him again.
Fair play to Frankel’s team for stepping him up to a mile and a quarter, it is going to be tougher but I think he will win anyway. It would be such a shame if he got beaten.
That’s the highlight of the four days, but I’m going to do a feature for Channel 4 in the countdown to the meeting, riding out alongside the Australian sprinter Ortensia.
She won well at Glorious Goodwood and apparently all her work is filmed and then the footage is fed back to Australia so her trainer can watch it.
I like it when we get these international runners, it adds a bit of spice so fair play to her connections for bringing her over. I think our sprinters lack a bit of wow factor so it’s good we’ve got her around.
She got back into the winning groove at Goodwood and is the one they’ve all got to beat in the Nunthorpe.
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