Famous Knavesmire ready for superb two-day extravaganza
After a superb weekend of racing with a shock in the Oaks as 50/1 outsider Qualify took the honours, a spectacular Derby as Golden Horn announced himself as a true champion and the American Triple Crown was claimed by American Pharoah for the first time in 37 years, we return to York Racecourse for a fascinating card with the biggest charity raceday in Britain, Macmillan Charity Day on Saturday.
There will be a superb atmosphere at the famous Knavesmire on Saturday and hopefully everybody will be in a giving mood as York Racecourse aim to build on the £6 million they have previously raised in the past 45 years of hosting the Macmillan Charity Raceday.
Total prize money of nearly £250,000 has attracted some high class fields, especially in the 888Sport Charity Sprint worth £100,000, making it one of Britain’s richest sprint handicaps for three-year-olds.
Henry Candy’s Twilight Son will be all the rage with the punters as he brings a burgeoning reputation into the contest with three victories from three starts.
His latest success when cosily winning a class two handicap at Newmarket marks him down as a potential group horse and, if running to form, he should take all the beating.
But with the form of the stable somewhat questionable at present after high profile flops for stable stars Music Master and Limato, he can be opposed.
At the five day declaration stage, William Haggas has the very interesting and highly regarded Roossey entered.
Winner of two of his six races last season he was thought highly enough to have an entry in the group one Middle Park at the end of last season and assuming he has trained on this season he could be prove to be a very good each way bet with the Haggas stable in spectacular form.
The list of dangers would include Martyn Meade-trained Scalzo, who is in top form after two impressive victories at Haydock and Doncaster and local Trainer Brian Ellison’s Northgate Lad.
Northgate Lad has always been highly regarded and is looking to build on a solid second last time out at Chester, but may need softer ground to show his best form.
Previous winner Baltic Knight will be looking to reclaim The Ian and Kate Hall Macmillan Ganton Stakes (listed race) on Saturday as plenty of horses with something to prove put their reputations on the line.
With very little winning form on offer throughout the field, Baltic Knight will be aiming to build on his respectable fourth last time out when wearing blinkers for the first time and reclaim the prize he last won in 2013 when only a three-year-old.
Lincoln first and second, Gabrial and Mondialiste will be hoping to stake their claim and boost the Lincoln form after neither have failed to claim victories in five subsequent starts between them.
Top Notch Tonto, who has always been the apple of Norton trainer Brian Ellison’s eye has a lot to prove after failing to win for nearly two years.
Fresh on the back of a famous 1-2 in the Derby, John Gosden has entered Wannabe Yours for the one-mile contest and he could potentially start favourite after racking up three consecutive victories last season before a disappointing flop in a grade two when last seen.
My fancy for the race however is Hors De Combat, who has form tied in with Wannabe Yours after finishing a close second to him at Goodwood last season.
This time around the James Fanshawe-trained Hors De Combat will have race fitness on his side after a good second at Ascot when comfortably beating Mondialiste before a respectable 10th when tried at group one level last time out in the Lockinge Stakes.
This looks a golden opportunity for him to get his first well-deserved listed success.
With charity being the aim of the day, the final race on the card The Macmillan Charity Race sees 12 participants, who have each pledged to raise £2500 racing over nine furlongs on the famous Knavesmire with the aim of beating last year’s total of £90,000.
With a wide variety in riding experience it promises to be very entertaining way to end the day with the youngest rider Emily Easterby (trainer Tim’s daughter) and the oldest, at the age of 61, Jonathan Gill (Royal Ascot winning owner) set to feature.
There is also a charity auction online which you can visit at the yorkracecourse.co.uk news section which has some incredible lots up for grabs including a once in a lifetime trip to visit The Coolmore Stud and Ballydoyle Racing Stables.
Roossey, York, 3.45, Saturday
Hors De Combat, York, 3.10, Saturday.