Irish Hopes At York’s Ebor Festival
York’s four-day Ebor meeting kicks off on Wednesday 17th August and there’s a host of Irish horses entered over the four days to keep interest alive. Courage Under Fire gets the ball rolling for Aidan O’Brien in the Group 3 Acomb Stakes and he’ll have his work cut out to get the better of likely favourite Best Of Days who was so, so impressive on debut at Sandown.
Idaho, Housesofparliament & The Major General all represent Ballydoyle in the Group 2 Great Voltigeur and it will be a huge surprise if Idaho doesn’t collect. He ran 3rd in the Epsom Derby and followed that up by finishing 2nd in the Irish derby – on both occasions being beaten by Harzand. He looks banker material.
Its Ballydoyle again flying the Irish flag in the big race on Wednesday, the Group 1 Juddmonte. Sir Isaac Newton and Highland Reel will attempt to add to Aidan O’Brien’s four wins in the last eight years but they’ll have a huge task trying to beat Postponed who has looked a much improved horse this year and comes here fresh on the back of a scintillating victory in the Coronation Cup at Epsom.
The 2-Mile Handicap sees Botany Bay, Renneti, Eshtiaal and Modem try to bring some Sterling back across the water and, of the four, Renneti can be fancied to build on his Galway effort. Eshtiaal has won over C&D and was also a recent hurdles winner at Cartmel and is a big danger.
Roly Poly represents Aidan O’Brien in the Group 2 Lowther on Thursday and she probably has no chance of turning over Fair Eva, a daughter of Frankel who looked unstoppable last time at Ascot. Magical Fire also runs for Michael O’Callaghan.
Found, Even Song, Pretty Perfect, Seventh Heaven & Turret Rocks all turn out for Team Ireland in the Group 1 Yorkshire Oaks and, of the five, Found looks most likely to take home the prize.
Glamorous Approach lines up for Jim Bolger in the mile & a half Listed contest and should appreciate the drop in distance having run over two miles latest.
Sole Power & Washington DC are the sole Irish entries in Friday’s Group 1 Nunthorpe but both will be very much up against it with the likes of Yalta and, particularly, Limato who was super impressive in the July Cup at Newmarket.
Ivan Grozny will be a big fancy to give Willie Mullins his second Ebor following a hugely impressive win at the Galway Festival and he may be joined in the field by Quick Jack & Heartbreak City – both from the Tony Martin stable.