The first day has been and gone of the York Ebor Festival and they were hit by a deluge of rain hours before the opening contest. The rain had a marked effect and changed the going from being on the firm side to definite soft ground.
The day started well with YAFTA winning well in the second race at Bath. Under Dane O’Neill the son of Dark Angel was sent forward and never looked like getting beat. He won a shade cosily in the end and looks a horse that is on the improve.
BARNEY ROY was the next runner and the hype and race planning was all coming to an end as they set on their way to post. There was no consistent favourite and it was between the first three in the market. Drawn the widest gate and with little known pace in the race James Doyle elected to go forward rather than go back where there would have been no pace and little cover. He travelled well in running and turning for home he was head and head with Cliffs Of Moher. They kicked a long way from home and Barney Roy stuck on gamely to the line although Ulysses was sat tracking him. He couldn’t go with Jim Crowley’s mount when he was finally asked to quicken but he managed to hang on for third. ‘I did think they kicked plenty early enough and with the softer conditions it turned the race into more of a stamina contest. He has run very well and I am very proud of the horse. I think under different circumstances we would have had a different result. He is a great horse to have in the yard and I am sure there are many good days yet to be had with him.’
The last runner on the day came at Kempton where some late support halved the odds of PEAK PRINCESS in the final half an hour. She was slowly away under Sean Levey and settled at the rear of the field. Turning for home she still sat last and it wasn’t until with under a furlong to go she sliced through the pack to get her head in front close to the line. ‘I thought she did that a touch cosily in the end and it looks like the change in headgear has helped. I think she will have no trouble going in again after this.’
Today’s action comes from both York and Chepstow with 8 runners heading to post.