Draw is awkward but drop back will suit
13:50 - My Frankel
He was beaten a long way behind Prince Alex in Goodwood but the trip of 1m6f and very soft ground were against him there and he's probably better judged on his third behind Alounak in Haydock the time before. The drop back to 1m4f and decent ground will bring out the best in him here but he's drawn 16 and that could prove awkward.
Tough assignment awaits
14:25 - Stratum
A former-Cesarewitch winner, my first sit on him was when he won the Queen Alexandra in Royal Ascot where he stayed on really well, on soft ground, to win by three-and-a-quarter lengths. He was well suited by the conditions of that race and the form has worked out ok with the runner up, Calling The Wind, going on to land the staying handicap in Goodwood for Richard Hughes.
This is a much tougher assignment and both Stradivarius, a two time winner of this race, and G1 Goodwood Cup Winner Trueshan will be hard to beat. Stradivarius, who missed Goodwood because of the soft ground, gets his conditions here though, while Trueshan, who is officially rated 3lbs inferior to Stradivarius, has to carry a G1 penalty for that Goodwood win and will be giving the Gosden's horse 3lbs.
Improver takes on top opponents
15:35 - Chil Chil
This is a really hot renewal of the Nunthrope. The Wes Ward trained Golden Pal, who the Coolmore partners have bought into and looked in serious order when wining a G3 sprint in Saratoga last month, and King George Stakes winner, Suesa, set a very high standard. Then you have Winter Power and Dragon Symbol who are not far off the principles.
Chil Chil was a nice spare to pick up when King's Lynn wasn't declared. She is an improved performer this year. Having said that, she has never won over 5f and this will be a very different experience for her. She ran respectably in the July Cup and I'm hoping she can come forward from that.
New ride in a strong race
16:10 - Sharvara
The Convivial 7f is a £70,000 maiden so it's always a strong race. I ride the Kingman colt, Sharvara, for Richard Hannon and I really don't know a lot about him. Of the runners with form, Broadspear ran a very encouraging race when second to a well regarded horse of Ralph Beckett's in Sailsbury and Hoo Ya Mal was getting the hang of things late on in Sandown. Like I said, it's always a competitive race and the betting may be the best guide.
Hoping for more maturity
17:10 - Rifleman
This will be my first time back on him since he unseated me in Sandown last April. They subsequently put blinkers on him and he ran well when beaten a little over 6L by Wobwobwob over this course and distance.
Following that it was decided to give him a gelding operation and a break, so the second to the 104 rated and former Queen Anne winner, Accidental Agent was a very encouraging effort on the July course. Hopefully he is growing up a bit and a return to York should bring out the best in him but it's a typically tough York handicap and a whole host of horses have chances.