Encouraging reappearance but you can make a case for them all
14:25 York - Noon Star
There isn't much to choose between Noon Star and Ville De Grace in here - indeed, between all six of these - so it is a difficult race to call. Ville de Grace obviously ran very well for me when just touched off in the Dahlia on her return but I ride Noon Star, who also made a very encouraging reappearance when beating two higher-rated fillies off levels at Nottingham.
That was just her sixth start and she is a horse I can see progressing throughout the season.
She finished second to Snowfall in the Musidora here last season and you have to think she will go well but, as I said, you can make a case for all of these. I don't know if much rain is forecast but I'd like some for Noon Star. I wouldn't underestimate Ville De Grace at all, though, especially as stepping up in trip will suit her.
Big step up needed but I hope we'll see it
15:35 York - Bluegrass
This is another significant Derby trial, clearly the best run in England this season, and hopefully Bluegrass can throw his hat into the Epsom ring, too. He clearly has to step forward considerably to even get competitive here but I would hope and expect you will see a sharper colt after his fourth in the Derrinstown.
It is obvious that a lot of our horses have been coming on appreciably for their first runs.
We have winning Group 1 form represented by El Bodegon, the Kodiac colt having beaten Stone Age at Saint Cloud last season, and he clearly brings proven form to the table along with Guineas eighth Royal Patronage.
I rode El Bodegon over 7f in France last season and I got off and said to James that the horse needs further, and I can't understand why he isn't favourite in here as the Group 1 winner, and over 1m2f too, with the best form in the field.
Obviously, there are a few in here with the potential to reach, and possibly surpass, their level and a lot of people will be focusing on Desert Crown and Magisterial no doubt. Desert Crown was clearly very impressive at Nottingham last season and I have ridden him at home, and he is a good colt, make no mistake.
But this is a trial, so it would perhaps be unrealistic to expect him to be spot on his first start since November. I'd say El Bodegon and Desert Crown are another two that wouldn't mind seeing rain.
Winnable race so has his chance
16:10 York - King Of Bavaria
I haven't ridden him yet but he obviously won both his starts last season and I imagine everyone was satisfied by his return when fourth at Navan, considering he probably didn't get the run of the race that day. This is another tricky contest to call but I'd probably say he has a favourite's chance in a winnable race with that Navan run under his belt.
Very big chance and won't mind any rain
17:20 York - Ahorsewithnoname
She ran a great race at a big price when second in the mares' novices hurdle at Cheltenham and I liked her attitude when she won for me at Newbury last time. I think she did it a little bit cosier than the winning distance suggests, and the third was well back too, so a 6lb rise is probably fair. She has a very good chance again, I'd have thought. Again, if there is any rain about, she'd be pleased to see it.