Muntahaa provided John Gosden with his first win in the Skybet Ebor and captured a memorable week for the former champion trainer. The five year old who contested the St Leger a couple of years ago, was taken wide by Jim Crowley during the early stages having emerged from stall 21. Creeping into contention, he travelled strongly throughout before getting the better of his stablemate Weekender, who ran a cracker under top weight. Blakeney Point ran creditably in fifth but may have preferred more ease in the ground, while the Willie Mullins pair Whiskey Sour and Stratum met trouble in running when mounting their challenges. Once again, it paid to have a wide draw.
There have been 5 winners in the York Ebor Update over the four days - Phoenix of Spain (8/1), Fairyland (4/1), Sea of Class (7/4), Urban Aspect (5/1) & Lord Glitters (3/1). The last two days have been disappointing, although we haven't had the rub of the green on occasions. Mabs Cross (Advised @ 16/1) was beaten a nose in the Nunthorpe Stakes on Friday. Michael Dods' filly was one of seven selections who filled the runners-up berth. I was convinced she had won when her and Alpha Delphini flashed past the post but it was Bryan Smart's seven year old who emerged victorious. The Prix de L'Abbaye at Longchamp may provide ample compensation for her in early October. The other frustrating aspect of the week, in terms of my selections, was the fact Flaming Spear (4/1) and Limato (4/1) won elsewhere, while South African import Whisky Baron (20/1) finished second in the Group 2 Celebration Mile at Goodwood.
Urban Aspect looks a future Pattern performer judged on his impressive win in the concluding one mile handicap on Friday. A half-brother to Chester Cup consolation winner Look My Way, he was making his handicap debut off a mark of 93 and readily beat Crack On Crack On by a length and three quarters. Andrew Balding's team are in terrific form at present (18 winners in the last fortnight and counting) and he has a smart three year old his hands. Owned by Kingsclere Racing Club, it would be no surprise to see the son of Cityscape sporting the increasingly familiar blue and white silks of King Power Racing Co Limited in the near future.
It time to concentrate on One Jump Ahead and getting that finished off...................
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