Luke Morris reviews Ebor Festival and talks his Newmarket Saturday rides


IT was great to get on the board at York last Saturday with Scarlet Dragon, who really impressed me with his win in the 1m 2½f handicap.

He looked a nice horse beforehand, which is why I’d been keen on his chances in my blog last week, but when I was riding him he felt like a proper decent middle distance horse.

I’m sure he can go on to win another big handicap somewhere as he’s definitely still improving and is straightforward as well.

The standout performance of the week at York though was Mecca’s Angel winning a second Nunthorpe Stakes.

She proved herself again on a slightly quicker surface which people wondered whether she’d go on. She’s a top class mare and wherever she goes next, which I hope is the Abbaye, she’ll be the one to beat.

Having grabbed a treble last Saturday, I’m hoping for a winner or two this weekend as well.

1.50 Newmarket – Mr Pocket
He didn’t really handle the track last time and found five furlongs too sharp as well. It was a case of us thinking it was an easy opportunity to get a win with him and it didn’t work out. Back to six furlongs and back on the turf will suit him better and a much better run should be expected from him.

2.25 Newmarket – Second Nature
The handicapper hasn’t really taken any chances with him first time up. It’s a small field but a competitive one. Rodaini has done nothing wrong while Clef won a good nursery at the course a couple of weeks ago. I’d like to think we won’t be too far away at the end of the race.

3.00 Newmarket – Honiara
I rode him last time and he made a bit of a noise afterwards, so we’re hoping putting the tongue tie on for the first time might help the issue. He’s mostly raced in France so far and I think he’s handicap mark might slightly be on the stiff side at the moment.

3.35 Newmarket – Knights Table
He’s been in great form all year. He’s a funny horse as it took him a long time to get his head in front, but now he’s done that he seems to have grown in confidence. I think there is still room to manoeuvre off his handicap mark and he ran well at the track the last day, so hopefully he’s got a big chance.

4.10 Newmarket – Naadirr
This looks a competitive race but getting his head in front last time will have done him the world of good. He hadn’t won for a while so getting his head in front without having too hard a time will have done him so much good. He’s got plenty of talent and he’s a Listed winner in the past, so he has to have a good chance.

4.45 Newmarket – Rococoa
She’s in foal and since she’s been in foal she’s been in good order. This may well be her last run and the key to her is very fast ground. If the ground is on the quick side she’s sure to be thereabouts as she’s tough and honest.

5.20 Newmarket – Baileys Mirage
She drops back to five furlongs for the first time in her career, which is a slight unknown for her. However, if it can bring out that bit more improvement in her then she shouldn’t be too far away as she’s had a good year and won plenty.


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