It’s a reet grand meeting tha’ knows
When jockeys are asked about their favourite racecourses many have said that York is up there because it is very fair. So it is only right that one of the best meetings of the year takes place on the Knavesmire.
The best race, historically, is the Juddmonte International. It was first run in 1972 (as the Benson and Hedges Gold Cup) and won by that years Derby winner, Roberto. That race was memorable for a few reasons. The winning jockey, Braulio Baeza, was born in Panama. He was engaged because Lester Piggott had deserted Roberto to ride Derby runner- up Rheingold.
It was Baeza’s first time riding in England. It was also the only defeat suffered by Britain’s greatest horse of the 20th century (obviously my opinion but I am right) Brigadier Gerard who finished second by three lengths. He was ten lengths clear of the third and the winner broke the then track record.
Troy and Australia are two other Derby winners to be victorious in the race but Sea The Stars was probably the best horse to do the double. That 2009 season was a procession for the John Oxx trained colt.
Triptych won the race in 1987. Imagine owning a mare like her? Forty one runs, winning fourteen times (nine of them being Group Ones) and hitting the frame nineteen times with only one not being at the highest level. She had also been third in the race two years before behind Commanche Run and Fillies Triple Crown legend Oh So Sharp.
The start of this century saw some stellar winners including two of my all time favourite horses, Giants Causeway and Falbrav. The “Iron Horse” prevailed after another ding- dong battle with his old foe Kalanisi. Falbrav was winning the third of his four Group Ones that 2003 season.
Roaring Lion won a top class renewal last year. It was packed with Group One winners and he simply dismissed them. His turn of foot was just too much for them. And it is good to hear that the brilliant horse is still doing well in his recovery from colic. Still not there but encouraging signs.
Best until last
I have saved the best until last. In 2012 we got what we had all been waiting for. Frankel was finally stepped up to ten furlongs and he made top horses look pedestrian. Seven lengths clear of Farhh and St Nicholas Abbey and thirteen lengths ahead of the previous years winner, Twice Over. And I don’t think he was flat-out.
As Simon Holt said at the three furlong pole “They can’t get him off the bridle”. It was ridiculously easy for him.
Whistlejacket’s day one betting plan http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2uy
Gary McKenzie’s York view part one http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2tV
Horse-by-horse guide to the Nunthorpe Stakes http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2tx
Horse by–horse guide to the Yorkshire Oaks http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2t8
Horse-by-horse guide to the Juddmonte International http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2sx
Key stats for York’s Ebor Handicap http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2ss
The year of Enable http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2rR
The Stradivarius story – a race away from the second £1m bonus http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2rn
The Secret Racegoer’s Guide to York races http://wp.me/s8e3Dl-9340
The Secret Racegoer is overwhelmed by everyone wanting to help at York http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-20C
The story of York’s iconic races http://wp.me/p8e3Dl-2tV