P>1715: Well that's been a day of rare success. Plenty of winners and you know what. I think we may have seen the Oaks winner too. I'm off to celebrate with pastry - or gammon. But not salad. And a soothing ale or three. Thanks for all your input and let's do battle again for Dante day tomorrow. Promises to be another cracking afternoon.
1705: I'm pleased to say Mayson is fine after his Duke Of York. It seems he got his leg caught in the stalls.
1655: A winning end to the day for Richard Fahey who says: "He's quite a nice horse, we do like him and he's still not the finished article. To win from that draw is a very good performance. I'm delighted with him."
1st 17 Baccarat (IRE) 5-1 F
2nd 5 Van Der Art 10-1
3rd 3 Three Am Tour (IRE) 8-1
4th 7 Nameitwhatyoulike 10-1
1640: Flood of money for Tartiflette in the last. I've backed Baccarat and Ardmay (each-way). Would love Byronic Hero to run well for Jedd O'Keeffe too.
1630: John Sandys is soon to embark on his major charity drive. He's one of the good guys and says: "Just read the blog from earlier, some interesting thoughts on the Dante.
I thought Fencing ran a really eyecatching race in the 2000 and could be value not only for tomorrow but also the Derby. Seemed to travel very well and at least we know Jonny G's horses are in good form!
"Had emails from Saratoga to Darley stud re TheDerbyWalk, anyone still wishing to participate can register by going to www.thederbywalk2012.co.uk. Hope the puntings going well."
Good luck with everything JS!
1620: Lee Westwood was there to welcome back Hoofalong who made a very encouraging start to his career in second.
1615: A host of eyecatchers but none more so than Tatilsu who bucks at the start, badly misses the kick and still finishes in the thick of the chasing pack. What a game.
1st 2 Lastchancelucas 8-1
2nd 7 Hoofalong 25-1
3rd 3 Mrs Brown's Boy 5-1
1608: Today is going worringly well. I now have a scone to devour. If Tatlisu wins here the game is once again for the good guys.
1600: Gold on the drying ground for Ektihaam in the Dante tomorrow: "It may have been testing at Newbury but this will be fine for him. If he's beaten tomorrow it won't be because of the ground."
1555: Angus Gold said of the winner: "He had a few problems last year and was always going to be better as a four-year-old. Paul was surprised by how well he picked up."
1545: And ladies and gentleman we have the exacta. The winner may win the Ebor and I've collected £46.30. A large toblerone will now be heading home with me.
1st 5 Mulaqen 8-1
2nd 11 Mica Mika (IRE) 7-1
3rd 20 Eagle Rock (IRE) 12-1
4th 9 Swinging Hawk (GER) 33-1
1530: My regular reader, Steve in Sheffield, knows I like to give the exacta a go at this time of the day. 5-11-14 perm the call - or Mulaqen, Mica Mika and Vasily in old money.
1520: That win meant an awful lot to Kevin Ryan who said: "Unfortunately Mr Reed can't be here today but I told him Tiddliwinks was a better horse coming into this race than he was last year. We really did fancy him. I knew Bogart would run well but he's going to improve an awful lot for the outing.
"I'm just so pleased to have a winner for Mr Reed at this meeting. He's been a huge supporter of the yard, he's 15 to 20 horses with me every year. He's a wonderful character, a wonderful man and I'm so pleased for him."
1515: Bet Ben Linfoot backed him - he loves the Guy Reed silks. No fluke though. Mayson is eased down to finish a remote last, he was awkward out the stalls and I hope everything is ok with him.
1st 11 Tiddliwinks 25-1
2nd 10 The Cheka (IRE) 9-1
3rd 8 Society Rock (IRE) 8-1
1457: JP from Paris writes: "Hi Dave, glad the Fugue will make all those pints of lovely beer more enjoyable, as I told a friend and fellow golfer, concerning Hoof it's jockey, it is fairly appropriate to have "Ryan Moore" on it, as it is owned by Westwood and Chandler...but I am backing the French horse, restiadargent...good luck."
And to you JP!
1454: This has already been a good day - Mayson (another Placepot banker) please make it even better.
1451: Gill Nevin says: "You told us Mr Ord! Get in The Fugue! Now, without asking Jeeves or consulting Wikipedia, tell us what it means"
Not for the first time I'm going to fail you Gill. Now it must be something to do with music judging by Stewart Machin's commentary quip.
1448: Bookmakers are impressed, Ladbrokes make The Fugue their 7-2 joint-favourite for the Investec Oaks, our sponsors Sky Bet go 4-1 with Paddy Power as big as I've seen at 6s.
1445: I sometimes think this blog should be behind a premium rate number...The Fugue is much the best.
1440: John Gosden says of his ultra-impressive Musidora winner: "She was very inexperienced running in the Guineas off the back of a maiden win but she's a lovely filly. She ran great at Newmarket but we're back on decent ground and all being well she'll be going to Epsom.
"I just wouldn't want to see the ground go soft. If it does she'd revert to the French Oaks but she has a good turn of foot and William felt she'd stay very well. She's classy and showed it today."
1st 5 The Fugue 15-8
2nd 6 Twirl (IRE) 5-6 F
1428: Vow caused more than a few ripples in the Investec Oaks market at Lingfield on Saturday. I think the trial we're about to see is going to be equally significant.
1420: Twirl oozes quality in the paddock and looks fantastic. I'm still team The Fugue but enthusiasm is waning. She's bankered in the Placepot too...
1407: What a levellever the great game is. Through the Pot but the main bet Dickie's Lad finishes...fifth. That's right. Fifth. I'm off in a sulk to look at the Musidora field in the pre-parade ring.
1st 8 Secret Witness 14-1
2nd 19 Baby Strange 12-1
3rd 17 Fast Shot 25-1
4th 2 Waffle (IRE) 10-1
1400: News of Flag Officer in the opener and it seems he wasn't reluctant. He's finished lame behind and is receiving treatment in the racecourse stables.
1359: Mixed emotions for David Nicholls. Victoire De Lyphar is withdrawn not under starters orders but Tajneed wins best turned out.
P>1355: Well through the Placepot and to be fair that looks a good first leg. Five running here - they are in racecard order - 1 7 13 15 and 19. If Dickie's Lad does indeed win I shall be retiring to the Theakston's Bar and I bid you a good afternoon.
1352: The time of the opener suggests the ground is just on the easy side of good.<
1348: If you backed Flag Officer with Sky Bet and Paddy Power, I have some good news. They're refunding all win and each-way single bets about the reluctant favourite in the first.
1345: Talking of the good guys and gals, Gill Nevin writes: "Afternoon Dave, from another great city. I have recently moved into a new office which commands spectacular views over the Mersey Estuary, not quite the Knavesmire but we all have to seek small consolations in life. I'm hoping Richard Fahey will put his woeful napping performances behind him with Tatlisu hosing up and I think Hoof It will outclass his rivals today. I have also had a word for Mr Tallyman in the 6.00 at Perth if anyone wants a dabble. I too was a fan of Bireme, I reckon she might have beaten Henbit!"
Was a big fan of the R Hollingsworth silks as warn by Bireme - and the horses of Mark Dixon nowadays. They scream class GN. Cheers for the Perth tip.
1341: Great to have Jenny From Sarajevo here. She says: "Afternoon, young Dave. Just back from a road trip (no, not that kind!) to a "castle" (think Disney without the pink...) Well, anything can happen in Bosnia, and probably will, as, for example, the road trip being rain, ice, snow, fog, rain, fog, snow and so on for four hours..... Also greetings to Falbrav, and Jen from BSE purely on the basis of namesakeism.
"As to today, a quick dart at some place only betting, with Tajneed, Eagle Rock and Intuition being the recipients of my meagre but carefully considered support....I think Dandy Nicholls has rather been keeping Tajneed's powder dry, Eagle Rock appeals at the weights, and Intuition has improvement to come. Best of luck!"
And to you Jen. I'm a big fan of castles...and roman walls which is good when you're in York.
1339: Lovely reply from Brian in Thailand who writes: "Fancy you remembering that far back. Yes Henbit held off Master Willie by half a length on three legs ( Epsom was hard that year and Bireme never ran again after jarring up ) in the 1980 Derby.
"As crazy as it sounds ( William Hill in Liverpool Street took the bet ) , I placed an Ante Post double the previous September ( after she got beat in the Houghton Stakes but had gone in her coat ) with Bireme in the Oaks and Master Willie in the Derby. He was a doubtful runner on the eve of the Derby with a hay ball stuck in his throat. I have always known Henry Candy ( and his father Derrick ) to be the greatest of trainers and true gentlemen ; later he coaxed Mater Williw back to win the Benson and Hedges at York as well as many other top races."
Golden days Bri! My dad was a Dick Hern fanatic so the West Ilsley equine heroes of the 1970s and 1980s played a huge part in my early development!
1335: Here we go, the game is cracked! Gatewood wins well, despite running green under pressure. Lot to like about the run of Area Fifty One with the future in mind and sadly for favourite backers Flag Officer virtually refuses to race.
1st 13 Gatewood 13-2
2nd 14 Romeo Montague 22-1
3rd Sirvino 10-1
1325: My first day's racing was at York in the summer of 1977. I was four. Can the 39-year-old and bearded Dave Ord open the season at this magnificent racecourse with a winner? Gatewood it's over to you.
1315: Market moves time from our sponsors Sky Bet. Some interesting stuff too.
Hoof It is very well backed in the Duke Of York and is 2 from 7/2. Twirl is all the rage for the Musidora and is 10/11 from 13/8 while the Richard Fahey pair of Mica Mika (5 from 7/1) and Baccarat 5 from 10 are other movers.
1305: Big thanks to Bruce for this reassuring words: "Stick to your guns re The Fugue Dave. Just look at all the money piling on Twirl as a bonus as we'll be getting better odds on The Fugue as a result. Looks bombproof to me. Party time!"
1300: Ron writes: "Your take on Ernest Hemingway for the Dante, now that ground has dried up( May be a bit dead), and more importantly his participation in the Derby (Took a speculative punt at 50/1 EW) yes he was only an Irish Maiden winner, albeit by 10 lengths The trainer is not averse to run 2 or 3 in the race ...Camelot is now to short in price and Joseph is sure to ride him."
EH firmly in the could be anything category R. My early thoughts though are that Fencing may be a bit of value in the Dante?
1245: John Carus says: "hope you are well and looking forward to 3 days great racing. I am keeping my powder dry after a few bruising losses in the past week. I fear your Fugue bet is in trouble with the massive confidence behind the Ballydoyle horse. A heads up to my mate Paul Davis who had his horse Montys Revenge placed at Hereford yesterday. His first placing from owning horses in 72 runs!! Have a great day and have a pint of Black Sheep for me!"
Congratulations to PD! Lady Kildare reappeared yesterday to finish ninth at Beverley. Strangely we were pleased with her!
1240: Rich Lynn touches on the buzz horse of the day. He writes: "I'm with Gatewood too. Along with Baby Strange and The Cheka . Later on am on Vasily at 12s last night.
This bit not for posting but connections are adamant that Vasily is a Group horse masquerading in a handicap - over the moon with it's current mark."
There's little doubt that Vasily has been the best backed horse of the day here RL. Double figure prices have long gone.
1230: Maurice Wills In Aberdeen says: "Can't for the life of me see past FLAG OFFICER today, trainer has farmed this race over the past few years and with normal improvement should prove far too good for these.When you look at the 2nd fav Gatewood got beat in a lower class race and the third fav usually needs a run, so if I'm not missing something as his 2nd to SEA MOON has proved a very good form guide with that one running really well in group races beating group winners."
Money around for him to MW. Hard to knock his chance.
1220: Apologies for the sporadic updates...lunch and a meeting. One was longer than the other.
1155: Brian In Chumpton Thailand writes: "The Musidora is a favourite race of mine and I'll never forget Bireme's superb win there prior to her Oaks triumph in 1980. I hope the race is a true test of stamina despite the small field and, if it is, Good Morning Star looks like a progressive, late developer and , what's more, she has connections to the same Felucca blood line as Bireme that endow her with oodles of stamina."
Ahh Bireme, a favourite of a very young Dave Ord. Wasn't she part of the Major's Derby-Oaks double Bri?
1150: Not for the first time it seems I may be wrong. There's an infectious enthusiasm for Twirl here at York - and in the betting market too it seems. She's now odds-on in several places and you won't beat even money.
1145: Bear isn't playing games and says: "Forget about Hoof It- it will need the run. Mayson is a certainty to complete quick fire hat-trick."
Well B I too expect Mayson to win given he arrives here cherry-ripe and in peak form.
1140: Now now Rich Lynn who says: "Hey Dave, don't worry about Tatlisu. Fahey has put his charity bet on it. He hasn't won a single one yet. A cynic might say he uses it to divert attention from the real fancied ones bearing in mind he's had plenty of winners running on the same day as these 'bankers'. lol!"
I can assure you the great man is tearing his hair out (not literally) at the run of the charity bet. He has raised £100 for the Yorkshire Air Ambulance so far...a figure worryingly close the one I managed at last year's Go Racing In Yorkshire Festival.
Area Fifty One potentially interesting for Mr F in the opener. I've backed Gatewood and think Labarinto will run well too.
1130: Four non-runners this far - and for Roger Charlton in the Duke Of York...and then there were none. Definightly out because of the drying ground.
1125: I'm going to have to plead the fifth to Jason Barbour who asks: "What is your opinion on the draw for today's races on the straight course? Shropshire for me in the 2.00 ew"
It's very hard to know nowadays JB - which I know is of no use whatsoever. Shropshire must have a huge chance but I was quite taken with Dickie's Lad on his return at Chester where he had no luck. He's my guess. But I stress the word guess.
1120: Aiden O'Leary is in one of the great cities - Dublin. He says: "Just keeping an eye on your excellent commentary as per usual today. Perhaps there will be some strange goings on in Area Fifty One today in the 1:30 and hopefully York Glory will make a glorious day for York! How is the weather there now?"
Like that AO! It's clouded over a little here now and is a little chilly but no sign of rain. It remains a raceourse that demans the highest of standards. Just been speaking to Will Hayler, formerly of these parts and now of the Guardian, on the lawn outside. A steward wandered over and made it very clear he had to put a tie on or leave. There was no stand-off but just a warning shot across the bow.
1110: Lovely to have Jen From BSE back after a "technical" issue. She says: "I have just discovered why my Guineas emails never reached you. When you click on the link it tries to send to .co.uk rather than .com a task for the technical department I think. In view of the lost wisdom, when my selections were truly awful, I think it only fair to suggest a live blog from Southwell. If you type Southwold into the Sat Nav in "error" you will find yourself at the home of Adnams, it has to be worth a try!
"For me it is all about Twirl today, she was the one 2 year old that really took my eye last season. A very respectable 2nd behind Chrysanthemum and a long way in front of Homecoming Queen last time, the trip is ideal, she out-class her rivals and is being backed as though defeat is not on the radar. While I suspect the Oaks trip maybe beyond her stamina there will be tears before bedtime if she fails today. Do try to concentrate on matters equine!"
I will Jen - and the email link should now be fixed. I'd like to blame the IT team but can't...it's a mix-up involving Ben Linfoot and myself. As he's on holiday I'll blame Scoop.
1100: Ah, great to have Falbrav with us. He writes: "Tis dry in York but cold and damp in Heidiland. However, the good news is that 1.5 days of public holiday begin in precisely one hour. So, I can grab a quick drink before heading home to watch Channel 4 and top up my liquid intake with semi-fermented apfelsaft. I don't like to get too heavily involved at this stage of the season so I have just done a win L15 and each way acca on the following: 1.30 Labarinto2.00 Baby Strange2.30 The Fugue 3.00 Mayson I have low expectations so cannot be disappointed! Great to have you back blogging and I wish you financial success...especially with The Fugue!"
1050: Rich Williams says: "Hope you are well - looking at the big sprint day, I can't quite believe The Cheka is double the price of Mayson - he beat him comfortably in the Cammidge, and Mayson has duly upheld that form by winning twice since - Hoof It runs FTO and ground may be a little too soft for him, although he has won on similar before - looks a terrific race with a few other high class sprinters (Society Rock, Libranno, Sirius Prospect to name but a few). The Cheka for me however, think he has a best of the draw too."
Sound reasoning RW. I fancy Mayson but you can certainly argue wherever he finishes, The Cheka has to be thereabouts.
1040: Bootiful email from Brownie who writes: "Morning Dave, thoughts of your modeling career, i.e. "Chef carrying a Turkey" immediately draws comparisons to a young, ambitious and equallydashing Bernard Matthews, is he a hero of yours?
"Anyway, talking of "Beautiful', lovely to see the action is back underway at the Knavesmere, you wont find a better track anywhere!
"I've had Hoof It early doors last week at 5's in the Sprint, and Twirl should sluce up to confirm the heavy support of this mornings in the Oaks trial. Will be a watching day on the whole for me today, the sun is out, looking forward to it."
Never a fan of B Mathews or his twizzlers Brownie lad. And I thought I'd made it clear The Fugue wins the Musidora? You can't help some people...
1030: A very good morning to Andy Kay who says: "Had a decent bet on Hoof It today but I am intrigued by his trainer sending the unraced Hoofalong to start his career in the 4.10. He's the only unraced horse in the race and it seems an interesting place to start bearing in mind connections. The 25-1 has tempted me to throw a speculative few quid it's way."
Certainly interesting that he runs here AK - the two-year-old that is. But looks a warm race. Check out Richard Fahey's verdict on the race, he's certainly sweet on Tatlisu in there.
On the subject of Hoof It anyone else surprised to see Kieren Fallon given the elbow? Did precious little wrong on the horse for me.
1022: Remarkaby the photo shoot is continuing. Make-up is being applied to the female models but bearded man remains a lone wolf. So true in normal life too.
1020: I fully expect The Fugue to win the Musidora today - comfortably - and to be cut for the Investec Oaks. Twirl has plenty of talent but may not be the most straightforward.
1015: A new addition to the track is an orange wind sock by the furlong marker. It's fluttering into life and seems to be suggesting a gentle cross-breeze.
1000: A good and glorious morning from York where the ground has dried out to good for the opening day of the Dante Festival. We a love a Festival in the great game. The track looks in wonderful nick and a dry day is forecast.
Forgive me if I seem distracted but a photo shoot is taking place in front of the press room involving models, carnival horses and striped poles. Most red-blooded males would be in their element but I just want to ask the bearded male model how he wears a maroon suit with the prevalent danger of beard dandruff. Don't think he's a man's man though, he's draped in a blanket between shoots.
As ever all your emails are positively encouraged to firstname.lastname@example.org. This modelling game has changed since my triumphant appearance in the 2000 Women And Home Christmas Special (chef carrying turkey). They're positively mollycoddled these days.