Sky Sports Today - Breaking Transfer News, Build-up to Super Sunday and the Latest Sports News

Live York blog

Will Hayler blogs live from the York Dante Meeting

  • Wednesday's York blog will appear here from 1000
    5/13/2014 4:16:02 PM
  • York calling, York calling. Good morning one and all from the Knavesmire where the sun is shining and everything looks nice and shiny for the first day of racing from this brilliant track in 2014.
    5/14/2014 9:26:04 AM
  • Despite buckets of rain on Monday and yesterday, I suspect it won't be long until the turf starts to quicken up. The investment in improved drainage since the Ebor meeting washout in 2008 means the track dries out much more quickly than used to be the case, but it will definitely be on the soft side for today at least. Officially we remain 'Soft, Good to Soft in places' with a GoingStick reading of 6.6.
    5/14/2014 9:29:19 AM
  • As you can see there is a 'comment' box above, in which you can - guess what - make your comments, so why not let me know your fancies for the first day of the Dante meeting. Having read his programme notes, I can also tell you that York's chief executive William Derby "very much" hopes that you "have an enjoyable and successful day and start the Knavesmire season as you mean to go on". So there you go - everyone's on our side! Now, if he can just tell us where you want to be drawn in the sprints...
    5/14/2014 9:32:48 AM
  • The first course-walker has been spotted. It's an unidentified man with a big brown stick, a brown coat, brown trousers and brown wellingtons. I'm calling him Mr Brown. I confidently expect him to be the first of many as the start of racing draws nearer.
    5/14/2014 9:39:08 AM
  • Next up is trainer David Griffiths, moonwalking his way across the width of the track with impressive endeavour and professionalism.
    5/14/2014 9:56:21 AM
  • I, of course, recognised him straight away using my in-depth racing knowledge. It had nothing to do with the fact that he is wearing a t-shirt with his own name on it. If only all racing people would adopt a similarly bold approach to identification...
    5/14/2014 9:58:10 AM
  • I understand from longstanding correspondent Jen From BSE that there is an issue with the 'comments' facility and being logged out. I am investigating this (ie I have no idea why this is happening, so I'm going to turn it off and back on again).
    5/14/2014 9:59:22 AM
  • I think that may have done the trick Will
    5/14/2014 10:09:51 AM
  • Praise the Lord, Jen. We're rocking and rolling. 40 minutes' worth of technical nightmare but it was worth it.
    5/14/2014 10:10:19 AM
  • Good blog. Very good blog. Disappointed with the subbing errors in Lydia's piece though - ruined it for me.
    5/14/2014 10:10:40 AM
  • I know who you are. I was tired. Sorry. Good piece though.
    5/14/2014 10:11:06 AM
  • And so let's kick on with a hot tip. I was at Ballydoyle on Monday (as you do) and Aidan O'Brien told us all to back Due Diligence in the 6.45 at Naas, the horse having kicked aside 110-rated Guerre in a gallop last week, but being able to run off 97 in a handicap tonight. Of course, this might all have been an elaborate experiment in making the press do their dough and look very silly, but at 15/8 I've been prepared to take the chance!
    5/14/2014 10:12:40 AM
  • Thinking about it, my trip to Aidan was another victory for wearing your name prominently as it meant he was able to call me Will (clocking the name badge we were all made to wear) when I plucked up the courage to ask him a couple of questions.
    5/14/2014 10:16:13 AM
  • Hey Will, I'm tuning in from down under and find it difficult to assess the weather and feel of the day from this far away. When you say the going is soft, is it soft heavy or soft sticky? I think the Musidora looks a fascinating race with all different form lines and positives to be found in about half the field. However I took the plunge on Queen Of Ice. What are your thoughts on my selection and her rivals in the days feature?
    5/14/2014 10:26:05 AM
  • Greetings Thomas. There was a lot of rain yesterday. Indeed, I was surprised by how little they said they'd had given that I live less than a mile away. However, it has been dry for the last 12 hours and it's warm and fairly clear today. I don't think they'll be going in enough to say it's sticky.
    5/14/2014 10:28:33 AM
  • The Musidora, not unlike the Oaks - for which it remains one of the pre-eminent trials - looks a minefield, and the complete opposite of the Derby in the sense that the form picture is so wishy-washy that anything that wins well today is going to be promoted to second-favourite behind Taghrooda. I'm a big Seb Sanders fan, and ground with any sort of give in it is going to help Queen Of Ice but it really wasn't a great maiden that she won at Kempton last month and she has a heck of a lot of further improvement to find.
    5/14/2014 10:31:09 AM
  • Is it soft enough for Jack D and will his draw in box 1 be ok??
    5/14/2014 10:34:58 AM
  • Good question Jim. The answer to the first bit is that it's not going to be as soft as his supporters would ideally want, but that he has a better chance of winning today than on tomorrow or Friday. As for the draw, I guess it depends upon a) how things go in the sprint handicap and whether that influences the jockeys and b) how aggressively Astaire is going to be ridden from stall two.
    5/14/2014 10:36:32 AM
  • Mind you, there's been a bit of money floating around for your other runner, Jim - and he should get near enough his ideal conditions for the first time in a while today!
    5/14/2014 10:37:36 AM
  • Super Maarek's got his ground today so he'll win.
    5/14/2014 10:37:53 AM
  • You've got to like the way he stepped forward from his first run to his second, but it's a big ask for him to give 5lb away to everything today. I suspect he'll be a very worthy third or fourth.
    5/14/2014 10:38:56 AM
  • Morning Will, I'm feeling depressed after reading the declarations for the Yorkshire Cup. I had backed Ernest Hemingway on the assumption that the ground would quicken up and I also see Mount Athos (who swerved Chester because of the soft going) has not been declared either. Can nobody read a weather forecast? I'm not betting today but if anybody is looking for a lively each way shot, I would steer them towards Global Village in the opener. Have a great meeting - hope you find plenty of winners!
    5/14/2014 10:39:12 AM
  • Thank you Falbrav. Global Village has become a bit of an expensive horse for me recently, so it would be typical for him to come back and bite me on the bottom today just when I have left him alone. Your point about the Yorkshire Cup is interesting - and you are right, I strongly suspect that both EH and MA are non-runners on account of the ground when conditions could be coming just right for them by the time the race gets underway on Friday. This wouldn't be the first time that 48-hour declarations have caught trainers out at York in terms of incorrectly guessing how the ground is going to go. Wasn't that the case with Pallasator in last year's Ebor?
    5/14/2014 10:45:42 AM
  • Some very tough races today Will, It appears that the "Word" for the Stoute hotpot in the 3.50 reached the bookmakers sometime last week and they are understandably cautious. Obviously well-regarded with a Group 1 entry but the soft ground and 19 other horses to negotiate hardly makes 3/1 or thereabouts seem particularly good value, win or not.
    5/14/2014 10:49:43 AM
  • I've backed it Jen. Sadly I backed it for the 2000 Guineas, so that money is now long gone. But my Newmarket moles told me it was working very nicely in March before meeting a setback and having to miss a possible run in the Craven or Greenham.
    5/14/2014 10:52:23 AM
  • 5/14/2014 10:54:36 AM
  • Front-runners / prominent racers day at York today? Whaddye think?
    5/14/2014 10:57:34 AM
  • I don't think it's easy for frontrunners at York since they started coming off the rail and up the middle in the longer races, Geoff. That said, horses that come from well off the pace are also pretty few and far between. I have backed Jamaican Bolt in the six-furlong handicap in the hope that he sits second or third (possibly behind Whozthecat) and pounces at the furlong-pole. That's the plan.
    5/14/2014 11:00:25 AM
  • Good morrow Will! As I look out from my glass tower at the glorious sunshine I can only hope the weather is as good in God's own county. Always an informative couple of days on the Knavesmire and I'm sure this year will not disappoint. A lot to like about Rye House in the first with the red hot Moore on board, it seems important to go with a horse with a pipeopener in the next so will side with Baccarat, Queen of Ice to use match fitness to beat Cambridge and finally Astaire to relish the flyweight against his elders and boost the Greenham form further. Screams lucky 15 I hear you say. Good luck all.
    5/14/2014 11:00:32 AM
  • The forecast is fantastic but as Mrs H is planning to bring the kids for a picnic in the middle of the course later, you can bet it will start to cloud up as soon as the lemonade is poured, Anonymous In The City. I would usually be dead against a three-year-old in the Duke Of York Stakes as I don't think the weight allowance is enough, but Astaire really impressed me in the Greenham as he looked to have even Kingman in a spot of bother until he got tired at the furlong-pole. He's right in the Trifecta mix!
    5/14/2014 11:03:03 AM
  • I'm pleased to report that the stripey poles at the front of the Old County Stand look to have had a lick of paint in the winter. There's something gloriously odd about being in a grandstand that looks a bit like a stick of rock. God bless you, York - don't ever go changing on me.
    5/14/2014 11:04:51 AM
  • Pork pie it is. Delicious. To the 33 per cent of you who voted for option four - I note your comments.
    5/14/2014 11:06:07 AM
  • Looking forward to the start of the Dante Festival tomorrow. @RichardFahey horse in new Pre-Parade Ring today: http://pbs.twimg.com/media/BniJLNiIUAAvTzP.jpg

  • Regular York racegoers will be pleased/disappointed/ambivalent to know that the fella who sings the old jazz numbers in front of the weighing room is back for yet another year. He's Puttin On The Ritz again right now.
    5/14/2014 11:19:41 AM
  • Meanwhile, Rye House is proving a little easy to back again having been all the rage for the opener when betting got under way last night. He's edging back out towards 4/1.
    5/14/2014 11:22:35 AM
  • Sky Bet's attempts to be top-priced about Cambridge winning the Musidora mean she is now out to a remarkable 9/2 on today's PRICE BOOST offer. That's almost as big as she is for the Oaks! Madness. Click here to take the 9/2 now and you'll be doing me a favour. And possibly yourself* (*the writer accepts no liabilities for losses gained as a result of taking the 9/2)
    5/14/2014 11:27:05 AM
  • Three horses now out of the last race - 10 Freewheel joins 9 Guising and 11 Da Do Run Run.
    5/14/2014 11:31:56 AM
  • Needless to say, that leaves just 15 in the finale. Tra la la.
    5/14/2014 11:35:21 AM
  • Personally, I like Tres Coronas a lot in the opener. He's been running pretty well this season (not beaten far in a Lincoln that is working out ridiculously well) and his third in the John Smith's Cup last season shows he can go well here. He's clearly not well treated, but I don't think there's a huge amount of depth to the race and I'd be hopeful we can at least get the place part of an each-way bet landed.
    5/14/2014 11:45:27 AM
  • Aetna is a filly. Michael Shinners and Man on the spot say she is a he. All very confusing, I blame that eurovision winner.
    5/14/2014 11:45:39 AM
  • Anything goes in these troubled times.
    5/14/2014 11:45:45 AM
  • I will have the staff members concerned disciplined and the relevant sentences amended. I have that power.
    5/14/2014 11:46:38 AM
  • Will rather than go on a diet, standing next to Mr Ord would work equally as well and be far less demanding on your willpower
    5/14/2014 11:47:19 AM
  • Did you know he is my line manager? That makes me unable to comment further.
    5/14/2014 11:48:06 AM
Powered by ScribbleLive Content Marketing Software Platform

Most Popular

Matches

Features

Souness: Mark of champions

Souness: Mark of champions

Graeme Souness hailed Chelsea after their win over QPR, describing their dogged display as "the mark of champions".

Supplement podcast

Supplement podcast

Download to hear the panel discuss the demise of Man City and the futures of van Persie, Cech and Wilshere.

Sky Cricket Podcast

Sky Cricket Podcast

Shane Warne, Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain and David Lloyd pay tribute to the legend, Richie Benaud.