Taking York By Storm!
Jason Fildes reflects on two fabulous races at York, which saw Highclere’s Royal Patronage successful on day one and Harrow completing the double on day two
There were many happy owners at York as Royal Patronage won the Acomb stakes for Highclere and Mark Johnston under a front running ride from Jason Hart!
Heading to the Knavesmire as the 25/1 outsider of the five runners in the Group 3 £100,000 Tattersalls Acomb Stakes for Royal Patronage went on to win by two-and-a-quarter lengths in what was a high class renewal of the race.
This very smart colt has been progressing nicely since arriving at Mark Johnston’s yard and made a very satisfactory debut at York in May over six furlongs behind The Organiser.
On his next outing Royal Patronage headed to Sandown where he ran well to be second before going on to break his maiden tag at Epsom by seven lengths, encouraging Mark to aim him for York.
More than 80 Highclere guests had enjoyed a Taittinger picnic in the sunshine before racing and many of those owners were on hand to welcome Royal Patronage into the winners’ enclosure after his success. After the race Highclere guests were invited by the Chairman to continue the celebrations with more champagne and to watch the replay.
What a win it was – and what an exciting horse to have going forward!
The following day Highclere’s Harrow completed the double at 6-1 with champion jockey Oisin Murphy getting him up in the last strides to beat William Haggas’ Maglev in front of a huge crowd.
Trainer Andrew Balding made a late decision to head to the Knavesmire with Harrow to contest the £70,000 Nursery Handicap – and what a superb call that turned out to be. It made Highclere the leading owners after day two at The Welcome to Yorkshire Ebor Festival with more chances to come.
It was very exciting to be back racing with big crowds and York put on a fabulous event. In my view it’s the best racecourse in the country and a place where Highclere will always want to have winners, especially with the superb prize money on offer!
Roll on next May with the Dante – a potential target for Royal Patronage.
Highclere – Jason Fildes