WELCOME to another edition of Good, Bad & Ugly on the eve of the York Ebor meeting.
After a weekend which saw some monster efforts on the European stage, who has made the cut? Let’s find out.
Top of the class has to be Palace Pier, who outstayed the field in the Jacques le Marois at Deauville and is looking very special indeed.
The amazing thing about the John Gosden colt is that in the way he races everything suggests he might be even better at a mile and a quarter.
That means races like the Champion Stakes could one day come into the equation as well as all the top mile events.
For the moment, though, it appears a smash up with Mohaather in the QEII is one the agenda.
Ground that day will be key as ever, with Palace Pier hard to stop in the mud but Mohaather has loads more pace on more natural Flat going.
Speaking of the Champion Stakes, that would be an obvious race for Mishriff after he dotted up at Deauville in a Group 2. The French Derby winner is clearly very decent.
Palace Pier and Mishriff are in many ways pleasant surprises this term.
Mishriff started 2020 as a 16-1 shot in a race in Saudi Arabia! Palace Pier was 11-10 in a handicap at Newcastle!
BAD ground is no good for many top class horses and Golden Pal – the crack US juvenile – is out of the Nunthorpe which is gutting as he would have been fascinating getting lumps of weight from Battaash.
There’s plenty of rain about, so who knows what the going will be at York this week, although to be honest I’m happy to get soaked every day just to be lucky enough to be there for ITV.
Battaash was terrible in very soft going at Longchamp in 2019, but don’t worry Battmobile fans as he has plenty of success on his CV when there has been juice.
Indeed the 2017 Abbaye he won came on a soft surface at Chantilly. The ground is no excuse for Battaash – not that he needs one!
Like me you might wonder what ugly goings on happen in the weighing room in between races. All sorts of thoughts come to mind, like punch ups between jockeys mullered in the previous race, riders spilling the beans on their girlfriends or showing off at one speed they got to the track.
However, thanks to Oisin Murphy we now know that at least two riders just snuggle up together and watch telly.
I have to say, though, James Doyle looks much more bored than Andrea Atzeni! Now what were they watching though?!