YORK’S three day Dante meeting burst into life on Wednesday and the feature race, the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes, was won in style by Madame Chiang.
Trained in Newmarket by David Simcock the 8/1 shot was only having her second start in the Group Three event and showed signs of greenness despite landing the race by a length and a quarter from the Tony Coyle-trained Lily Rules.
Jockey Kieren Fallon was happy to play the waiting game as Queen’s Shama set a strong gallop under Ryan Moore for much of the extended 10-furlong journey.
Madame Chiang was still last rounding the home turn and plenty appeared to be going better, but Fallon persevered and his mount responded generously to run to the lead passing the furlong marker.
Lily Rules did her best to make a race of it, but Madame Chiang was well on top as she passed the post with a length and a quarter in hand.
Fallon was full of praise for his mount following the race and thinks there is still more to come from the filly, especially when she is stepped up in trip.
“I had to work hard on her, but we did go quite quick,” said Fallon.
“She’s a beautiful big filly and David had a lot of confidence in her. Miss Rausing (the owner) deserves a nice filly. She’s got plenty of horses in training and I think she’s got one here.
“We went a strong gallop and I thought it was a good trial.”
Veteran trainer Mick Easterby usually finds one for the big meetings on the Knavesmire and this time it was Aetna who came with a late rattle to win the Infinity Tyres Stakes under Graham Gibbons.
Outpaced early on, Gibbons tracked Kevin Ryan’s Blaine on the near-side rail and joined Baccarat deep inside the final furlong.
The soft-ground lover found a decent turn of foot and put behind her a dismal run at Beverley last time out to beat Baccarat by a length and a quarter as the 7/1 co-favourite.
Easterby had threatened to retire at the Ayr Gold Cup meeting last year but is still going strong.
“The licence is still in my name but David (son) does as much as me, we fall out every day but the next morning it’s forgotten,” said Easterby.
David Barron’s Mignolino was an impressive winner of the British Stallion Studs EBF Novice Stakes to give Gibbons a double on the day.
Winding the clock back to last Saturday, what an evening Alan Swinbank had at Thirsk, sending out no less than four winners on the evening.
All four were ridden by Ben Curtis, starting of with Lothair in the six furlong handicap.
Afterwards the winning rider said: “I fancied him at Hamilton last time, but five furlongs was just a bit too sharp for him.”
For me, the most impressive was Aramist in the staying handicap, a horse that Swinbank excels with. Once again Curtis was on hand, saying: “He loved the ground and is a better horse this year now that he´s stronger.”
Swinbank’s night was completed when Eutropius followed up his recent Musselburgh success before Lady Artiste took the final race of the evening, the seven furlong handicap.
Back at York, the highlight on the today’s card on the Knavesmire is the Sky Bet Yorkshire Cup which features improving stayer Tac De Boiston.
Tac De Boistron will carry a four pound penalty for his emphatic five-length success in the two-mile Group One Prix Royal Oak at Longchamp in October.
The improving seven-year-old has already defied a penalty this season when quickening smartly for an impressive fivelength victory in the Group Three Sagaro Stakes over two miles at Ascot on April 30.
Trainer Marco Botti reported: “Tac De Boistron is in very good form. He looks well and we are very happy with him.”
If you missed York all week, there is a couple of chances to go racing locally this weekend as both Thirsk and Ripon are set to race.
Thirsk race tomorrow afternoon, with the action due to start at 2.15pm while Ripon’s card on Sunday is set for a start at the same time.