The Flat season begins on Saturday afternoon with the traditional curtain raiser, the Lincoln Handicap. The race is ultra-competitive, with the lowest rated horse in the field rated in the low to mid nineties. On the card twelve months ago, Ryan Moore rode the first three winners on the card prior to the Lincoln, before finishing a narrow second to Bravery in the big race, who was given an outstanding ride by Danny Tudhope.
The core of the season continued to offer good, high quality and competitive racing with field sizes always holding up well. Before you knew it, it was time for the St Leger Festival, four days of top class action, beginning with Day 1, featuring the Leger Legends race which was won by Brian Harding aboard the Tim Easterby trained Off Art.
Thursday, Ladies Day and it saw the culmination of the Silk Series, an initiative put together by ARC for a lady riders championships across a number of races and courses through the summer. Georgia Cox won this particular race on Buccaneers Vault, but it was Megan Nicholls who won the series outright. Fittingly the two Group 2 races were fillies only races, one of which, the May Hill Stakes was won by Laurens for enthusiastic owner John Dance, before going on to win the Group 1 Fillies Mile at Newmarket.
Friday, Doncaster Cup day and a thrilling finish went the way of Desert Skyline for champion jockey Silvestre De Sousa and trainer David Elsworth, well known for his legendary stayer Persian Punch.
Then the big day itself, St Leger day and yet again, a thrilling race with Aidan O’Brien holding a strong hand and even with a very strong pace throughout, three or four horses could win the race a furlong from home. In the end, O’Brien did get his victory as Capri in the hands of Ryan Moore won the St Leger.
Finally the Racing Post Trophy, a springboard for the following season’s Classic hopefuls which has been won by or involved a range of Classic winners in the past. Saxon Warrior was the victor in 2017, giving trainer Aidan O’Brien a world record 26th Group 1 victory of the year.
After a brilliant year last year, make sure you don’t miss out on lots of memories in 2018.