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Even in these strange times somethings remain assuredly the same, because if it's the first Sunday in September, then it's family day at York Races, except of course that this year there will be no family.

Irv returns to York for the third consecutive time, when he runs in the, a class 3, one mile, two and a half furlongs 76-90 handicap.This race represents a drop in class, after competing in two class 2 events. It is said that it is very difficult to to win with a hold up horse at York, but Irv achieved that fete twice last year, the later from a mark of 78, so over this trip, he try's for only the second time, hopefully P.J. McDonald who rides him for the first time, will get a fast pace to produce him from.

The stayers race over two miles at has been very good to us in recent times as we won it back in 2018 with the 66/1 chance Le Maitre Chat, and in 2017 with Sundays representative Blue Hussar, who will be returning from a seven month break, after sustaining an injury at Market Rasen when he struck in to himself. When he was last in action over the jumps in the winter he was in fine form winning at the Linconshire track back in January, and also placing third at Wetherby last December.At nine years old Blue Hussar may find things a little tough on Sunday, from his mark of 77, which is only 2lb lower than when he won here in 2017, but he will give it his best, and it will put him spot on for another jumps campaign, Billy Garritty will take off a very handy 5lb.

God luck to the connections, Irvine Lynch, and Richard Howard & Ben Howard.

IRV 25 February 2016. Zoffany-Marion Antoinette Owner-Irvine Lynch.

Irv was purchased at the 2018 Doncaster Breeze Up sales, and made his debut under Paul Mulrennan at Thirsk in July, being considerately ridden, he finished ninth of 14, beaten only six lengths.He then went to Beverley, where he never gave himself a chance by pulling far too hard over the extended seven furlongs. It was back to Thirsk, finishing a respectable fourth in a novice stakes, followed by his handicap debut at Redcar, off 73 where he was a staying on second, over seven furlongs.

He showed us as a three year old that he had trained on with a staying on fifth at Ripon, over a mile, and then an eye catching ninth of 19, over an inadequate seven at York. Dropped back in to novice company over a mile at Thirsk next time, he once again was doing his best work at the finish, when runner up to the 1/6 shot Davydenko, trained by Sir Michael Stoute. This was followed by the two wins at York both over a mile, with his now regular pilot James Sullivan.

BLUE HUSSAR 26 February 2011 Montjeu-Metaphor Owner-Richard Howard & Ben Howard.

Blue Hussar started out life being trained in Ireland by Aiden O'Brien. He was a late developing two year old, and didn't make his racecourse debut until November at Leopardstown, where he made no mistake, winning first time out over seven furlongs. He returned at three in the Lingfield Derby Trial in May, over the extended one mile, and three furlongs, finishing forth, but doing all his best work late on. He was then sent for a Group 3 at the Curragh, but the drop back to one mile, and two furlongs, proved to be on the sharp side.He would have four more runs for Aiden O'Brien, all over longer distances, including two handicaps from a mark of 105. Unfortunately for Blue Hussar, he fell in to that category of a horse who is not quite good enough to win a Group 3 race,but is also two high in the handicap, to win one of those as well.

Blue Hussar was purchased by Micky at the Newmarket horses in training sale in the Autumn of 2014, and given a break before making his yard debut at Ripon the following May.A mark of 104 was always going to prove tough, but by September the handicapper had relented enough,and back at Ripon over one mile, and four furlongs, from a mark of 82, he stayed on strongly under jockey Steve Drowne, to win by two lengths.He didn't win again that season, but remained competitive off marks in the high 80's.

His attentions were next turned to the winter game, and after pulling up at Market Rasen on his hurdles debut, he went to Doncaster for a novice hurdle, and finished a very encouraging second. This was followed by two quick wins at Wetherby, and Kelso, where he went off at 1/1, and then it was back to Wetherby in April, where he finished second under his penalty.He returned to the flat for his last race before a break, finishing third at York's 'Dante' meeting in the two miles race.

His return was also at York, in September, over the two miles again, with P.J.McDonald doing the steering, and this time he made no mistake staying on strongly to win by three lengths.He had four runs over hurdles that winter, but failed to fire.

A break until the following May, when returning again at York, appeared to freshen him up, being beaten only three lengths in to sixth place.At the age of seven he was finding it more and more difficult to get competitive off marks in the 80's on the flat, and from 115 over hurdles. He had a 10 month break before returning over hurdles at Wetherby in November of 2019, finishing a very respectable third to Sakhee's City, before dropping in to a grade four race, over two miles and seven furlongs at Market Rasen, off an all time low mark of 109, this did the trick, and Blue Hussar was once again back in the winners enclosure.He has raced once since, over the same course and distance, just coming up short, by being beaten three lengths. It was discovered after the race that he had struck in to himself, and would need six months to recover. Well at least for Blue Hussar his enforced break had come at just the right time.

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