Westerton has excelled in Yorkshire in the past so don’t rule him out of today’s opener

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May 15

It’s a dry morning at York, and, though showers are forecast for later, we can look forward to some decent ground again for day one of the Dante meeting on the Knavesmire.

Alan has made the journey north to see our useful handicapper Westerton in the opener, and, hopefully, he can bounce back from a disappointing seasonal reappearance at Newmarket last month.

Much has been made of Westerton looking not to stay the mile and a half when he has three times been stepped up in trip, but Alan clearly does not agree with the Doubting Thomases, and the first time the four-year-old tried the longer distance at Glorious Goodwood last season he encountered stamina-sapping conditions and finished an honourable fifth in what was a very competitive handicap.

Had Alan felt that Westerton should drop back down in trip he could have plumped for the horse’s entry in the 10-furlong handicap at York on Friday, but he has opted to persevere over the mile and a half, and it could just be that Westerton, who improved 18lb through last season, is not a fan of the Rowley Mile.

In contrast, Westerton has twice finished second at Doncaster, so he seems to relish the Yorkshire air, his career-best performance having been produced at last year’s St Leger meeting, when he went under by only a neck to Maximilian Caesar.

Five of the last six runners from Barbury have finished in the frame, and we have some potential exciting entries for this week-end, including Brioni at Newbury and Finest View at Bangor, so with spring weather finally having arrived there is no shortage of optimism around the yard,