ANOTHER fascinating day at York. Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) takes a look at three of the races for us.
14:30 York | Channel 4
I learned a valuable lesson on Thursday. Sometimes you can over think things and find reasons for opposing horses that you really should back, and I’m not making that mistake today. The Lonsdale Cup looks competitive on paper, but there is a horse in here I love and I’m all over him.
The form in this race is dominated by Cup form. We have the Gold Cup winner and the Goodwood Cup winner lining up, and obviously both have to be respected. However my fancy is a horse stepping up to Cup distances, a horse who stays but also oozes class.
Clever Cookie was my selection for the King George. Now that was down to ground conditions rather than because I believe he is a Group 1 10 furlong horse, and he ran like a stayer looking uncomfortable with the early pace before plugging on. Now providing that race hasn’t left it’s mark on him this is much more his thing.
On the Flat he has never won over two miles or further, but he finished last season with a fourth place in the Doncaster Cup over two furlongs further than today where he ran on close home so stamina is not an issue.
He begun this season in great style and seemed to have found some improvement over the summer. He followed up his Chester seasonal reappearance win with a win over today’s course in authoritative style. Conceding a 6lb penalty to a decent field he absolutely crushed them.
That was over two furlongs shorter, but it showed a liking for the course, and I am ridiculously confident that today is the day Clever Cookie wins the big race he deserves.
15:05 York | Channel 4
This is a competitive race! You can make a case for too many of these so I’m going to take an each way chance on one but it’s not an overly confident choice.
Bossy Guest has been fairly busy this season but has run some solid races. His two best pieces of form came in the 2000 Guineas and in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. These were big field races with plenty of pace and he strikes me as the sort of horse who will benefit from the hustle and bustle of these occasions.
The only time he disappointed was in the Sussex Stakes behind Solow, but that was a Group 1 and this is a marked drop in class. 12/1 is a backable each way price, but as I said this is a tight race so keep stakes low!
15:40 York | Channel 4
The Nunthorpe is for some reason my favourite sprint race of the season. It’s a no holds barred contest where anything can line up and it has been won by all sorts down the year, from champion Oasis Dream, two year old Kingsgate Native to old warriors like Bahamian Pirate.
When I saw the ground turning soft I was drawn to the filly Mecca’s Angel. A soft ground specialist I thought she would be my main bet for this. But the course is drying and I’m not sure if conditions will be extreme enough for her to come out on top here.
I believe that of the established sprinters lining up Muthmir and Goldream are the best two and I expect both to go close. Goldream especially is a vastly underrated horse and he is a huge price here given his cv. But they may both be up against it here.
As I said earlier, anything can enter this race, and a two year old filly has been declared. Now conditions of the race mean she will receive at least 24lbs from her rivals here. I don’t understand why more horses don’t take advantage of this. Some two year olds don’t train on as they mature early and hit their peak. History is littered with them.
This is a race worth £175,000 to the winner and in my opinion top two year olds could farm this race if given the go ahead. The weight advantage is enormous, too much perhaps and I can see Acapulco taking advantage here.
Ok she has run twice in her career and she has only run once in the UK. But that one run was in the Queen Mary at Royal Ascot when she beat two of this seasons leading juvenile fillies effortlessly. She is an absolute brute of a two year old and is already at her peak. I may be made to look foolish (I’m used to that this week) but looking at the conditions of this race and the fact the ground is no longer too soft I make Acapulco a certainty in this.