The John Smith’s Cup meeting is a massive racing occasion for Yorkshire sport.
It’s one where we always have plenty of horses running – 13 to be exact, including two that are entered for the Betfred Ebor next month.
Before any of them will have raced, Royal Ascot winner Amazing Maria goes for Group 1 QIPCO Falmouth Stakes at Newmarket and she won’t be without a chance.
Ten minutes later at York, at 3.25pm, two of the yard’s horses go for the GroceryAid Chairman’s Charity Cup.
First Sitting, one of those with an Ebor entry, is a lovely horse in the making and she’s going places. She’d appreciate a little bit of rain.
Chancery is our other contender in the mile-and-a-half handicap. A York regular and twice a winner there, he is looking to score for the second time this season.
The Nawton yard is also double-handed in the 4pm Acturis Stakes, including Master Bond. He too would benefit from softer under-hoof conditions and he comes off a win last time.
I reckon the best chance of a David O’Meara-trained winner at York today is with That is Spryt in the Coopers Marquees Stakes at 5.10pm. He finally got his head in front at Hamilton after hitting the crossbar a few times.
Tomorrow the yard has three contenders in the opener, I would pick Birdman as he’s bang in form, with four wins this season.
Out Do goes for the Listed John Smith’s City Walls Stakes at 2.55pm, a nice run on his favoured quicker surface would justify his entry in the Group One Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes. He won at York during the Dante Festival.
Saved By The Bell loves York, having won on Knavesmire in June for the last two years. He is in the Ebor and – although like First Sitting rated as a 50/1 chance for the £275,000 heritage handicap – we think he is a prospect.
The 13th and final York runner from the stables over the two days is Mon Beau Visage in the John Smith’s Stakes, a nursery race. She won on her debut this season, ran OK at Pontefract last time and is a nice horse.
Perhaps surprisingly we don’t have a runner in the 56th John Smith’s Cup. The £150,000 feature will be fiercely competitive, worth seeing and hearing live. Royal Ascot winner Arab Dawn is likely start favourite.
At Newmarket, my Group 1 winner G Force goes for the Darley July Cup. I saw him work well at home recently and he wouldn’t be without a chance and the six-furlong trip will help. Fingers crossed (but not my poorly thumb obviously!).
Louis The Pious would have a chance in the Bunbury Cup 35 minutes earlier at 3.10pm. He’s much better in big fields and I think the July Course track will suit. However, he can be a tricky customer and needs things to fall right for him.
The next racing at York is the two-day John Smith’s Cup meeting today and tomorrow. Admission available on the gates. Find out more at www.yorkracecourse.co.uk.