Holmeswood was third in the opening sprint at York yesterday but our other two selections in the same race, Tommy Taylor and Tanasoq, failed to land a blow. Northwest Frontier was beaten just over seven lengths into sixth of the 16 runners in the Staying handicap. Rathbone found one too good in the concluding Nursery but that was our other selection in the race, Ginger Nut. Away from York our only other selection, Camacho Chief, was successful at Carlisle.
2.25 – York:
Masaru. 3 pts win. Available at 4/1.
Fanaar. 1.5 pts win. Available at 9/1. (888Sport)
A race concerning very lightly raced Juveniles is not normally something that interests us but several of these have produced performances of note in their fledgling careers. Masaru (drawn in stall 15) heads the market and, in a field of 20, is begging to be taken on but, such was the impression he made on his debut at Windsor, he is difficult to ignore. He ran out a very easy four length winner and the form has been given some substance by subsequent victories for the second and third placed horses. He will have to improve on that form to win this but that looks highly likely given he represents Richard Hannon Jr whose Juveniles almost always progress from their initial outing. He has been responsible for the winner of this race in the past two seasons and has won it three times in the past decade. On yesterday’s evidence, if there is an advantage in the draw then it probably lies with those drawn higher but it was by no means conclusive. With that in mind it may pay to support a runner drawn low. Although stall one isn’t ideal Fanaar tops the shortlist of those drawn in the single figure stalls. He has improved from race to race in his three starts and, being bred to stay further, he could appreciate the generous pace he is likely to get over today’s trip. He has been equipped with the first time blinkers to sharpen him up in the early stages and they could also help him concentrate being drawn on the wing of the field. He holds a Group One Dewhurst entry and comes from a yard who have an enviable record in this race. In the past decade they have had just five runners. They were first and third in 2013, first and third in 2014 and first in 2015. It would be fair to say that when they aim one at this race it’s likely to get highly competitive.
3.00 – York:
Kynren. 2.5 pts win. Available at 11/2.
Sea Fox. 0.5 pts e/w. Available at 22/1. (Skybet – 1/5 odds first 6)
The Clipper Logistic Handicap is always a very competitive, good quality affair and this renewal is no different. Firmament is vying for favouritism and it’s not surprising. He is well handicapped nowadays and has looked unlucky in his last two races, big field handicaps at Ascot and Goodwood. He could win this if he gets racing room but he is often a hostage for fortune and slight preference is for another at the head of the market, Kynren. He has won three of his eight starts and has only been out of the frame on one occasion. That came on his penultimate start in the Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot but was sandwiched between two career best performances at Sandown and here in the John Smiths Cup over the extended ten furlongs. He drops back to a fast mile but he is such a good traveller it could suit given the likelihood of a good pace to aim at. At a much bigger price it could be worth giving Sea Fox a chance. He comes here chasing a hat-trick after winning two small field races at Lingfield and Newmarket. He has big field experience courtesy of a close third in a field of 27 at Ascot back in May and that has proved to be very strong form. He is normally seen over seven furlongs but he had some decent form over a mile as a Juvenile and it suggests he could still be well weight on a mark of 93. He has the assistance of a good five pound claimer whose record is 133 from three previous rides on the horse.
4.00 – Chepstow – Edged Out. 0.75 pts e/w. Available at 14/1.
4.50 – York:
Preening. 2 pts win. Available at 13/2.
Victory Wave. 1.5 pts win. Available at 9/1.