York and Newbury are the televised meetings today, with the main event oop North being the John Smith’s Cup Handicap at 2.30.
22 runners are scheduled to go to post despite the Covid19 reduced prize money of £37,350, down from £124,500 last year.
Last year’s winner Pivoine tries again off two lbs higher and without a recent run, so our main fancy is the 2018 winner Euchen Glen, which is available at a tasty 28-1.
Jim Goldie‘s 7-y-o was not seen again for nearly two years after its victory, having picked up an injury, but the two recent warm-up runs have confirmed that all the ability remains intact and is the value bet.
We also recommend an each way bash at Solid Stone, a typical Sir Michael improver which comes here after an easy comeback win at Sandown. Take the 7-1 on offer.
On a point of handicapping, we also can’t resist throwing a small amount in the direction of Good Birthday, which, if putting its best hoof forward, has the beating of most of this field. 16-1 is the price of this one.
Coverage starts with the John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes, a Group 3 contest with just 5 runners. We think the ‘improver’ in the field is Universal Order and hope to welcome Frank back to the saddle with an 11-4 winner.
The John Smith’s City Walls Stakes over the minimum trip at 3.05 has Michael Dods‘ potential flying machine Que Amoro installed as favourite but we think the tried and trusted form of Major Jumbo is the way to go and suggest an each way bet at 11-2.
The William Hill Handicap at 3.40 completes the televised events and in this we have no hesitation in plumping for Arctic Fox from Richard Fahey‘s yard.
A perfect two from two record on this course, including over CD off a pound higher mark, added to the 4-y-o’s strong finishing third over ten furlongs last time out make this the obvious and, hopefully, winning bet. Wade in each way at 4-1.
Action at Newbury begins with the bet365 Rosebowl Stakes at 2.15, with an odds on favourite in Method.
We don’t bet ‘odds on’, but with a ‘dead eight’ field think a small investment in Tanfantic at 20-1 might pay dividends.
The Premier Fillies’ Handicap at 2.50 has only six runners but has the look of a tricky affair. We’ll risk an each way bet on Clive Cox‘s runner Able Grace at 7-1 and hope Cox Minor can get the job done.
The bet365 Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes at 3.25 looks a good opportunity for Virgin Snow to gain compensation for her defeat in a Group 3 on Tapeta last time out – better on turf, we opine. Each way at 9-2, please.
And finally to the bet365 Hackwood Stakes at 4.00. At 11-2 the field, this could be anybody’s, but we hope it will fall to Kevin Ryan‘s Repartee, which will carry our each way money at 7-1.
Happy punting and be careful out there.
Euchen Glen 2.30 York 1pt e/w @ 28-1 (6 places Skybet/Hills)
Solid Stone 2.30 York 1.5pts e/w @ 7-1 (6 places Skybet/Hills)
Good Birthday 2.30 York 0.50pts e/w @ 16-1 (Skybet/Hills)
Universal Order 1.55 York 2pts win @ 11-4
Major Jumbo 3.05 York 1pt e/w @ 11-2
Arctic Fox 3.40 York 2pts e/w @ 4-1 (4 places)
Tanfantic 2.15 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 20-1
Able Grace 2.50 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (2 places)
Virgin Snow 3.25 Newbury 1.5 pts e/w @ 9-2
Repartee 4.00 Newbury 1pt e/w @ 7-1