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18 Jul 2020

John Smith's Cup (Heritage Handicap)

A big weekend for the ENIGMA SYNDICATES - we we have a stake in Ventura Tormenta who goes for the Group 2 Prix Robert Papin on Sunday at Chantilly. Not too shabby £250 a share.

Meanwhile, it's on to York where it feels great to be back for a top handicap like the John Smith's Cup.

There's a very good angle into this race; concentrate on feasibly treated horses who have previously been given a shot in Group 2 or 3 company.

Since 2014, such horses are 4 wins and 3 placed from 27. That's the winner every year since 2014, in all but 2 years. 

If we concentrate on runners aged 4 to 7yo who have won at least 1 handicap before (ie shown they can), that trims the sample down to 4 win 3 placed from 22: +28pts SP win only or +37.50 EW. The BSP win only +47.59 pts.

Moreover, there's only been 1 year since 2014 when at least 1 qualifier didn't win or make the frame.

This year’s shortlist: Fifth Position, Pivoine, Certain Lad.

I've not backed Fifth Position as the track is drying up towards good to firm and he ideally needs a bit of cushion. That could be a mistake if it's loose on top but hopefully not.

Mr Channon sends CERTAIN LAD who arrives here via Epsom and a run that looked purely for conditioning (in fact I'm sure of it). Certain Lad is a different horse on flat tracks so last time out his trainer couldn't have picked a venue where he would be less likely to perform.

There's no doubt in my mind this is the real target, and this is a horse who has lots of ability and was in career best form over the winter. 

The 7lb claimer puts him on a very dangerous net weught and he's not a complicated ride - he loves to run on and they can just come with a wet sail up the straight in a race which looks sure to be strongly run.

PIVOINE won this last year and is a York specialist. He won't mind how much it dries out and will have been trained for this. He's 2lbs higher than last year, but that's far from insurmountable and he's reportedly in great nick at home.

2.30 York, Certain Lad 1pt win BSP, 1pt 4 places BSP  ** 2nd at 12.29 BSP for the place - but so close to landing 102.47 BSP for the win - the market couldn't read the tea leaves **

2.30 York, Pivoine 1pt win BSP, 1pt 4 places BSP

Access great bets: FORUM

Quality low-cost racehorse shares: SYNDICATES


York racecourse - Knavesmire


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