THERE could be cause for Royal applause today (Friday) as York’s rain-hit three-day Dante meeting draws to a close with the Betway Yorkshire Cup.
The staying power of Her Majesty’s Dartmouth may prove to be key and Ryan Moore, who is booked for the ride, has won on all three of his mounts for Sir Michael Stoute in this race since 2009.
The Queen’s five-year-old enjoyed a hat-trick of Group wins last year before finishing third in the King George and the move back up from 1m4f should not pose any problems in what will definitely be a stamina test.
John Gosden runs the 4yo recent John Porter winner Muntahaa and the Porter has produced eight winners from 1974 to 2010, but the race favours older horses and Clever Cookie will love the soft ground in looking to emulate the Henry Cecil-trained Ardross as the only horse to have won the race twice.
Heavy rain at York may have dampened a few spirits, but it made the decision about which Oaks Shutter Speed should tackle after she oozed class in the Tattersalls Musidora Stakes on Wednesday.
The extended mile and a quarter took a little more getting than normal, but Shutter Speed is still unbeaten after three races and she will stick to that distance and head to France for the Prix de Diane. She is favourite for the French Classic at 2-1 with Ladbrokes and 6-4 with Betfair and Paddy Power.
The Shutter Speed team of owner Khalid Abdullah, trainer John Gosden and jockey Frankie Dettori also have a serious contender for the Investec Oaks in Enable, winner of last week’s Cheshire Oaks.
Shutter Speed’s appearance on the Knavesmire was only confirmed after Gosden had walked the track.
Attention turns to Newbury tomorrow (Saturday) where My Dream Boat can sail to victory in opener.
Rely on Ribchester in the Lockinge stakes at 3.30 to give Godolphin a second successive victory in this valuable Group 1. His trainer Richard Fahey is also three from four in conditions races at Newbury so Simmy’s Copshop should be given more than a cursory glance in the 4.05.
All of the last ten winners of the London Gold Cup had won at least one of their last two starts and Mucho Applause fits that profile. Andrew Balding’s colt ended last season with a convincing win when stepped up to 7f at Salisbury and produced another career best at Sandown last month and looks primed for this contest.
CARRIGILL’S NAP: Mucho Applause Newbury Saturday 2.55 (stake returned in a free bet if finishes outside top 4):
AUGUR’S BEST BET: Ribchester Newbury Saturday 3.30
AUGUR’S ONE TO WATCH: Magic Circle finished strongly in the Chester Cup and can win when given a favourable draw.