HORBURY Bridge businessman Martyn MacLeod is looking for another memorable weekend from his racing exploits, with two runners in tomorrow’s (Saturday) John Smith’s meeting at York.
MacLeod made national news when his five-year-old gelding SNOANO was a worthy, albeit surprise winner in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot last month at odds of 25-1.
One of MacLeod’s Horbury businesses, Baker Finch Interiors, also sponsors the horse but he’s well aware that he will have to step up again, with a 5lb penalty allotted after his win at the royal meeting if he’s going to add the prestigious John Smith’s Cup to his mantelpiece.
He told The Press: “He’s going to need another career best to defy the penalty and a decent draw, hopefully low and somewhere between 1 and 8.
“I didn’t mind the rain earlier in the week either, although he’s pretty versatile. They have looked after the ground at York this year very well and I’m sure the going will be good.
“In the Wolferton he needed the gaps to appear and luckily they did and if they go a decent gallop I’m hopeful he can bustle his way through, but with 20 runners you definitely need luck in running.
“He likes the track and always goes well at York. David Allan is booked again as he’s won on him three times for me, taking races at Pontefract and Ayr before Royal Ascot.”
MacLeod, who also runs Leods Contract Manufacturing from the New Road site, has six horses in training with Tim Easterby.
He picked up Snoano at the Tattersalls horses in-training sale at Newmarket in the autumn of 2015, after the bay had followed some famous names in winning the Haynes, Hanson & Clark Conditions Stakes a year earlier when trained by John Gosden.
He added: “He was a Group horse and ran in the Racing Post Trophy but for some reason he lost his way as a three-year-old.
“He was entered in all the Classics and ran in the trials so we decided to take a chance on him and picked him up cheap and for what, in hindsight, has proven to be a great price.”
MacLeod is also looking for a big run tomorrow in the opening handicap (1.55) over a mile with ONE WORD MORE.
“He has hit the crossbar three of four times and has probably just been too honest for his own good. He deserves to get his nose in front and it will happen for him one day,” added Macleod.
“Hopefully it will be Saturday as he looks like he’s going to run.”
But in a typically competitive Yorkshire Cup, Tyke William Haggas looks to have lined up VICTORY BOND.
He has won this contest twice in the last six years and Haggas has given his lightly-raced 4yo plenty of time to get right, and this is his ideal trip. Jeremy Noseda’s SIXTIES GROOVE is my other fancy and Gerald Mosse is one of the greatest at getting the best out of late-finishing horses.
BARSANTI can take the Listed race at 2.30 and COTAI GLORY can win over the Kavesmire for Charlie Hills in the City Walls Stakes at 4.15.
HQ LIMATO can see off his younger sprint pretenders in Saturday’s Darley July Cup.
CARRIGILL’S NAP (stake returned in a free bet if finishes outside top 4): Finneston Farm, Saturday Newmarket 4.00.
AUGUR’S BEST BET: ONEWORDMORE, Saturday York 1.55 market check but e/w if over 5s.