For those of us that fancied and backed EARTH DRUMMER (best price 33-1) to land the Royal Hunt Cup, our fate was sealed with all the wet weather that descended on the Berkshire track during the build up to the race, but there’s a decent chance that compensation could await with David Loughnane’s charge returning to a surface that will allow him to run to maximum capacity (forecast for York mainly dry all week).
Previously an eye-catching and unlucky fifth in the Victoria Cup over the same course back in May, the big mile cavalry charge at the Royal fixture looked the ideal race for the son of Dylan Thomas off the back of that notable effort, but as stated, the ground totally went against him on the day and he could only finish 10th of the 28-strong field. That said, he still performed with great credit considering he was hating the conditions and it at least went some way to confirm his wellbeing and justify the theory to stay loyal to the six-year-old for future events.
Although most of his best runs have come over seven furlongs and a mile, he has one solid run against his name over 1m 4f in Dubai, where he stayed on strongly to finish third in an ultra-competitive handicap won by Al Saham, and on the one time he’s raced over the C&D, he also faired quite well when finishing sixth of 15 behind Elhaamne. Unlike plenty of well-fancied runners, being number 18 on the card at the five-day stage, he’s guaranteed to get a run and at 33-1, he has to be a small roll of the dice.
Of the rest, SNOANO (best price 16-1) needs nine to drop out at time of writing, but providing he does get a run, Tim Easterby’s charge looks worthy of a small each-way tickle. The son of Nayef proved his liking for the galloping nature of the Knavesmire when landing the Queen Mother’s Cup two starts ago and it looked like he was set to follow up that success at Haydock last time out as he cruised to the front going best at the two-furlong pole. Unfortunately, the four-year-old didn’t quite get home in the testing conditions but he did more than enough to suggest a drop back in trip will suit and he looks primed to run another big race if his name is yelled out on the rollcall.