The opening 1m4f handicap (1.55) looks typically wide open but I’m going to give another chance to Shakopee who, on the face of it, was a little disappointing at Goodwood last time but there may have been some valid excuses that day and I’m willing to forgive him given he had looked quite a progressive horse prior to that. The stable hasn’t had the best of times this season but there have been more encouraging signs of late and Shakopee’s pilot Jamie Spencer has been riding particularly well this week. The selection is one of only a few in here who have the potential to be ahead of the handicapper.
The Lonsdale Cup (2.30) looks a cracker and you could make a case for all of the field in truth, but there was more than enough encouragement in the comeback run of Trip To Paris at Newbury, over a trip far too short, to think that he is going to take a big hand today. He travelled with all his old zest that day and this classy stayer escapes a penalty for last season’s Ascot Gold Cup win, so everything looks in place for a big run. Rain would count against Curbyourenthusiasm but it would be in the favour of Pallasator, who ran such a big race in the Goodwood Cup.
In the Sky Bet City Of York Stakes (3.05), I like the look of So Beloved who has solid course form, is a strong traveller and the race set-up could suit him well. This is a drop in class after running with a deal of credit in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood and his stable are in really good form. He has plenty to fear from the three-year-old’s, Forge and Nemoralia, but the selection is a classy horse on his day, seven furlongs around here is ideal and I think he’s got more tactical speed than a good few of these rivals.
I’m going to be really boring in the Nunthorpe (3.40) and side with Limato whose July Cup performance was emphatic and were it not for the concerns about the drop back to five furlongs, I think he would be an even shorter price favourite for this Group One contest than he already is. I don’t see him having a problem with the drop back to in trip given the speed he showed last time and there probably won’t be enough rain around to turn the ground against him. I think Goldream is going to run a really big race today, although rain would harm his chances. I thought he ran a cracker of a race at Goodwood last time and he could build on that if conditions stay quick.