Blue Cup is the clear favourite but I’m left scratching my head trying to figure out why this 11/4 shot finds himself at such a short price at the forefront of the market. Of course he represents a decent stable and won three starts back but he’s not been successful in anything above Class 4 company and this looks one of the most competitive races he’s ever tackled. I know he should've done better last time and I understand I may well be left with egg on my face saying this but he looks one of the easiest favourites to lay and go against. The question I’m left with now is who do I go against him with?
We’ve seen trainer William Haggas and Sheikh Ahmed Al Maktoum team up earlier in the week to land a victory and they may well do so again with Irish Admiral. The lightly raced four year old made the switch to this year earlier in the year and claimed a stable debut success at Wolverhampton. He’ll have to take a serious step up on what he’s done so far but he’s been handled with kid gloves and representing such big connections I’m happy to take a chance on him.
At a much bigger price the only course and distance winner in the field Pivoine looks massively overpriced at around 16/1. The seven year old hasn’t finished in the first half of any of his last six outings and claimed last spot at Chelmsford on seasonal return. That being said don’t dismiss him entirely because now back on the Knavesmire his chances should improve. He holds a 66% strike rate at York and both course victories came with more weight on his back than he has to carry today. Andrew Balding knows how to ready one for success at this course and it’d be foolish to dismiss his chances, especially at what looks a very generous price.
Notable mentions go to the likes of Satono Japan who is yet to fulfil his original promise as well as the likes of Makram and Fishable who should both improve for their seasonal debut run.
Also at bigger odds Khagan may spring a shock if fit after a massive 562 day layoff.
IRISH ADMIRAL (E/W)
written by Rory Paddock