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John Smith's Cup: Runner-By-Runner Guide


Get the Timeform runner-by-runner guide for the 2019 John Smith's Cup at York, plus get our expert analyst's best bet.



1 - Afaak (24)

Course winner who, having been gelded produced a career-best effort to land the Hunt Cup (1m) last month. 5 lb penalty to contend with but trip will hold no fears and he may yet have more to offer.


2 - Mountain Angel (3)

Improved to win back-to-back Epsom handicaps (10f) initially this term and gave it his best shot when 6 lengths fifth behind Addeybb in Ascot listed event last time. Career-high mark to defy now.


3 - Mordin (20)

Won handicap at Haydock on return, but limitations from 6 lb higher mark exposed when only tenth behind Afaak in Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot last time.


4 - Pivoine (6)

Produced career best when winning handicap over C&D in 2018, but needs to bounce back after shaping as if amiss when tailed off in Duke of Edinburgh Stakes (Handicap) at Royal Ascot last time.



5 - Scarlet Dragon (16)

Smart gelding who arrives here having shaped well on 2 of his last 3 starts over hurdles earlier in the year. No reason why he won't give his running again reverting back to the Flat.


6 - Aquarium (13)

Won handicap at Chester in May, but well below that form at Haydock (reportedly stumbled home turn) last time and looks summed up by his mark at present.


7 - Waarif (21)

Won pair of small-field handicaps at Windsor this term, notably when proving better than ever to beat Bless Him by half a length last time. Looks vulnerable under a penalty in this deeper contest.


8 - What's The Story (1)

Last year’s sixth who ran right up to his best when winning handicap back here in May (strong form). Below that level in Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot last time, but type to bounce back quickly.



9 - Original Choice (17)

Not disgraced in Meydan on final start for William Haggas back in February and likely his yard debut effort was needed at Newmarket (1¼m) in June. This should reveal more.


10 - Setting Sail (23)

Produced career best to resume winning ways in handicap at Newmarket (by one and a half lengths from Rise Hall) last time. Lightly-raced sort who shouldn’t be underestimated despite 5 lb penalty.


11 - Buzz (9)

Won handicaps at Kempton (twice) and Newbury in 2018, and shaped as if back in form when third in listed race here last time. Place claims if building on that back down markedly in trip.


12 - Restorer (14)

Did well in second half of last year and didn't shape at all badly on return in Chester handicap won by Aquarium. Failed to see things out in Old Newton Cup 7 days ago.



13 - Stylehunter (12)

Dual winner at up to 10f last year who arrives having shaped better than bare result when fourth in Hunt Cup (1m) last time, noted finishing well. Player from 1 lb lower mark with more to come.


14 - Exec Chef (2)

Rattled off a hat-trick at up to 10f last summer and solid efforts on 5 of his 6 starts this season, unlucky not to finish closer when fourth behind Jazeel at Sandown (10f) last week. Respected again.


15 - My Lord And Master (4)

Posted best 2018 effort when neck second to Aquarium in handicap over C&D. 1 lb lower here, but below form when last seen and has bit to prove on ground possibly quicker than ideal.


16 - Fayez (7)

Already won 3 times in handicaps this year, latterly back-to-back Ripon contests at up to 9.7f. Shaped okay when fourth at Ayr (1m) last week and he should give another good account back at 10f.



17 - Francis Xavier (22)

Progressive as a 3/4-y-o including when landing first 2 starts for this yard last summer. Asked big question on return at Goodwood in May and this rates more suitable.


18 - Jazeel (10)

Filled runner-up spot on first two starts this term, and didn’t need to improve to go one better at Sandown last time. All out to hold on that day and needs to find more under 5 lb penalty here.


19 - Aasheq (8)

Largely progressive last season and looked as good as ever when striking on return at Pontefract (10f). Hard to knock placed efforts either outing subsequently but this is tough.


20 - Hortzadar (19)

Started really well for David O'Meara, winning back-to-back handicaps (at up to 1m) in April, but hasn't really threatened more recently and tries longer trip now. Engaged 3.25 Ascot on Friday.



21 - Big Kitten (15)

Solid AW form to his name, but this 4-y-o has a bit to prove following an inauspicious display back on turf at Windsor (11.4f, good to firm) last month.


22 - Another Touch (5)

Winner of a Pontefract listed contest on final start of 2017. Rather in-and-out last year but he did catch the eye from a poor position when seventh in this race 12 months ago. Makes seasonal return.


23 - Leroy Leroy (18)

One win from 10 starts to date, though he posted a career best when runner-up over this trip at Redcar on his penultimate start. Not so good at Newmarket last time, however.


Analyst's Verdict

A typically competitive renewal with preference for STYLEHUNTER. There is very much an air of unfinished business about John Gosden's charge in big-field handicaps, having not had the rub of the green on each of his last 3 starts, and he remains open to improvement at 1¼m. Exec Chef, Setting Sail, My Lord And Master and Mountain Angel head up a long shortlist of dangers.



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1st R. P. Whelan silk 3. KATIYMANN (IRE) 4/15
2nd R. C. Colgan silk ½ 4. VERHOYEN 8/19
J: R. P. Whelan  
5 ran. NRs: 5 


1st Shane Kelly silk 7. CLASSY CAILIN (IRE) 14/115
2nd Josephine Gordon silk ½ 9. SWEET FORGETME NOT (IRE) 5/16
3rd Rossa Ryan silk ¾ 1. FIERY BREATH 5/16
J: Shane Kelly  
T: Pam Sly  
All 11 ran.


1st C. T. Keane silk 4. SHARP FOCUS 6/17
2nd William James Lee silk ¾ 10. HAVANA BREEZE (IRE) 20/121
3rd C. P. Hoban silk hd 14. BUTTON POPPER 16/117
J: C. T. Keane  
15 ran. NRs: 16  17  18 


1st Luke Morris silk 8. DISTANT CHIMES (GER) 7/42.75f
2nd Richard Kingscote silk 4. CHARLIE D (USA) 6/17
3rd P. J. McDonald silk 9. ROBERT L'ECHELLE (IRE) 11/26.5
J: Luke Morris  
9 ran. NRs: 2 


1st Ben Martin Coen silk 7. DARE TO FLARE (IRE) 14/115
2nd G. F. Carroll silk nk 1. RITA LEVI (IRE) 14/115
3rd R. P. Whelan silk nk 10. RED BLOODEDCRUISER 25/126
4th N. G. McCullagh silk ¾ 12. TRUEBA (IRE) 9/43.25f
J: Ben Martin Coen (5)  
18 ran. NRs: 19  20 


1st Jim Crowley silk 4. FIVE DIAMONDS 1/21.5f
2nd Shane Kelly silk nk 1. BURNING TOPIC (GER) 15/82.87
J: Jim Crowley  
7 ran. NRs: 6 


1st C. T. Keane silk 12. VIADERA 5/23.5f
2nd Frankie Dettori silk sh 6. LADY WANNABE (IRE) 6/17
3rd P. B. Beggy silk 10. SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL (IRE) 8/19
J: C. T. Keane  
11 ran. NRs: 2 


1st Luke Morris silk 1. HYDROPLANE (IRE) 6/52.2f
2nd David Probert silk 7. CHAKRII (IRE) 18/119
3rd George Wood silk 1 4. HOOFLEPUFF (IRE) 11/43.75
J: Luke Morris  
All 10 ran.


1st L. T. McAteer silk 3. REEKING HAVOC (IRE) 12/113
2nd Adam Farragher silk ½ 11. GUIDING STAR 10/111
3rd Ben Martin Coen silk hd 4. TYRCONNELL (IRE) 15/28.5
4th Shane Foley silk ¾ 6. JUNGLE JUNGLE (IRE) 9/25.5f
J: L. T. McAteer (7)  
18 ran. NRs: 20  9 
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