Saturday’s feature, the John Smith’s Cup at York, is the riddle wrapped in an enigma. A maximum field in a handicap going hell for leather over 10 furlongs ensures you need plenty of luck in running. One way of whittling down the runners used to be the draw. A low berth has won eight from the past 10 renewals, but the winner has emerged from stalls 19 and 18 in the past two runnings.
The Wolferton Handicap run at Royal Ascot has been a good pointer in recent years. Both last year’s winner Mullins Bay and Vintage Premium (2002) ran well there before claiming this. The Wolferton runner-up Wild Savannah and winner I’m So Lucky clash again on Saturday and the former has a handy weight advantage and should reverse placings.
However, a horse with an equally good profile is Star of Light. This consistent five-year-old gelding has been in the form of his life. In the Wolferton, he was only five lengths adrift of I’m So Lucky. He gets a 10lb pull in the weights with that rival on Saturday. Star of Light is 2lb better off for a two-length beating by Wild Savannah. If the low draw trend reasserts itself, he has the best berth, racing from stall four.
Selections (all each-way):
3:20 York – Palomar
3:55 York – Star of Light
4:10 The Curragh (Sunday) – Mont Etoile