TRAINER John Gosden has won the last three renewals of the Lonsdale Cup (2.25pm) – twice with Stradivarius – and now sharing his licence with son Thady, he will be hoping to maintain that record.
With conditions set fair at York and times from earlier this week indicating the going to be on the fast side of good, this has the look of a match race.
Connections were frustrated when having to avoid running Stradivarius on testing ground in the Goodwood Cup, but he now gets a chance, under optimum conditions, to show that his dominance of the staying ranks is not a thing of the past.
Quick ground will also suit SPANISH MISSION, a horse that improved for the switch to Andrew Balding’s yard last season and has continued his progression in 2021.
He boasts course form after showing a smart turn of foot to win the Group Two Yorkshire Cup in May and then ran a blinder last time out in the Ascot Gold Cup, when sticking on determinedly for third.
He came from a similar position in the field to Stradivarius that day and ultimately finished the stronger, one-and-three-quarter lengths ahead of the Gosden runner at the line.
With doubts still hanging over Stradivarius after that lacklustre display, he can be taken on at 6/5 and with 3/1 available about Spanish Mission, I think he provides some value.
The other major player here is Alan King’s Trueshan. Winner of the Group One Goodwood Cup on his last start, he now carries a 3lb penalty for that success.
While he has won on good ground before, soft brings out the best in him, so drying conditions on the Knavesmire may count against him.
In the Fillies’ Handicap (4.40pm) I like the look of Ralph Beckett’s DECLARED INTEREST.
She ran a respectable race in Group Three company at Ascot last time, when probably not suited by trying to quicken sharply off a slow gallop.
While it’s a stiff task to carry 10 stone here, this race is considerably weaker than last time.
A step back up to 1m2½ furlongs, a trip she has won over, may bring about more improvement and the faster the ground the better for this filly.
With many of her rivals favouring softer ground, Declared Interest is worth an each-way investment at odds of 12/1.
Spanish Mission 2.25pm York
Declared Interest e/w 4.40pm York