14th July 2012
York Betting: Area Fifty One to provide Fahey with another Knavesmire winner in John Smiths Cup
York 3pm – John Smiths Cup – Class 2 Handicap – 1m2f88yds
You need to find a horse in this race that goes on the ground, gets the trip and looks well weighted in the handicap. Area Fifty One ticks those boxes and is now a 6-1 chance with good market support from an opening price of around 8-1, having also been available at 12-1 earlier in the week. It is now 6-1 with BetVictor and that still looks worthy of some interest.
Area Fifty One has been aimed at this race for a while and was 8th of 14 to Gatewood at this course back in May. That form has worked out well with Gatewood winning at Epsom and Ascot and the 2nd at York, Romeo Montague ran a huge race at Ascot when placing at 66-1. Area Fifty One returned to York over 9f and ran 2nd to Navajo Chief on soft ground, just beaten a ¼ of a length. It ran on good to firm at Newmarket on the 30th June and won going away by 4 lengths in a class 2 handicap when rated 92.
It is due to go up to a rating of 100 but runs under a 5lb penalty today. Richard Fahey has been wise to offset that penalty and has booked 5lb claimer Shane Kelly for the ride so it basically runs off the same mark as last time out. It led 2f out at Newmarket and then kicked for home and those kind of tactics will suit here, horses prominent in the last furlong or two often hard to pass. The draw in 10 shouldn’t be too much of a problem as they will probably come up the middle of the track again.
Mijhaar looks a talented horse but is proving frustrating to back for its supporters. It has two 3rd places this season to Fury and Gatewood and that looks quite solid form. The 4th last season to Nathaniel and Fiorente looks top drawer form and any run to that level would surely see it win this race. It wears a hood for the first time and has 1 win from 6 starts but is open to plenty of improvement.
Media Hype looks a consistent sort with 3 wins from its last 5 races. It was a course and distance winner in May and that form has been boosted by Camborne, 6th that day and winning twice since. It didn’t get a clear run last time out when beaten behind Area Fifty One at Newmarket but has progressed from a rating of 70 back in April to a rating of 91 today.
Kirthill has finished 9th and 6th in 2 separate races behind Gatewood this season. It was beaten 1 ¾ lengths last time out on soft ground at Ascot. It has won a class 2 handicap over 10f on good to firm ground and is now 6lb above that rating of 94. It has been well beaten in class 2 and class 3 handicaps off a rating of 94 and only has 2 wins from 10 races, one of them a maiden. Drawn in stall 16 could be a negative if Kieren Fallon can’t track over and drop in.
Navajo Chief last ran 28 days ago and won at this course off a rating of 99. It is now rated 105 and Area Fifty One has franked the form of that race for the front two. Its last win before that was also at York but that was back in August 2011 with 11 disappointing efforts in between. Alan Jarvis has booked a 7lb claimer to take weight off and the horse therefore races off a pound lower than its last win with that claim. Claimers have a good record in this race, the horse likes the track and 16-1 looks overpriced.
There are plenty of other horses at around the 25-1 mark and plenty will have been aimed specifically at this race. Memory Cloth is a 25-1 chance, races under a 5lb penalty and has the same 3lb claimer on board as last time out. It won last time out but on heavy ground over 7f and has to prove this 10f will suit.
Kings Gambit could outrun its 50-1 tag and was 2nd in this race in 2010 off this same rating. It had a run back in May and has been kept off track since, possibly waiting for this race. The trip is ideal and the horse has two 2nds and two 3rds here from 6 races and will be hoping to go one better today. The ground is reported as good and it has 2 wins, 2 seconds and a third from 8 races on good ground.
2.5pts EW – Area Fifty One 6-1 BetVictor (BOG)
1pt EW – Navajo Chief 16-1 Bet365 (BOG)
0.5pt EW – Kings Gambit 50-1 BetVictor (BOG)
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Author: Formbook Frank