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Frankie Dettori tipped to land Knavesmire’s Grand Cup
The dust has barely settled on the three-day Dante Festival, but York follows up with more racing tomorrow and the chance of providing Frankie Dettori with a winning opportunity in one of the feature races.
Dettori has been forced to endure a slow start to the campaign, but the ultra-popular jockey won the final race of the Dante Festival, and he can follow up tomorrow aboard Cavalryman in the Stowe Family Law LLP Grand Cup.
It is some time since Cavalryman got his head in front, but he showed in Dubai during the winter that he still possesses plenty of ability. Far from disgraced in Group 1 company, he also finished second in a Group 2 event at Meydan.
Tomorrow, he drops into a Listed race and Godolphin’s six-year-old is fancied to carry Dettori to a popular success.
Dettori will be aboard Saamid, another highly-rated Godolphin runner, in the Flaxby Conditions Stakes, but the lightly-raced four-year-old may have to settle for place honours behind a couple of North Yorkshire horses, Smarty Socks and Brae Hill.
Smarty Socks, trained by David O’Meara, looks to be just coming to hand and with seven furlongs on fast ground his ideal conditions, he may have the edge over Richard Fahey’s Lincoln winner Brae Hill, who has since finished a good fourth in the Victoria Cup at Ascot.
O’Meara also has good prospects with Eltheeb, an encouraging third at Thirsk on his reappearance, in the opening Ferrensby Handicap, but preference is for Getabuzz, trained by Tim Easterby and a good second at Hamilton on his comeback outing.
The £40,000 Whixley Handicap is the richest race on the Knavesmire programme and this wide open event may fall to Lexi’s Hero, trained by Kevin Ryan and the mount of Kieren Fallon.
A horse who won a 20-runner handicap on this course last summer, Lexi’s Hero finished a creditable fourth on his reappearance at Chester earlier this month, an outing which should have put him spot-on for this five furlong dash.
Fallon has also been engaged to ride Tussie Mussie in the Yorkshire Regiment Maiden Stakes.
This unraced juvenile, trained by Mark Johnston, carries the colours of Inner Circle Thoroughbreds, a syndicate set up by Channel 4’s Jim McGrath. Speedily-bred by Royal Applause, Tussie Mussie is expected to go well and is sportingly napped to go in first time.
It is Betfred day at Haydock, where the Group 2 Temple Stakes has attracted a wealth of sprinting talent. Bryan Smart runs his Group 1 winner Tangerine Trees, while his Hambleton neighbour Kevin Ryan saddles Bapak Chinta, a Royal Ascot winner last term.
My vote, however, goes to Sole Power, winner of this race last year and also winner of the Nunthorpe Stakes at York in 2010 at 100-1.
He has since proved that win was no fluke and his fine form in Meydan over the winter confirms that he retains all his ability.
Paul Hanagan rides the Irish raider for the first time.
The £60,000 Betfred Silver Bowl is a fiercely competitive handicap for three-year-olds. One of many with chances is Gabrial.
Also worth noting on a classy card are Tamareen (4.05) and Afaal (5.15), two other Hanagan mounts.
2.05 Getabuzz, 2.35 Smarty Socks, 3.10 Cavalryman, 3.45 Lexi’s Hero, 4.15 Tussie Mussie (NAP), 4.50 Pea Shooter, 5.25 Invincible Hero.
2.00 Moidore, 2.30 Gabrial, 3.00 Sole Power, 3.30 Magic Secret, 4.05 Paradise Sceptre, 4.40 Tamareen, 5.15 Afaal, 5.50 Madam Macie.
Tomorrow’s other meetings
Chester, Goodwood, Lingfield and Newbury.
Catterick, Goodwood, Haydock, Yarmouth, Musselburgh and Towcester.