Take a punt on Caradoc for Cup honours

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Caradoc John Smiths Cup at York

Caradoc can feel the benefit of his recent return as he contests the John Smith’s Cup at York

Caradoc can feel the benefit of his recent return as he contests the John Smith’s Cup at York.

The five-year-old was a model of consistency for Ed Walker last term, finishing no worse than fifth in seven starts, which also encompassed two wins, including in a similarly competitive heat to this.

A shot at Listed company failed to pay off at the end of his campaign, but Caradoc was still well fancied to make a glorious return at Epsom earlier this month.

Walker had warned his charge might not be at his peak, and so it proved as Caradoc could not quite find the necessary speed after being given plenty to do on Derby day.

York date for Anapurna
York date for Anapurna
He made up an eyecatching amount of ground in the final furlong to be beaten just over four lengths in sixth and it may be that returning to a more conventional track should also be in his favour.

Communique makes a swift reappearance in the John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes after finishing second at Newmarket last week.

Mark Johnston’s charge had disappointed in his first couple of starts this term, but took a leap forward as he found only Dame Malliot too good in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes.

The five-year-old loves to do it the hard way from the front and once Dame Malliot passed him at Newmarket, it looked as though he might drop away.

However, Communique has determination in spades and poked his head in front again in the final furlong, only for Dame Malliot to pull put a bit more and go on to win by two and a quarter lengths.

Communique was conceding 3lb to the winner that day, but the conditions of this Group Three affair give him a handy advantage on the official ratings.

The Johnston team can also be on the mark at Haydock with Streak Lightning.

The three-year-old is two from two this year and will try to extend his winning run in the Newton-Le-Willows Handicap.

He did not run as a juvenile but has made up for lost time already this term, taking top honours at Wolverhampton on his debut before following up in a novice heat at Ripon nearly a month ago.

Well touted on both occasions, it will be disappointing if he is beaten here.

Newbury has some classy performers on show, with Mighty Gurkha expected to take high order in the bet365 Rose Bowl Stakes.

Archie Watson’s charge blew his rivals away on his debut, cantering home by seven and a half lengths at Lingfield in the manner of a really good performer over six furlongs.

Connections then decided to switch back to the minimum distance for a shot at the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot, but five furlongs did not look an ideal trip for this Sepoy colt as he did not quite have the toe of some of his rivals.

Fifth place was certainly no disgrace and the form looks strong with winner Tactical and runner-up Yazaman filling the first two places in last week’s July Stakes, while third-placed Muker is also a subsequent winner.

Mighty Gurkha is back over six furlongs here and the Listed prize looks well within his compass.

Virgin Snow can gain that all-important Listed verdict in the bet365 Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes, with the daughter of Snow Fairy already a fine breeding prospect after claiming Group Three place honours last time out.

Shine So Bright is worth a chance in the bet365 Hackwood Stakes after failing to last home over seven furlongs at Epsom.

He set a brisk pace in the Surrey Stakes and it is to his credit he only capitulated inside the distance, eventually having to settle for a three-length third.

A similar show of speed would certainly put him on the premises.

Classic action is the order of the day in Ireland, with preference for Jessica Harrington’s Cayenne Pepper in the Darley Irish Oaks.

She was handed an incredibly stiff task on her return to action, taking on multiple Group One winner Magical in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh last month.

Magical duly cantered home like the 122-rated performer she is, but Cayenne Pepper stuck to her guns and ran a fine trial for this race in finishing second. She is reckoned to have thrived since and could be tough to beat.

SELECTIONS:

BATH: 4.35 Twilight Heir, 5.05 Bay Watch, 5.35 Dahik, 6.05 Veleta, 6.35 Shoot To Kill, 7.05 Foresee, 7.35 Anno Maximo, 8.05 Hidden Depths.

CURRAGH: 4.15 Cold Steel, 4.45 Memorabilis, 5.15 Paradiso, 5.45 Romanised, 6.15 Bungee Jump, 6.45 Merchants Quay, 7.15 Cayenne Pepper, 7.45 Tonkinese.

HAYDOCK: 4.20 Love Explodes, 4.50 Kaser, 5.20 Shepherds Way, 5.55 Dapper Man, 6.25 One Over Par, 6.55 Danecase, 7.25 Al Kout, 7.55 Streak Lightning, 8.25 Little Ted.

NEWBURY: 12.30 La Dragontea, 1.05 Maximal, 1.40 Isla Vista, 2.15 Mighty Gurkha, 2.50 Tonyx, 3.25 Virgin Snow, 4.00 Shine So Bright, 4.30 Puerto Banus, 5.00 Casual Reply.

TRAMORE: 2.05 Escort’namix, 2.40 Premium Package, 3.15 Thatbeatsbanagher, 3.50 Elegant Dan, 4.25 Cornerkova 4.55 Cliff House, 5.25 My Oakclahome.

YORK: 12.15 Nomadic Empire, 12.45 Clareyblue, 1.20 My Oberon, 1.55 Communique, 2.30 CARADOC (NAP), 3.05 Que Amoro, 3.40 Make My Day, 4.10 Highly Sprung.

DOUBLE: Caradoc and Mighty Gurkha.

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