He ran a bit of a strange race when second to Forest Ranger at Newcastle, as he looked a bit all at sea there. I don’t know if it was the surface or if he was just rusty, but hopefully the run will have sharpened him up – he looked well beaten at Newcastle before staying on again – and the step up in trip will help as well. Obviously he has course form, too, having won the Acomb on fast ground for me here last season and he is the joint highest-rated horse in the race alongside Exemplar on that victory, so you have to be hopeful. And the horse he beat here last season won the Royal Lodge next time up. This is clearly a very open and competitive Dante, though. For me, Cracksman still has a fair bit to prove, for all that he beat Permian at Epsom and that one has come out and won well since, and Crystal Ocean is the talking horse who now has to go and do it in a Group race. I think Joseph’s horse Rekindling is very solid, having beaten the Derrinstown 1-2-3 in the Ballysax, but I am sure plenty will be fancying their chances in here.
Can’t Change It
He has a fair bit going for him in an open handicap. A lot of horses use this as a prep for the Hunt Cup and you don’t what the likes of Victory Bond are capable of – and Keystroke is interesting, too – but, being a Verglas, Can’t Change It likes a bit of juice in the ground and will be suited by the conditions. He has a nice draw in two and he won at Goodwood first time out last season, so he has each-way chances, for sure.
Everyone knows Kevin likes to run his nicer 2yos at York and this horse is a lovely big, rangy horse who has been training very well. In fact, I was up in Malton a few weeks ago and I sat on him, and he is a beautiful type, as you would expect with his pedigree and price tag. He has a fast-ground action though, he moves low to the ground – he is a War Front – so soft ground is the obvious worry.
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