Logan The Mount Of The Day In John Smith’s
John Smith's Cup
The richest 1m2f handicap in Europe takes place at York on Saturday in the shape of the historic, John Smith’s Cup (3.25), where Luca Cumani’s 4yo, Mount Logan, has proven very popular since his eyecatching run at Royal Ascot last month.
Logan To Mount Challenge
A winner over 1m4f last season, Mount Logan was always going to find the short straight at Ascot against him, and he got caught in trouble before finishing powerfully.
His followers will be looking for compensation on Saturday, where he gets to run off the same mark – in fact, he’ll be 3lb lighter with an apprentice in the saddle.
In front of Mount Logan at Ascot were mark Johnston’s pair, Sennockian Star (10/1) and Fire Fighting (12/1), where the latter caught the eye finishing well into third. The problem with Fire Fighting is that he once again has top weight and will need improvement, comments that also apply to Sennockian Star, who won Redcar’s Zetland Gold Cup over these conditions, but may be in the handicapper’s grip.
What is key for the aforementioned pair is that they both made the top two of late, which has been a good omen for the race based on past trends…
Of the last 10 John Smith’s winners…
10 made the top two during their last three runs
9 were 4-5yo’s
9 were drawn in stall 9 or higher
8 returned 12/1 or shorter
7 had a maximum of five handicap runs
7 had yet to run at York
Ascot 1-2 Do Battle Again
The above stats show that the draw has had an impact, with those in stall 9 or higher doing best, which bodes well for Arab Dawn (8/1), who carries a 5lb penalty for beating Ajman Bridge (10/1) around 1/2l in a valuable handicap at Royal Ascot (1m4f, good to firm). There may not be much between the pair once more, though whether this step back in trip proves ideal remains to be seen.
Next on the list comes Andrew Balding’s Collaboration (14/1), who was back in seventh behind Sennockian Star at Ascot, and may also be in the handicapper’s grip following a spring treble. One who may still have a few pound in hand, however, is Voice Of A Leader (16/1).
Voice To Lead Them Home?
Peter Chapple-Hyam’s 4yo hasn’t many miles on the clock, and has been put aside for this since beaten 2l by Mahsoob over C&D two months ago. With Mahsoob going on to beat Sennockian Star and co at Ascot, his formlines look solid.
It also needs remembering that 8 of the last 10 winners of this contest returned 12/1 or shorter, which points up Godolphin’s First Flight (12/1), who was involved in both of Mahsoob’s races when seventh at Ascot (not clear run) and has each-way claims.
Mount Logan looks to hold an obvious chance on his unlucky fourth at Ascot, but lesser-exposed sorts tend to win this, and one who fits the bill is Voice Of A Leader. He showed he liked this C&D when fourth (of 18) in May, and has kept his handicap mark protected since.