Dave Nevison's Saturday selections: Stick with the old school in John Smith's Cup

By Dave Nevison@nevisondave
Fri 17 Jul 2020

Backing the Gosden/Dettori runner in the day's big handicap might not be an original play, but our tipster says they're the best in the business for a reason.

2.30 York: Harrovian

This impressive-looking four-year-old should prove extremely well suited by a strongly-run big-field handicap, as despite showing really good form, he has often found trouble in more tactically-run affairs.

He perhaps lacks the serious of turn speed which might allow him to escape from that tendency, but with an end-to-end gallop and a long straight plus Frankie Dettori in the saddle again, he should have few excuses here.

I felt that he won his race last time out more easily than the head margin of victory would suggest, but once again he gave the runner-up first run and took time to peg back Archie Perkins - a horse without anywhere near the same ability as the selection. The cheekpieces he wore there are retained.

While backing Gosden/Dettori runners on a Saturday afternoon is hardly a route for the value-seekers it is certainly a reliable approach.

3.40 York: Arctic Fox

This column did well out of this filly last summer, notably when she won the big ladies' race over course and distance. I was personally a little too loyal to her afterwards and lost a few quid on her subsequently disappointing runs.

However, her latest run suggested that it may be time to go back in with her as she ran really well last time at a big price and now finds herself on a mark lower than she previously won off. Back at York and united with bang-in-form jockey Paddy Mathers, who has won twice on her, she should go close.

Arctic Fox takes down a nice prize at York last year under Carol Bartley

4.10 York: Roundhay Park

For some time, this horse has promising to win only to somehow seem to keep finding ways of getting beaten. I feel he is worth risking to break the luckless sequence in this big field.

He will certainly be happier back over six furlongs in my view even though he has run adequately in both efforts over seven furlongs this season.

Racing off a mark of 76 here, in early summer last year he was running good races over this course and distance off a rating more than a stone higher. But I don't feel that he has declined much in ability in that time and hope that circumstances were often more to blame.

Nigel Tinkler enjoyed a big winner at Sandown on Thursday evening and his team seem to be striking form at the right time. This one should be a decent price and I can definitely see him hitting the frame with the cheekpieces back on to help squeeze out a little more effort.

4.30 Newbury: Puerto Banus

A longstanding maiden, albeit one with relatively low mileage, but he will surely be breaking his duck sooner rather than later judged upon his latest two efforts and with Ryan Moore booked it looks as though his trainer means business here.

He was beaten only by a well-handicapped horse returning to form last time and by a very much in-form rival previously, but has only been raised 3lb in total for those two efforts and earned his best ever rating last time out.

Watch again as Puerto Banus stays on for a never-nearer second two starts ago

Dave's four Saturday fancies:

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