I'm going to swerve a play in the Matchbook Yorkshire Cup at York on Friday but, if pushed, would support Ispolini to upstage the odds-on favourite Stradivarius.
I have four other fancies on the card, starting with:
She did the job when winning at Salisbury on quick ground but, had she stayed straight, would have won a little easier. It is a concern coming here as wayward tendencies will surely find her out up in grade but I think she’s worth chancing. At least, she would appear to be drawn on the right side of the track if she does repeat the trick.
The vibes after that recent success were very strong with Ascot mentioned so this sort of contest seems the logical next step.
This horse is rated higher on the all weather but it’s too soon to write him off on this surface, even if quick ground is a bit of an unknown.
I certainly think the step up in trip is a plus and the race is surely more open than the market has it. He has won on turf, putting in a strong staying performance over seven furlongs at the back end of last year, and he shaped for as if he was still in need of further again over the mile last time.
I’m not sure he’s well drawn but this meeting has seen sprinters win from either side of the track, so you’d probably conclude that it just pays to be where the pace is, as opposed to there being a specific bias.
That said, there is pace drawn low here and Tenax could have this run to suit. His quick ground Thirsk form is very strong and he didn’t have things run to suit when slowly away at Nottingham last time. Ryan Moore has to be considered an interesting booking.
Off the mark on his first start this season, he looked done for pace (and class perhaps) by stable-companion Nayef Road at Newmarket last time. That horse was thought good enough to line up in the Dante on Thursday and Fraser Island has to be a threat off the same handicap mark.
Connections said afterwards they looked forward to stepping this son of Australia up in trip and that's exactly what they do here, with ground conditions probably in his favour too.