John Smith's Cup Tips: Raise a toast to First View

The John Smith's Cup is the feature race at York this weekend
The John Smith's Cup is the feature race at York this weekend

The July Cup over at Newmarket takes centre stage as the crown jewel of the busy Saturday of racing set to take place, but arguably the biggest punting race is a few hundred miles north up at York, the John Smith's Cup. Contested over a mile, two furlongs and fifty six yards, the valuable handicap will have been the target for many from a long way out this season. Billy Grimshaw has analysed the field for us and has an each-way tip...

The John Smith's Cup is always a competitive affair and the 2022 renewal looks set to be no exception. Mahrajaan is the favourite for the race at the time of writing and he made an encouraging reappearance at Haydock just over a month ago. William Haggas is having a fine season and if kicking on from his run in the north west he can be expected to be bang there come the finish. Rogue Bear follows him in the market and his claims couldn't be more obvious after a course and distance win nearly two months ago indicated his suitability for the test this race will have to offer. Tom Clover's gelding is only a four year-old and should still have plenty of improvement left in him so is respected.

Intellogent will look to carry top weight to victory under Adam Kirby and has been steadily nibbled at in the market all week. He was just touched off last time out in second in the Hunt Cup and is four pounds well in today on that performance. He was a Group One winner in France in his early career and now a seven year old and switched to a thriving yard with Jane Chapple-Hyam he is another with a strong chance of hitting the frame at the very least. There are predictably a host of runners with leading chances here and another a bit further down the market is Just Fine for the Queen and Sir Michael Stoute. He was a much bigger price earlier in the week but is now trading at a price more reasonable considering his claims, which include a good sixth last time out at Royal Ascot. With his handler's penchant for slowly bringing on these older horses he is not one to rule out lightly.

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La Trinidad looks an interesting contender trying this trip for the first time for Roger Fell, after a couple of course handicap victories this time last year proved his liking for the Knavesmire. He was not disgraced last time out in fourth at Epsom and this new trip could bring out further improvement. Anmaat is set to take his chance for Owen Burrows and comes here for his seasonal debut. Last seen nine months ago when second in the Cambridgeshire, a repeat of that performance would surely see him in the places at the least but the fact he comes here without a prep is a concern.

There are still a number of horses not mentioned who have strong claims, and the extra places being offered by most bookmakers are much welcomed for such a tricky punting heat. The one I am going to recommend an each-way play on is FIRST VIEW for Saeed bin Suroor. He was last seen winning at Leicester over a mile and he was notably strong at the finish that day. This first attempt at a mile and two should play to his strengths given his pedigree and run style and there is plenty of grounds for optimism that a step up in trip will suit the Godolphin runner. He is under a penalty here but his trainer has booked 3lb claimer Stefano Cherchi to soften that blow and I think he is a fair few points over priced in this field so is worth backing.

John Smith's Cup
First View silk

First View

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