Yorkshire Cup Tips: Thunderous to chase home Stradivarius at York
All eyes will be on the legendary staying sensation Stradivarius as the eight-year-old embarks on another season at the highest level, and he is the one to beat in the Group 2 Yorkshire Cup, which is the feature race on day three of the Dante Festival at York at 15:35...
The multiple Group-winning Stradivarius will bid for a third Yorkshire Cup crown on Friday as he takes on four rivals in the 1m 5f 188y Group 2. A winner of the 2018 and 2019 renewal, the John & Thady Gosden-trained raider will be looking to use this event as a springboard to the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot next month, but the class act of the field is a well-fancied odds-on favourite to claim glory here.
Last seen finishing third in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot on British Champions Day, Stradivarius will be looking to make a winning return and he managed that feat in both 2018 and 2019 with both wins coming in this event, so he has to be considered a leading player here. But, there's already been murmurings that he will be retired should he fail to reach the dizzy heights of yesteryear, and he certainly doesn't appear to be the force of old, and while Trueshan will not line up here, he could still find it tough against some battle-hardened stayers, and while he may just have the class to win the contest, at odds-on he's worth taking on.
Dual Irish St Leger hero Search For A Song was a winner of the Listed Galtres Stakes on her only visit to York, and since that win in 2019 she has become one of the premier stayers in Ireland. Making the trip to the Knavesmire for Dermot Weld, Search For A Song is the 5/1 second favourite, at the time of writing, but she will need to improve on a disappointing defeat in a Listed event at Navan a few weeks ago. Sure to improve for that outing and defeat to Kyprios, the six-year-old daughter of Galileo will be in receipt of 6lbs from Stradivarius, but that may not be enough for her to down the hot favourite as she has only won one of her last eight.
Brian Ellison's Tashkhan was a huge improver last season, as having finished fifth in the Melrose Handicap in August he ended the campaign with a fine second in the Long Distance Cup at Ascot, where he was two-and-a-half lengths ahead of Stradivarius. However, the four-year-old failed to show any spark on the comeback run when weakening in the closing stages of the Sagaro Stakes last time out at Ascot, and the 11/2 chance will need to improve considerably on that effort to be considered a player here.
Ralph Beckett's Max Vega was winless throughout 2020 and 2021, but he smashed that long losing run on his first start this season, as he rocketed to victory in the Group 3 John Porter Stakes at Newbury last month, and if he can kick on from that effort then is intriguing at 10/1. But, while he was impressive it's hard to fancy him looking back at his career, which has had significant losing runs, so he's worth avoiding.
The current outsider of the field is THUNDEROUS, who is 11/1 at the moment, but is arguably the most eye-catching rival for the favourite. Mark Johnston last trained the winner of this race back in 2002 with Zindabad, but in Thunderous he has a runner that could only finish sixth of seven behind Max Vega in the John Porter, but he kicked on from that with a fine second placed finish in the Ormonde Stakes at Chester last week.
Prior to that he put up a career best when a fine fourth in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, and having won the Dante Stakes at York back in 2020 he is one that can deliver the goods on the Knavesmire. He appeared to enjoy the step up in trip in the Ormonde last time out, and he will go a little further in this event, which could bring about more improvement, and at double-figured odds he's worth taking a chance on against the hot favourite.