Racing: Running style of Great Plains can steal Cup

On the face of it, York should be one of the fairest tracks in the country. Its turns are generous, its straight long and level. Yet the place is becoming increasingly mistrusted as a betting environment, with variable ground seeming to produce fluctuating biases. Historically, a high draw seemed lethal in the John Smith's Cup. Yet this hugely valuable handicap has been won for the past two years by horses drawn 19 and 18, and it seems pointless to be dogmatic in seeking the winner today.

Forgery holds claims stepped up in trip, but may not want the ground too firm and there are two more interesting candidates - both of which carry the colours of Prince Khaled Abdulla.

Public Forum ran deplorably at Royal Ascot, but his success over an inadequate trip on his reappearance had indicated that he was capable of better and it could be worth forgiving him one poor performance.

But Great Plains (3.55) is more obviously on the upgrade, having produced an improved effort at Salisbury last time. His penalty offers some hope of revenge to the runner-up, Fairmile, but Great Plains has very few miles on the clock and his earnest style of galloping should be ideally suited to York, which fairly dependably rewards positive tactics. Abdulla's retained jockey, Richard Hughes, is down at Lingfield - riding Stronghold in a fascinating race against Cesare and Nayyir, sadly with no terrestrial cameras present - but Great Plains will scarcely suffer from the booking of the excellent Eddie Ahern.

The same jockey will be hoping that Lost Soldier Three can repeat his success last year in the John Smith's Silver Cup, but faces a formidable rival in LINAS SELECTION (nap 3.20). This colt bumped into a wolf in sheep's clothing at Newmarket in the spring, receiving just 5lb from the top-class Papal Bull, but has not looked back since and won with total authority when stepped up to a mile and a half at Royal Ascot last time.

Though punished with a 13lb rise in the ratings, he is one of those horses that seem to thrive dramatically for Mark Johnston. The extra distance would normally be a source of doubt but his relentless style of running should be ideally suited to York.

Wyatt Earp (next best 2.45) was often unlucky last season and remains on a fair mark, just 4lb higher than when gaining an overdue success at Catterick in the autumn. The clock suggested that he is approaching a new peak when he went down with all guns blazing at Pontefract during the week.

Chris McGrath

Nap: Linas Selection (York 3.20)

NB: Wyatt Earp (York 2.45)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
An iceberg in Ilulissat, Greenland; researchers have been studying the phenomena of the melting glaciers and their long-term ramifications for the rest of the world (Getty)
news
Environment
environment
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Jackman bears his claws and loses the plot in X-Men movie 'The Wolverine'
film
Arts and Entertainment
'Knowledge is power': Angelina Jolie has written about her preventive surgery
film
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Junior Web Designer - Client Liaison

£6 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity to join a gro...

Recruitment Genius: Service Delivery Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Service Delivery Manager is required to join...

Recruitment Genius: Massage Therapist / Sports Therapist

£12000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A opportunity has arisen for a ...

Ashdown Group: Practice Accountant - Bournemouth - £38,000

£32000 - £38000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful accountancy practice in...

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing