ITV Racing Tips: Can Harrovian land the John Smith’s Cup at York?

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The government may have given the greenlight for a limited number of spectators to attend Glorious Goodwood at the end of the month, but we’re still racing behind closed-doors at York and Newbury this weekend.

And while the fans will have to wait, the top racing continues with the John Smith’s Cup and the Hackwood Stakes our two feature contests on ITV’s eight-race card this Saturday.

We’ve got you covered for another rip-roaring afternoon with our ITV Racing Tips.

RACE OF THE DAY – JOHN SMITH’S CUP – YORK, 14:30

There’s nothing we love more than a big-field handicap on a Saturday afternoon, and they don’t come much bigger than York’s showpiece this weekend, even if the prize money for this year’s contest has been reduced.

Caradoc leads the contenders after finishing sixth behind Sky Defender in the Royal Hunt Cup, with the latter expected to run another big race from a devilishly wide draw.

Baltic Baron, Great Example and 2019 winner Pivoine are others to take into consideration, but it’s Harrovian for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori who piques our interest.

The four-year-old appears to be on a similar trajectory to stablemate Lord North following a gelding operation and his form so far this season reads well too.

Harrovian finished runner-up on reappearance in a race which has produced three subsequent winners, while the Gosden hopeful went one better next time out to score at Doncaster.

This is tougher, and he’ll have to deal with a 6lb rise from the handicapper, but if he can continue improving, then there’s every chance that he can at least hit the frame.

NEXT BEST – HACKWOOD STAKES – NEWBURY, 16:00

Summerghand has been knocking on the door in handicap company over the last couple of years and could finally get his day in the sun in the Hackwood Stakes.

David O’Meara’s speedster keeps on progressing at the age of six and only narrowly missed out when touched off in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot last month.

He made amends for that narrow defeat to score comfortably at Pontefract last time out and now connections are hoping he’ll take his chance in Group company for the first time.

The Lope De Vega gelding does his best work with plenty of cover in bigger fields, and if everything falls right, he could be the one to beat. Recent Chipchase Stakes winner Judicial receives a 3lb penalty and is the main danger.

ONE TO WATCH – CITY WALLS STAKES – YORK, 15:05

El Astronaute must be over the moon when he arrives at York. John Quinn’s inmate has developed a bit of a taste for the Knavesmire with two wins and a couple of frame finishes at the track since 2017.

He’s been well out the back on his last two tries here, but one of those was without regular jockey Jason Hart and the other was up against the best of the best in the Nunthorpe Stakes.

This is much easier, and after blowing off the cobwebs with a lovely win in Listed company ahead of the likes of Tarboosh and Final Venture at Doncaster, he should be bang there over 5f.

Major Jumbo is another who loves it at York, while Equilateral is the one to beat on form after his impressive second behind Battaash in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot.

Alpha Delphini won the Nunthorpe over course and distance at 40/1 in 2018, but he may be best watched on his first run back since sustaining a ligament injury 14 months ago.

SATURDAY 18TH JULY, ITV RACING SCHEDULE

13:55 York – Silver Cup Stakes (Group 3)

14:15 Newbury – Rose Bowl Stakes (Listed)

14:30 York – John Smith’s Cup

14:50 Newbury – British EBF Premier Fillies’ Handicap

15:05 York – City Walls Stakes (Listed)

15:25 Newbury – Aphrodite Fillies’ Stakes (Listed)

15:40 York – Extra Places Every Day Handicap

16:00 Newbury – Hackwood Stakes (Group 3)

View the latest Horse Racing odds

All odds and markets correct as of date of publication

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Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.