The Yorkshire Cup is the feature race at York on Friday and the recognised Gold Cup trial is the feature race on the final day of York’s three-day Dante Festival. We have analysed this year’s Yorkshire Cup field, providing a runner-by-runner preview and big race verdict. Check this out below, alongside a new customer sign-up at bet365 which provides £50 in Free Bets when you bet £10.
Paddy Power Yorkshire Cup Stakes (1m6f, York, Friday, May 13th 2022)
1. STRADIVARIUS (John & Thady Gosden, Frankie Dettori) 4/5
Exceptional stayer who’s claimed three Gold Cups, four Goodwood Cups and earned millions in prize money during an extensive (in Flat terms) career on the track. Last season didn’t quite go to plan (hampered in the Gold Cup, withdrawn on account of soft ground at Goodwood), but he still won thrice, including the extended 2m Lonsdale Cup here. Has been kept in training as an 8yo, and makes his seasonal reappearance at a track where he is currently 5-5, but 1m6f is short of his optimum trip nowadays and Royal Ascot next month is the main target.
2. MAX VEGA (Ralph Beckett, Rob Hornby) 10/1
Talented sort who hasn’t really hit the heights that would have once been hoped of him. Even so, he was a creditable fifth in the Ebor here last August and managed to get his head back in front when landing the Group 3 John Porter (1m4f) at Newbury last month. That was his first win since October 2019 so hopefully, it will have done his confidence the world of good, and going back up in trip won’t cause connections any concerns, but another career-best will almost certainly be required to win.
3. TASHKHAN (Brian Ellison, Ben Robinson) 11/2
Started life for these connections off a mark of 70 in a 1m4f handicap at this meeting, finishing second. Progressed significantly through the handicap ranks subsequently, ultimately finishing a 50/1 second in the Long Distance Cup on Qipco British Champions Day, where he had Stradivarius two and a half lengths behind. Only fifth in the Sagaro Stakes on last month’s reappearance, but you get the impression that he was in need of that and better can be expected here as a result. Questionable whether going back in trip is ideal though, particularly if the ground dries out.
4. THUNDEROUS (Charlie & Mark Johnston, Franny Norton) 10/1
Winner of the Dante Stakes at this track in 2020 albeit in a renewal run after the Derby, so perhaps one slightly diluted quality-wise. Has failed to add to that from his six starts since but he came close to attesting to that when runner-up in the Ormonde at Chester last week. Reapplied blinkers fitted there are retained, and he’s yet to be tried over this 1m6f trip (last week’s run came over a half-furlong shorter). Something to find on the bare figures but he’s not had anywhere near as much racing as some of these.
5. SEARCH FOR A SONG (Dermot Weld, Chris Hayes) 5/1
Very smart staying mare who won the Irish St. Leger in both 2019 and 2020. Only fifth when bidding to land a third renewal last September, but she gained some form of compensation when bolting up in the Group 3 Loughbrown Stakes a fortnight later. Respectable comeback run in Listed company at Navan last month at a time when the yard was going through a little bit of a quiet spell, yet she’s never been the greatest horse fresh so a better showing can be expected here. Comes out fractionally the best on these terms and she wont mind how the ground is riding, so plenty going in her favour here.
Yorkshire Cup Verdict
Superstar Stradivarius takes to the track here in a bid to maintain a previous unbeaten course record (5-5) and bag himself a third Yorkshire Cup. He’s been off the track since October, however, so might be a little rusty and 1m6f is well short of his optimum nowadays. He must also, crucially, concede 6lb to SEACH FOR A SONG here, who is officially rated just 4lb inferior, expected to be far better suited by this trip, and comes into today’s race with the benefit of a prep run, factors which make her a strongly fancied advised play against the fav – for all that he’ll have the Yorkshire crowd firmly on side. 2020 Dante winner Thunderous shouldn’t be discounted having gone close at Chester last week, particularly if allowed to dictate matters on the front end.
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