Race should suit Santiago in Yorkshire Cup on day 3 of Dante Festival



Chances in an open race

13:40 – Canonized

She is out of a decent mare of the stable’s who won around here and she clearly came forward a ton from her debut when winning on quick ground over 5f at Goodwood last time. She has her chance in what is clearly a very open race.

She has a shot against some smart prospects

14:10 – Ville De Grace

I rode her in her two starts last season and she was a good fifth on her comeback in the Fred Darling, and that form stood up pretty well in the 1000 Guineas. She maybe got a little tired late on at Newbury. If that has brought her on, then she certainly has a shot, even if she is up against some smart and unexposed prospects. I do think Snow Lantern and Love Is You are the two to beat in here though, even if the latter has a 3lb penalty.

Improvement likely and could go well

14:40 – Satono Japan

I didn’t ride this Deep Impact colt in any of his first three outings but I was on board for his comeback run at Chelmsford and I was very happy with the way he shaped, especially as he didn’t get much racing room late on. A mark of 95 is no gift but I’d like to think he has improvement in him and he could go well in what is obviously a very competitive handicap. I rode Blue Cup when he would have gone very close to winning at Epsom last time with anything like a clear run, and he is probably the one to beat.

Ground and pace should suit but Johnston pair are tough opponents

15:10 – Santiago

On the face of it, some may have thought he was a touch disappointing at Navan last month but I was happy enough with him. The ground was quick enough for him and he didn’t relax in a steadily-run race, and the expected easier surface and more even pace here will suit him a lot better. Hopefully, that first run of the season proves to be a good springboard, as we know from last year what a talented horse he is, having won the Irish Derby and finished a close fourth in a St Leger. Sir Ron Priestley will be a tough opponent though, and his stablemate Nayef Road will be, too.

Her toughest assignment yet

15:40 – Highfield Princess

She progressed well at Chelmsford towards the end of the year but she had turf form before that improvement kicked in, too. A mark of 83 looks okay but this is her toughest assignment yet and let’s see how her draw in one pans out.

Leading chance in finale

16:50 – Farhan

He won well on his final start last season and was only narrowly touched off by an in-form horse on his return at Salisbury. He is 4lb well-in here, so clearly has a leading chance.