NEVER mind Scampi and chips, it’ll be Scampi and champagne if we can win the Ebor.
Our stable favourite SCAMPI (3.35) has had a terrific season and given his many owners in the Raceshare syndicate plenty of great days out.
I was thrilled with him at Ascot in the Shergar Cup last time out when he really stuck his neck out and battled for his win.
He’s not a surefire stayer now upped in distance to a mile and three quarters in what will be a very strongly-run race.
But one thing which is massively in his favour is his form at York – for whatever reason he seems to love the place.
Scampi tanked through the race when winning a nice handicap here earlier in the season and ran a screamer in the John Smith’s Cup over a trip short of his optimum.
I fancy him to run a huge race under a penalty.
We also run BERKSHIRE ROCCO and it was great to see him take a step forward with a good second at the Shergar Cup last time out.
Unlike Scampi, he is absolutely certain to stay, and he still has a bit of class. He was second in a St Leger a couple of years ago, after all.
We’ve stuck a visor on him and Callum Hutchison takes off a handy bit of weight, so I wouldn’t put you off backing him each-way.
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It’s a busy day for the yard at the Knavesmire today, and I’m hoping the addition of a visor for the first time will work the oracle with SANDRINE (3.00).
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She ran well first time out this year but she has been disappointing since and she has been a little laboured in her work, too.
We decided to stick some headgear on and she came flying up the gallops, so hopefully it’ll have the same effect in the City Of York Stakes.
THE GOAT (2.25) absolutely bolted up on soft ground at Glorious Goodwood and the handicapper bumped him up 12lb.
I’ve no doubt he will love an extra two furlongs this afternoon in the Melrose, but conditions will be considerably quicker today which is a little bit of an unknown.
KING’S LYNN (4.10) tackles the big sprint handicap – but for the first time he will be carrying my own colours, not those of the King and Queen.
They were looking to trim down their squad but didn’t want him to go to public auction, given all he has achieved for them and the yard.
So we agreed a deal and he will run for me from now on – and when the time comes to retire he will live out his days here in luxury as a hack.
He seems in good shape at home and we are pretty confident of a big run.
We are also expecting big things from PUROSANGUE (4.45) who ran really well at Goodwood.
This is a slight drop in class – though it is still a hot race – but he is in terrific form and on his second to Big Evs he is the one they all have to beat.
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And in the finale at York, I’m hoping the fitting of headgear can bring about an improved effort from MASEKELA (5.20).
Like Sandrine he has just been taking life a little easy of late, but a visor seems to have woken him up.
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