Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 09:51 13/07/2013
Trainer William Haggas is responsible for the 54th John Smith's Cup favourite in the shape of long-time ante-post market leader Stencive, a top price 6-1 with several firms, but the mount of Graham Lee has been done no favours with an outside draw in stall 21 and at the generous odds of 16-1 with Ladbrokes, the 4-year-old's stablemate Danchai looks much better value in the extended 1m 2f Heritage Handicap.
The grey son of Derby winner Authorized is lightly raced and after finishing second in competitive handicaps at Newmarket and Sandown looked just the type to land a valuable contest like this before the end of the season. The reason Andrea Atzeni's mount is such a big price is a below-par performance on his most recent start when a never-dangerous sixth behind Prince Of Jahanne in Sandown's Coral Challenge last weekend. William Buick gave Danchai a lot to do on that occasion with the result that the 4-year old could never mount a challenge to the leaders but was staying on nicely at the finish to be beaten a little over three lengths.
The mile trip of the Sandown race appeared too sharp for Danchai and with the step up in trip looking sure to suit it will be disappointing if the horse fails to bounce back on the Knavesmire by going close in the race worth over £93k to the winner. Apart from his better-fancied stable companion there are, as expected, a host of potential dangers with the vastly improved Clon Brulee (8-1 generally) the most feared. Unbeaten this season David Barron's charge may still be one step ahead of the handicapper off a mark of 93 and can give the selection most to do.