Danchai To Follow Up John Smith's Cup Victory At Haydock
The William Haggas-trained Danchai can follow up his victory in York’s 54th John Smith’s Cup last month by taking another valuable handicap, this time in Haydock’s Betfred ” Better Prices On Goals Galore ” Handicap run over the same distance of 1m 2.5f as the 4-year-old’s game success on the Knavesmire under Andrea Atzeni.
The son of Authorized relished the step-up in trip last time after looking a bit short of pace over shorter and while looking a little fortunate to hang on from his badly-drawn stablemate Stencive the grey found himself in front with over a furlong to run and despite being closed down by the 6-1 joint-favourite close home never looked in danger of defeat.
Danchai will race off a career-high mark of 99 this afternoon (a rise of 7lb) but it will be a surprise if the gelding is not capable of progressing further and could well prove better class than the opposition, which is headed on top weight by the York specialist Navajo Chief. Joseph O’Brien is an eye-catching booking for Willam Haggas’s charge and rates a fair bet at the 7-1 on offer with Coral.
Sennockian Star looks a big danger from the in-form Mark Johnston stable but at the much more attractive price of 20-1 available with Stan James it would be no surprise to see Awake My Soul run well. Irish jockey Pat Smullen has been snapped up for the ride on the consistent son of Teofilo who got no sort of run behind Winterlude at Doncaster last week and is best judged on his fourth behind the selection at York, for which the gelding is now 5lb better off.