Mass Rally To Defy Top Weight In York Opener
Course form counts for a lot at York and one horse who has shown a liking for the Knavesmire is top weight Mass Rally in the opening sprint handicap at 1.55 and the Michael Dods-trained seven-year-old is fancied to gain his third victory at the Yorkshire venue as the mount of Paul Mulrennan looks the value of the race at the 12-1 available with most bookmakers including bet365 for the extended five furlong speed test.
The son of Kheleyf took a long time to break a long losing run after winning on Kempton and Wolverhampton’s all-weather surfaces as a two-year-old, with almost three years and twenty four races passing before crossing the winning post in front for a third time but that was in the ultra-competitive Ayr Silver Cup in September 2012 since when the horse has performed with great credit winning twice more both over York’s six furlong course.
A half length victory over Nocturn last May was followed five months later with a length and a half defeat of Seeking Magic in the valuable Coral Sprint Trophy off a mark of 103, 2lb less than today’s rating, but the gelding has been dropped 2lb since finishing a highly creditable fourth behind Maarek in the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes on his most recent start and a reproduction of that form should give him every chance of achieving his third course victory this afternoon.
Goldream, York Glory and See The Sun are all capable of going close but the biggest danger may come from the Mark Johnston-trained Peterkin who is likely to be up with the pace from the word go and could take some pegging back off bottom weight making plenty of each-way appeal at the 16-1 on offer with Boylesports.