John Smith’s Cup Betting Tips
It’s not just Newmarket where you will find top quality racing this weekend. Racing fans will also turn their attentions towards York for the ever-popular John Smith’s Cup.With a big field and winners possible from all levels of the betting, this is certainly a race worth getting your teeth stuck into.
Top Betting Tips
Sixties Groove and Ballet Concerto are the early favourites in the betting and they’ve certainly both got a chance but there are enough question marks about them to believe they’re a little short at a general 8/1.
At 10/1 with Bet365, Victory Bond looks like the best placed of the shorter priced options.
The four-year-old has had a strange time of it so far in his career. We only saw him once as a two-year-old but he made everybody stand up and take notice of him in his second race when winning a nine furlong maiden at Ripon in formidable style.
There’s always a danger when young horses turn in a quality performance that connections may believe they’re a little better than they are and that looks to have been the case with Victory Bond. He was entered into high quality races and struggled to be competitive but a drop down in class could serve him very well on Saturday.
There’s always a certain amount of luck needed in big handicap like the John Smith’s Cup but if things go to plan, Victory Bond is the one all the others will have to get past.
Rated just a few pounds higher than Victory Bond, the 2015 winner of this race, Master Carpenter, can carry the charge for the older horses.
Now six, he was in danger of slipping out of racing fans’ minds after 16 runs without a win following his John Smith’s Cup victory but a win over course and distance in May reminded people how good this horse can be.
Off a similar mark to two years ago, Master Carpenter is a solid each-way bet at 16/1 with Ladbrokes.
The John Smith’s Cup is a handicap open to horses aged three-years-old and above. With a prize fund of £200,000 the race always attracts a big and varied field while for fans, its unpredictable nature means guaranteed drama and plenty of horses worth backing.
The history of the race dates back to 1960. The John Smith’s brewery has always been associated with the race but it was known as the Magnet Cup until 1988. Over the years no jockey or trainer has been dominant and the size of the field has given an extra emphasis to the draw with higher draws favoured.
Past Five Winners
2016 – Educate, ridden by Thomas Brown, trained by Ismail Mohammed
2015 – Master Carpenter, ridden by Philip Makin, trained by Rod Millman
2014 – Farraaj, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, trained by Roger Varian
2013 – Danchai, ridden by Andrea Atzeni, trained by William Haggas
2012 – King’s Warrior, ridden by Robert Havlin, trained by Peter Chapple-Hyam
Key Trends to Consider
You’ll have to wait until closer to the race to ascertain whether the horse you want to back has been given a favourable draw or not but there are other key trends and stats to consider to help you whittle down the entrants into a shortlist.
The first thing to note is that last year’s winner, Educate, was the first horse aged over five to win the John Smith’s Cup since way back in 1970. Three-year-olds also have a pretty poor record so this is a race where more often than not it pays to focus on horses aged four and five.
In terms of the handicap, you don’t want to be backing a horse carrying much more than 9-2. It’s also not a race for favourite-backers. 14 of the last 15 winners went off at 20/1 or shorter but there have only been two victorious favourites in that same time.