Montaser to step up in class for John Smith’s Silver Cup
Montaser put up a classy performance at this course last month when coming from off the pace to beat Quixote by a length. He was given a confident ride by Jamie Spencer on his seasonal debut and he was aimed at the Northumberland Plate.
That race was thrown into confusion by a late change of going and Montaser was withdrawn. That may have been a blessing in disguise as he was badly drawn and would inevitably have endured a hard race there.
Jim Crowley steps in for the ride here and will probably hold the gelding up for a late run. Sun Central was another who has been diverted from the Pitmen’s Derby and he is also stepping up from handicap company.
He was all out to beat Mysterious Man by a short head at Salisbury first time out and then chased home the progressive De Rigeur at Haydock. Both he and Montaser have a bit to find on official ratings but appear to be improving.
Saeed bin Suroor saddles two of the eight runners in Tenebaum and Songcraft. Tenebaum cut little ice in Dubai over the winter but is already the winner of a listed race in France. Graham Lee takes the spare ride on him on this busy Saturday with Silvestre de Sousa opting to ride Songcraft.
The son of Singspiel won a listed race here last month but the form has not been boosted and this looks a much tougher assignment. Mark Johnston’s horses are now firing on all cylinders and that could signal a return to form for Sir Graham Wade.
The imposing grey looked destined for the Cup races after a successful three-year-old season but has been very disappointing so far this term. He has shown glimpses of his former self in his last couple of appearances but a watching brief is advised.
Similarly, William Haggas’s second string Guarantee has failed to deliver after a promising season in 2012. He was well beaten in the Yorkshire Cup in May and returns here after a layoff.
Number Theory ran a good race at Sandown in the Henry II Stakes but never got competitive in the Gold Cup. Sir Mark Prescott’s well-bred Albamara completes the field but needs to improve considerably to win this.