York Preview: Four-timer beckons for Hopkins
Gm Hopkins looks a Group horse in the making and can make light of a 9lb rise in the weights to land the 1m 1f feature handicap at York today (3.00).
The John Gosden trained colt kicked of the season with a facile two length success in a mile maiden on soft ground at Nottingham, and followed up in good style on handicap debut at Sandown off an opening mark of 87 following a 156 day break.
The son of Dubawi then posted a career-best effort last time out under a 4lb penalty in the Silver Cambridgeshire at Newmarket when destroying 21 rivals with ease.
Gm Hopkins travelled strongly throughout the 1m 1f contest, and after making smooth headway three from home took up the running approaching the final furlong before quickening clear to beat Munaaser by 2 3/4 lengths.
It was a most impressive display in such a competitive affair, and one which suggested Gm Hopkins needed keeping firmly onside.
The handicapper has reacted in putting up Gm Hopkins another 9lb, but such was the manner of the three-year-old’s victory it is unlikely to be enough to stop him going on again.
See The Sun bounced right back to his best last time out and looks weighted to go well in the 5f handicap (2.30).
The Tim Easterby trained gelding won a valuable 20-runner three-year-old class 2 contest over 6f at this venue in June when making all to beat Naadirr by a neck off a mark of 90, and now gets into this lower grade class 3 affair of just 3lb higher.
That gives See The Sun every chance from a handicapping perspective, and the son of Assertive comes into the contest on the back of a solid third of 15 to High On Life in a class 2 contest at Haydock 13 days ago following a couple of below par runs.
Connections are also now fitting See The Sun with the visor for the first time, and if the headgear has the desired effect a big run looks on the cards on soft ground which holds no fears.
In the 7f handicap that closes proceedings (5.10), the Richard Fahey trained Personal Touch has plenty going for him.
The gelding was last successful in a 7f contest on soft ground at Doncaster back in March 2013 when rallying strongly to beat Pashan Garh by 3/4 of a length off 78.
The five-year-old now gets into this off the same rating, having run really well off 2lb higher when runner-up on seasonal reappearance at Doncaster on heavy ground.
Personal Touch also comes into the contest fresh having had just three starts this season, and shaped really well in the last of those over an inadequate 6f at Redcar when staying on to finish fifth.
The step up back to 7f is sure to suit, and with underfoot conditions ideal the son of Pivotal looks decent each-way value in a wide open contest.
2.00: Four Seasons
2.30: See The Sun (NB)
3.00: Gm Hopkins (NAP)
5.10: Personal Touch