York preview: John Smith’s Cup (15.25)
Mount Logan was a big eye-catcher last time out, and looks the answer to a typically ultra-competitive renewal of the John Smith’s Cup at York (15.25).
The Luca Cumani trained colt showed progressive form throughout last season when winning twice, and in the last of those successes looked one to keep onside when scoring easily by 2 1/4 lengths at Doncaster off a mark of 96.
After shaping as if badly needing the run on his seasonal reappearance when a tenderly handled eighth at Epsom, the four-year-old duly out in a much improved effort last time out at Royal Ascot when a cracking fourth of 13 to the progressive Mahsoob in the Wolferton Handicap.
Mount Logan was well-backed for the 1m 2f contest, and after being held-up going well in mid division was denied a clear run when trying to make a move a furlong from home.
Jockey Andrea Atzeni was forced to switch at a crucial stage, and when Mount Logan did see daylight he flew home to be beaten just a length.
The son of New Approach was gaining hand over fist all the way to the line, and it was an effort which suggested he would have gone close to landing the spoils granted a clear passage.
If makes Mount Logan look well-treated off an unchanged mark of 100, especially as connections have decided to put up promising apprentice Kevin Stott who is terrific value for his 3lb claim.
Taking it into account, Mount Logan is just 1lb higher than when last successful and looks weighted to take all the beating.
First Flight finished just a length behind Mount Logan when seventh in the Wolferton and looks a big player.
The Saeed Bin Suroor trained gelding got badly hampered when coming with what looked a threatening run a furlong out, and in the cirumstances did well to rally and finish so close.
Prior to that the four-year-old had posted a cracking effort on seasonal reappearance when running on strongly to be beaten just 3/4 of a length by Mahsoob in a competitive 18-runner contest over course and distance.
That represents really strong form in the context of this contest, and with underfoot conditions ideal and James McDonald in the saddle everything points to huge run.