Friday 18th May, 3:30pm, York, 1m 6f (1m 5f 188y) Mansionbet Yorkshire Cup (Group 2) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (4yo+)

The Yorkshire Cup has been part of the British Champions Series since 2011 in the Long Distance division which concludes with the British Champions Long Distance Cup at Ascot on Champions Day in October. To date the winner of the Yorkshire Cup has not gone on to win the Ascot race.

The race was originally run as a handicap and the first winner in 1927 was Templestowe. The race was abandoned during the war and re-established as a conditions race. It reverted to a handicap in 1952 and for that year only was called the Yorkshire Stayers Handicap. It was restored as conditions race again in 1952 and reverted to its original title.

Some very decent horses have won the race in recent times including three St Leger winners in the 1988 Yorkshire Cup winner, Moon Madness, the 1995 winner, Moonax and the 2004 winner Millenary. Celeric won the race in 1997 and also won the Ascot Gold Cup and the 2001 winner Marienbard went on to win the 2002 renewal of the Prix de L’Arc de Triomphe.

The betting is a reasonable guide to the race as 10 of the last 12 winners have come from the first three in the betting, with five favourites obliging.

In the 47 renewals since the race gained Group 2 status, 24 or 51% of the winners have been four year olds. Twelve (25.5%) of the winners have been five year olds with just 11 renewals (23.4%) being won by horses aged between six and eight years old. This would point one in the direction of excluding all other than four and five year olds when looking for the winner. However, since 2000 when Kayf Tara won for Saeed Bin Suroor as a six year old, the 18 renewals have been won by horse aged six to eight no fewer than nine times.

Experienced horses appear to be coming to the fore in the Yorkshire Cup with 11 of the last 12 winners having run a minimum of 10 times on the Flat and 10 out of the last 12 winners having at least four wins to their names.

Moving on to form, only one of the last 12 winners won on their previous run and seven of the 12 winners had not run in the current season. Previously having run at the Knavesmire is useful as eight of the last 12 winners had run at least once previously at the track, but only two had a previous win on the course. Winning form over the race distance is also useful as five of the previous 12 winners has won over the trip, with no fewer than 10 horses at least having run over 1 mile 6 furlongs.

Looking for previous Group winners is a very good pointer as 11 of the last 12 winners had won Group 1 to Group 3 events previously. Therefore, as one would expect, a good Official Rating is important with a rating of 110 being required to win 10 of the last 12 renewals.

One very interesting runner who fulfils most of the recent trends is Max Dynamite. The eight year old bay gelding is trained by Willie Mullins in Ireland as a dual horse runner on both the Flat and over hurdles. He is certainly no slouch on the Flat turf as he won the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup during last season’s Ebor meeting at York. In fact he has amassed prize money totalling £889,000 on the Flat and has run in some very exotic locations including Hong Kong and Flemington in Australia where he has contested the Melbourne Cup twice finishing third and second in his two runs in the race.

His trainer is in excellent form and Max Dynamite will be fit from a spin over hurdles 20 days ago even though he was pulled up. However, he does not have much form in faster ground with all of his wins coming in Soft and Good to Soft ground. The drying ground could be against him although he did finish within 3¾ lengths of the winner in the Group 3 Henry II Stakes at Sandown last season.

He has the very able assistance of Ryan Moore in the saddle who also rode him in the Henry II Stakes. He can in no way be described as a good thing but up against a likely odds on favourite in the shape of John Gosden’s Stradivarius he does offer some value and will certainly be giving of his all.

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