John Smith's Cup
Heritage Handicap, York 14:30
£60,000 added,
3yo plus,
1m 2f 56y, Class 2   
Saturday 18th July 2020

1 Sinjaari 11/1
2 Certain Lad 66/1
3 Fifth Position 6/1
4 Dark Jedi 18/1
22 ran Distances: 1l, 3l, 1¾l
Time: 2m 9.48s (slow by 2.78s)

Sinjaari rattled home to overhaul Certain Lad and provide trainer William Haggas with a third winner of this competitive handicap at York.

Haggas, successful with Green Destiny in 2011 and Danchai 2103, also had Desert Icon in the 22-runner contest – but it was Sinjaari who lifted the prize.

It was a good training performance by the Yorkshire-born handler as Sinjaari had been off for 281 days and was returning to action after being gelded.

Jockey Steve Donohoe brought Sinjaari through the pack in the final furlong, with the field spread right across the course.

The Camelot four-year-old showed a decisive turn of foot to head outsider Certain Lad and land the spoils by a length. Fifth Position was three lengths away in third place, with Dark Jedi fourth.

Trainers Quotes

Haggas said from his Newmarket base: “I’m thrilled to bits he’s come back to himself as he lost his way last spring having looked a bit useful.

“What he loved today was the fast pace and I’m sure he appreciated the drop of rain.

“I’m not sure what happened last season. I gave the jockey the wrong instructions at Royal Ascot and after that he wasn’t the same.

“We had him gelded but not because he was naughty in any way, he’s a lovely horse. I wasn’t sure he was coming to himself in time, but just in the last two weeks I thought we were getting him back.

“I wouldn’t know where we’d go with him. I won’t go back over a mile and a half, though – what he wants is a fast pace over 10 furlongs. I’m a bit taken aback by that to be honest to be thinking of what next.

“It’s just great to win a race to win with him – it’s a great race, a race we try to find one for every year.”

Donohoe said: “He loved the ground and saw his race out really well.

“It’s a John Smith’s Cup and it was a tricky enough, but once he got a bit of room up the straight he put it to bed. We were tapped for toe early, but then he came alight. He’s a very kind horse and has a really good attitude.

“With lockdown we’re all taking a hit and it’s good to get a nice winner.”


John Smith's Cup (Heritage Handicap)
£60,000 added, 3yo plus, 1m 2f 56y, Class 2
22 ran
Going: Good

1 (7)       Sinjaari 4 8-11 William Haggas Stevie Donohoe 11/1
2 (18)
1 Certain Lad 4 9-5 Mick Channon George Bass 66/1
3 (17)
3 Fifth Position 4 9-6 Roger Varian Jack Mitchell 6/1
4 (2)
Dark Jedi 4 8-5 Tim Easterby Duran Fentiman 18/1
5 (19)
nk Tinandali 4 9-4 David O'Meara Daniel Tudhope 20/1
6 (14)
nk Euchen Glen 7 9-4 Jim Goldie Paul Mulrennan 28/1
7 (5)
½ Desert Icon 4 9-7 William Haggas Tom Marquand 8/1
8 (10)
½ What's The Story 6 9-10 Keith Dalgleish Shane Gray 66/1
9 (9)
hd Caradoc 5 9-2 Ed Walker James Doyle 11/2J
10 (15)
1 Nicholas T 8 9-2 Jim Goldie Kevin Stott 80/1
11 (21)
hd Solid Stone 4 9-3 Sir Michael Stoute William Buick 11/2J
12 (13)
½ Anythingtoday 6 8-12 Roger Fell Ben Curtis 50/1
13 (16)
Wait Forever 5 8-12 Marco Botti Dougie Costello 100/1
14 (1)
nk Afaak 6 9-7 Charles Hills Dane O'Neill 18/1
15 (11)
¾ Harrovian 4 9-4 John Gosden Frankie Dettori 15/2
16 (3)
½ Baltic Baron t 5 8-12 David O'Meara Angus Villiers 22/1
17 (20)
½ Rise Hall 5 8-12 Martyn Meade Graham Lee 28/1
18 (22)
nk Good Birthday 4 8-13 Andrew Balding William Carver 18/1
19 (6)
Great Example 4 9-2 Saeed bin Suroor Cieren Fallon 10/1
20 (4)
1 Pivoine 6 9-8 Andrew Balding Rob Hornby 20/1
21 (8)
Archie Perkins 5 8-4 Nigel Tinkler Rowan Scott 33/1
22 (23)
Sky Defender 4 9-6 Mark Johnston Joe Fanning 28/1`

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