John Smith's Cup
Heritage Handicap, York 15:10
£200,000 guaranteed,
3yo plus,
1m 2f 56y, Class 2   
Saturday 15th July 2023

1 Pride Of America 18/1
2 Astro King 50/1
3 Haunted Dream 10/1
4 Nobel 12/1
18 ran NR: Cadillac, Howth, Makinmedoit, Marhaba The Champ
Distances: nse, 1½l, 1¼l Time: 2m 9.18s (slow by 1.08s)

Trained by Amy Murphy, Pride Of America has always been a solid operator for the Southgate Stables handler and was seen to good effect landing a competitive Chester handicap earlier in the campaign. 

Out of luck when tackling Group company in France last month, Pride Of America was sent off at 18-1 to bounce back on the Knavesmire off a career-high rating and pulled out all the stops when it mattered.

Having shadowed Andrew Balding’s Nobel to near the head of proceedings entering the home straight, he was soon embroiled in a sustained battle with that unexposed four-year-old and Ed Dunlop’s Haunted Dream.

Entering the final furlong Nobel’s challenge began to falter and although Pride Of America appeared to have Haunted Dream covered, it was Daniel and Claire Kubler’s Astro King who emerged on the scene under with looked a winning run. 

There was little to separate the pair as they flashed past the winning post, but it was the mount of 3lb apprentice Frederick Larson who got the nod after a tense wait for the photo-finish, with a nose the official winning distance. 

Murphy has won a Grade One over fences thanks to the popular Kalashnikov and has also tasted Listed success in France, but the win marked the biggest Flat success of her career on home soil. 

Trainers Quotes

She said: “I’m absolutely ecstatic, there’s no better feeling than when a horse like him, who takes a lot of training and managing, grabs a big prize like that.

“It’s unbelievable and I’m thrilled for the owners and the whole team.

“This has been his target since March, but he does need a bit of cut in the ground. I couldn’t imagine we were going to get cut in the ground in the middle of July, it was a bit of a worry and no one was doing a bigger rain dance than me!”

Of the wait for the photo to be announced, she added: “It was horrific! You can probably tell from my voice that I’ve probably done a lot of screaming in the last five minutes, but thankfully it’s gone our way.

“The owners are my biggest supporters and I’m just thrilled to be able to repay them.

“Today was the target, we’ll just enjoy today and worry about the rest afterwards!”


Larson said: “I’ve always been grateful for Amy, she’s always supported me since I’ve started riding. She said to me on Thursday did I fancy taking a bit of weight off him and I jumped at the opportunity and switched where I was going. 

“Everything went wrong for him today, but he still managed to dig it out and win. I’m so glad. Big Saturdays at York is just where you want to be winning, it’s a dream come true.”

Of the gallant runner-up, Daniel Kubler said: “That’s pretty tough. We had one beaten not far at Royal Ascot and now this, but fair play to Amy, she’s done a hell of a job with that horse. 

“He’s been a bridesmaid, but I don’t think he’s been that today – he’s put everything on the line. It’s one of those things, another stride and we were in front. It’s really exciting to have horses at this level and we’d love a few more of them.”

Horses 468x60 Jpg

John Smith's Cup (Heritage Handicap)
£200,000 guaranteed, 3yo plus, 1m 2f 56y, Class 2
18 ran
Going: Good to Soft

1 (2)    Pride Of America 6 9-8 Amy Murphy Frederick Larson 18/1
2 (11)
nse Astro King 6 9-1 Daniel & Claire Kubler Tom Eaves 50/1
3 (6)
Haunted Dream 4 8-12 Ed Dunlop Clifford Lee 10/1
4 (3)
Nobel 4 8-9 5ex Andrew Balding Cieren Fallon 12/1
5 (12)
1 Long Tradition 6 8-7 5ex Saeed bin Suroor Rowan Scott 8/1
6 (18)
Scampi 5 8-8 Andrew Balding Callum Hutchinson 16/1
7 (20)
¾ Millebosc 5 8-13 William Haggas Tom Marquand 15/2
8 (21)
½ Spirit Dancer 6 8-13 Richard Fahey Oisin Orr 11/1
9 (5)
White Wolf 4 9-3 Saeed bin Suroor Paul Hanagan 9/1
10 (7)
2 Postmark 4 8-5 Milton Harris Duran Fentiman 150/1
11 (9)
nk Certain Lad 7 9-9 Jack Channon George Bass 33/1
12 (1)
nk Faylaq 7 8-2 Jim Goldie Cam Hardie 18/1
13 (16)
Sonny Liston 4 9-2 Ralph Beckett Daniel Tudhope 9/1
14 (14)
nk Majestic 5 8-8 Jack Channon Connor Beasley 11/2
15 (22)
2 Cockalorum 8 8-2 Roger Fell & Sean Murray James Sullivan 80/1
16 (13)
11 Marie's Diamond 7 8-12 Roger Fell & Sean Murray Jason Hart 33/1
17 (4)
4 Sea The Casper 4 9-4 5ex Simon & Ed Crisford Andrea Atzeni 9/2F
18 (15)
1 Dawn Of Liberation 4 9-0 Richard Hannon Jason Watson 80/1
NR 1 (10) Cadillac 5 9-12 Alice Haynes NON RUNNER
NR 6 (19) Makinmedoit 4 9-2 Harry Eustace NON RUNNER
NR 16 (8) Marhaba The Champ 4 8-8 Kevin Ryan NON RUNNER
NR 19 (17) Howth 4 8-5 Michael Appleby NON RUNNER

Recent John Smith’s Cup Winners.......

2022 – Anmaat (5/1 jfav) Owen Burrows
2021 –
 Johnny Drama (22/1) Andrew Balding
2020 – 
(11/1) William Haggas
2019 – 
(14/1) Andrew Balding
2018 – Euchen Glen (20/1) Jim Goldie
2017 – 
Ballet Concerto
(8/1) Sir Michael Stoute
2016 – Educate (18/1) Ismail Mohammed 
2015 – 
Master Carpenter
(14/1) Rod Millman
2014 – 
(6/1) Roger Varian
2013 – 
(10/1) William Haggas
2012 – 
King’s Warrior
(10/1) Peter Chapple-Hyam
2011 –
 Green Destiny (6/1) W Haggas
2010 – Wigmore Hall (5/1) M Bell
2009 – Sirvino (16/1) T Barron
2008 – Flying Clarets (12/1) R Fahey
2007 – Charlie Tokyo (11/1) R Fahey
2006 – Fairmile (6/1 jfav) W Swinburn
2005 – Mullins Bay (4/1 fav) AP O’Brien
2004 – Arcalis (20/1) J Howard Johnson
2003 -  Far Lane (7/1) B Hills
2002 – Vintage Premium (20/1) R Fahey

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