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Cumani Aims For Elusive John Smith’s Cup Victory in York

York Races Proposal view from Melrose Stand

9:37am 4th July 2013

Trainer Luca Cumani has landed many of racing’s most prestigious handicap prizes, but one that is missing from his glittering CV is the John Smith’s Cup, the 54th staging of which will take place at York on Saturday, 13 July.

This year Cumani has Validus, Mobaco and Gabrial The Great entered in the £150,000 contest and he has confirmed the former as his most likely representative.

The four-year-old gelding comes into the race with an official rating of 103. He is lightly-raced and progressive, coming into the John Smith’s Cup on the back of a decent second over a mile at Newcastle last weekend.

Last season he raced just twice, winning impressively at Kempton before finishing a close-up fifth in a Listed event at the same track. The betting sees him as short as 12/1 with one firm for what is one of the most keenly-contested races of the season.

The Newmarket-based handler said: “The John Smith's Cup is a race I would dearly love to win and we have entered three horses for a crack at the £150,000 purse. 

“We have always thought a huge amount of Validus and with a career best performance in his latest race at Newcastle he goes to York in the form of his life. 

“With the sun forecast to shine all week on the Knavesmire, I am hopeful of a good day, the faster the ground the better for Validus.”

The John Smith’s Cup was first staged in 1960 and was then run under the title of the ‘Magnet Cup’. The first winner was a filly called Fougalle.

It has since been won by a host of tough and classy performers. In recent times, the likes of subsequent Group 1 hero Wigmore Hall (2010) and Green Destiny (2011), who would go on to secure two Group-race triumphs, have taken in this coveted race.

The two-day meeting offers aggregate prize money of £438,000 and gets under way on Friday, July 12, 2013 when the Group Three Summer Stakes is the feature of day one.

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