Race of The Day Saturday June 16
15:001m 6fur (2800m)

Sky Bet Grand Cup Stakes (Listed Race) (Class 1)

York

  • Current Favourite  Marmelo
  • Current Odds 9/4
Race Analysis Runners 8 Going Good to Firm Distance 1m 6fur (2800m)

Race Overview

A listed class staying contest for horses aged four years old and upwards, carrying prize money of £50,000.

This race has attracted some very useful stayers who are have been successful in the past at this level and in Group races, both in Britain and overseas. The field this year includes the popular veteran Clever Cookie, winner of this race in both 2014 and 2015.

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Favourite Marmelo

Hughie Morrison’s five-year-old will be partnered for the first time by the world classs Ryan Moore. He won in Group 2 company in France last year and failed only narrowly to win ats time out at Longchamp at a similar level.

Other Contenders

John Gosden’s Weekender will appreciate this faster ground and prove popular with punters, but the likes of Duretto, Time To Study, and Algometer, among others, are also capable stayers who have claims on their best form.

Race Analysis

The betting suggests that the two to concentrate on here are the expected favourite Marmelo, and his main market rival, Weekender.

Marmelo’s recent neck second to the high-class French stayer Vazirabad at Longchamp is excellent form, and he has already won at a higher level than this race having landed the Group 2 Darley Prix Kergorlay at Deauville last August. There’s every reason to believe this son of Duke Of Marmalade is getting better with age, and his ninth place in lNovember’s Melbourne Cup certainly indicated there could be better to come this term. The only negative for Marmelo is the ground. He has never raced on ground faster than good, his trainer having stated on a  number of occasions that he is at his best when able to race on a sound surface or in soft conditions. Punters supporting the favourite will have to weigh that very much into calculations.

Weekender hasn’t achieved as much as Marmelo to date, but this son of Frankel is certainly going the right way and can score under Frankie Dettori. He ended last campaign finishing second on softish ground at Newmarket in listed company, then won on his seasonal return on the AW at Chelmsford, beating the useful Higher Power. Only third last time behind Magic Circle in the Group 3 Henry II Stakes on rain-softened ground, Gosden’s four-year-old is at his best on a much quicker surface so should have ideal conditions and, on this occasion, is fancied to get the better of the forecast favourite.

Horse racing Frankie Dettori

Frankie Dettori rides Betting.Net selection Weekender

Mark Johnston’s Time To Study wears first-time blinkers, and only finished half a length behind Weekender at Sandown. He is rated 6lb inferior and is more exposed, so while the prospect of him turning the form around isn’t ruled out, this solid stayer is expected to take no more than a place at best. Duretto has a touch of class and wasn’t disgraced when fifth to Idaho at Chester in the Group 3 Ormonde Stakes last time on his seasonal reappearance. He is respected, as too are David Simcock’s Algometer ,and Melodic Motion, runner-up in the Group 2 Park Hill Stakes last September but not seen in action for over seven months.

Old boy Clever Cookie is a credit to his trainer but doesn’t look the force of old and would prefer softer ground.

Read review

Betting.net Selection

Weekender
11/4
Read review

Betting.net Danger

Marmelo
9/4

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Paul Alster Betting.net

Written by Paul Alster

Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.