North Yorkshire trainer Tim Easterby has had the valuable mile-and-a-quarter handicap in mind for some time for Snoano and was delighted with the way the five-year-old handled the ground conditions to run out a game winner of a competitive heat on Saturday.
“He’s come out of it good. I’ve had winners at Royal Ascot so I know what it takes. I won’t run them unless they have a chance,” said Great Habton handler Easterby.
“It was a nice surprise because if it had been softer ground I’d have been fairly optimistic. It was fast so I was a bit iffy.
“He runs in the John Smith’s Cup. That’s been his aim all year. This was a bonus.”
Easterby also reports Mattmu to be ready to resume his racing career in Saturday’s Betfred TV Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle after a spell at stud. The five-year-old is among 19 entries for the Group Three contest over six furlongs, in which he finished second in 2015.
“He’ll probably run,” said Easterby. “He didn’t cover enough mares to warrant him at stud so he’s back in training.
Mattmu – successful at both Group Two and Group Three level – last saw racecourse action in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last summer when he was out of luck in the Group One won by Twilight Son.
n Pat Smullen has been booked to ride Cracksman in Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh.
With regular pilot Frankie Dettori currently sidelined by injury, John Gosden was in need of a new rider for his Epsom Derby third.
Smullen’s agent Kevin O’Ryan said: “He’s an absolutely brilliant ride to get.”
NEWMARKET: 2.10 Dichato, 2.40 Theglasgowwarrior, 3.15 Sword Exceed, 3.50 Saluti, 4.25 Khamaary (treble), 5.00 Rigoletto, 5.35 Compas Scoobie.
NOTTINGHAM: 2.20 Agadeer, 2.50 Pouvoir Magique (next best), 3.25 ZABEEL PRINCE (NAP), 4.00 Finale, 4.35 Artscape, 5.10 Rainbow Orse, 5.45 Saga Sprint.
NEWCASTLE: 2.00 Molly Mayhem, 2.30 Curiosity, 3.05 Bishop Of Bling, 3.40 Replenish, 4.15 Sooqaan, 4.50 Cline, 5.20 Accession, 5.55 Seebring.
NEWBURY: 5.50 Anonymous John, 6.20 Magic Applause, 6.50 Mahaarat, 7.25 Sporting Times, 8.00 Heart Of Gold, 8.30 Swanton Blue, 9.00 Roy Rocket.
HAMILTON: 6.00 Tonto’s Spirit, 6.30 Here In The Dark, 7.00 Ypres, 7.35 Grey Diamond, 8.10 Peach Melba, 8.40 Spirit Of Wedza, 9.10 Manshood.