TRAINER David Simcock is planning to have runners in Listed company at York on both this Friday and Saturday, as the Knavesmire hosts a pair of £50,000 contests.
Newmarket-based Simcock expects to send out either Breton Rock or Arod in the mrgreen.com Live Casino Ganton Stakes on the opening day of the latest two-day meeting on the Knavesmire.
He also has Algometer and Curbyourenthusiasm entered in Saturday’s Sky Bet Grand Cup, with the former most likely to run.
The four horses have a cumulative age of 27 and Simcock loves having such seasoned campaigners in his string.
The master of Trillium Place said: “It doesn’t matter who you are, anybody would want those type of horses. They’re fun and every one of them is likely to have their day or be there and thereabouts.”
Underfoot conditions will determine whether eight-year-old Breton Rock or the year younger Arod lines up in the mrgreen.com Live Casino Ganton Stakes, staged over a mile.
Breton Rock, who won a Group 2 at the Qatar Goodwood Festival last year, could have his second start of the season after finishing fifth of seven in the Group 3 Diomed Stakes at Epsom on Derby day. That was a race that Arod, a Listed winner at Windsor a month ago, was pulled out of due to ground that was softer than his preference.
Simcock said: “Breton Rock going to Epsom was an afterthought. It wouldn’t be an ideal track for him but the ground came up easy and it was a chance to get a run into him. He’ll be much better for it.
“He will run at York if it’s on the slow side and Arod will run if it’s on the faster side.
“Arod is in very good order at the moment. He was second at Kempton first time out this year – he dusted away a few cobwebs. And then he was good at Windsor. We would love to have run him at Epsom but in my opinion he’s definitely better on faster ground.
“He is a horse that looks good at home. He is not short of speed and a mile is probably his perfect trip.”
Saturday’s Sky Bet Grand Cup, which is contested over a mile and three-quarters, is being run a little later this season to accommodate the new Group 3 Al Basti Equiworld Brontë Cup, which formed part of the card on Saturday 26 May at York.
Simcock is likely to be represented in the race by Algometer, a previous Group 3 winner. The trainer feels the five-year-old will build on his seasonal bow at Goodwood where he finished sixth of seven in a mile and a quarter Listed race.
He said: “I’d like to think Algometer will definitely run – I’ll probably leave Curbyourenthusiasm until the Northumberland Plate.
“Algometer lacked sharpness, pace at Goodwood. Now he is another year older he is probably a touch slower. He will have been rusty – he’d been a long time off. And he had a health issue at the end of April which cost us a couple of weeks.”
Simcock’s best chance of a winner at York’s next meeting may just be Sarshampla who is returning to the course after finishing fifth of 11 in the British Stallion Studs EBF Westow Stakes, a Listed race held at the Dante Festival.
That assignment was over five furlongs and on Friday she returns to six furlongs for the first time since her debut as she tackles the EBF Breeders’ Series Fillies Handicap.
Simcock said: “It was a very good run last time. She found it all happening a little bit quickly but she stayed on well. The six furlongs on a flat fast track should suit her.”