Ebor Festival Friday tips: Paris up for the Lonsdale Cup
David Metcalf | August 18 2016
Trip To Paris can triumph in Lonsdale Cup
Trip To Paris shaped well on seasonal reappearance and looks the answer to the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup at York (14.30).
The five-year-old developed into one of the best stayers around last season when winning four times, landing the Chester Cup before posting a career-best effort to beat Kingfisher by 1 1/4 lengths in the Group 1 Ascot Gold Cup.
Trip To Paris also ran a blinder to finish fourth in the Melbourne Cup before sustaining an injury when well beaten in the Japan Cup.
The Ed Dunlop trained gelding was then off the track for 256 days before finishing a fine third to Scottish in a 1m 2f listed contest at Newbury last month.
The one to beat on ratings
Trip To Paris showed plenty of pace to track the leading pair before weakening late on to be beaten just over three lengths over an inadequate trip.
That run should have sharpened him up and an official rating of 116 gives Trip To Paris 3lb and upwards in hand on his rivals.
It makes the son of Champs Elysees the one to beat in what doesn’t look the strongest renewal of the 2m contest.
Forge hot stuff in City Of York
Forge has a progressive profile and looks decent value to land the the Group 3 City Of York Stakes (15.05).
The Sir Michael Stoute trained colt ran out the easy winner of a maiden at Doncaster back In April and ran a stormer on his penultimate outing when a 2 1/2 length third to Ribchester in the Group 3 Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Ribchester has since gone on to finish an unlucky third to The Gurkha in the Sussex Stakes at Goodwood before beating a top class field the Group 1 Jacques Le Marois at Deauville.
That gives the form a rock solid look in the context of this contest and Forge comes into it having posted another sound effort when second in a Group 3 at Goodwood.
With Pat Smullen in the saddle, and the prospect of even better to come, the three-year-old can get the better of Nemoralia to bag a deserved big race success.
Double chance for in-form Luca
Trainer Luca Cumani has his team in fine form and looks to holding leading claims of landing the two handicaps on the card with Shakopee and Banksea.
Shakopee runs in the 1m 4f contest that gets proceedings underway (13.55) and looked one to keep onside when showing a smart turn of foot to easily land a 1m 2f contest at Doncaster on his penultimate start.
Although to at his best last time out when only 14th of 17 at Goodwood, the four-year-old was slowly away and seemed unsuited by the undulations of the track.
The return to a galloping venue is sure to suit and Shakopee is bred to appreciate the step up to 1m 4f and still looks potentially ahead of the assessor off a mark of 92.
Drop in trip will suit Banksea
Banksea runs in the finale at 16.55 and is a fascinating contender now dropped back to 1m.
The three-year-old ran a cracker over it on seasonal reappearance when runner-up in a competitive 17-runner handicap at Ascot and went on to finish a solid 3/4 length second to the now 105-rated Gerswin at Leicester.
Banksea then landed an 1m 2f contest at Pontefract in style but has since run too freely in two subsequent outings over the same trip.
The return to shorter looks a good move and on his run behind Gershwin a mark of 94 should not be beyond Banksea.
Ebor Festival Friday tips
14.30 Trip To Paris (NAP)
15.05 Forge (NB)
16.20 Black Trilby