John Smiths Cup Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 3.40 at York, 14th July 2018
One of the big betting handicaps of the year takes place at York as the venue plays host to the John Smiths Cup. Read on for the best odds and offers, as well as our betting tips for the contest.
This 1m2 ½f heritage handicap for runners aged three and older been held at York since 1960 and now offers £200,000 in total prize money.
Alternatively check out the big race at Newmarket with our July Cup betting tips.
John Smiths Cup Betting Tips
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Betting Offers and Free Bets
- WILLIAM HILL BET £10 GET £30 IN FREE BETS – Significant Terms: New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.
- CORAL BET £5, GET £20 IN FREE BETS – Significant Terms: 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.
- LADBROKES £50 FREE BET OFFER – Significant Terms: 18+. New customers only. Promo code ‘F50’ required. Certain deposit methods excluded. Min £/€5 on win or each-way bet excluding Tote or pools = match max £/€50 free bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Bet must be made within 14 days. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. Single bets only. Free bet cannot be used on certain markets. T&Cs apply.
- TOTESPORT £20 NEW CUSTOMER OFFER – Significant Terms: New customers only. 18+. Stake £10 on any Sportsbook market for the first time, at odds of evens (2.0) or greater and get a £10 Free Bet within 24 hours of settlement, 7 day expiry. Stake £10 on any Totepool bet for the first time, and receive £10 back in cash within 24 hours of settlement. Full T&Cs Apply.
- Other racing free bets, enhanced odds and other offers for this race will be listed in due course.
John Smiths Cup 2018 Race Preview and Betting Tips
This weekend brings one of the best Saturdays in the entire flat racing season with excellent racing around the UK and Ireland. Many punters will be keeping a keen eye on the July Cup at Newmarket but the John Smith’s Cup at York has equal billing.
This valuable handicap is run over a distance of one mile, two furlongs. Although it is open to horses aged three and older, three-year olds have struggled to get a place in the field let alone win but with just one winner aged over five since 1969 we are sure to have another winner aged either four or five.
Will the Favourite Be Another Ascot Performer to Fail at York?
Dash Of Spice heads into the John Smith’s Cup as the clear favourite at a general 9/2. David Elsworth’s charge is so well fancied because he won each of his last two performances but it’s the more recent win at Royal Ascot that should concern favourite backers. He was full value for the win in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes but horses who raced at Royal Ascot rarely go on to win the John Smith’s Cup.
There are also concerns that the speed of the track at York is going to be a concern now that Dash Of Spice has been dropped back to 10 furlongs. He may well ride his momentum to another win but Dash Of Spice does look a little short and there are more tempting options in the betting.
Can Brorocco Fire Off a Career High Mark?
When it comes to horses interesting at longer odds, Brorocco is one who really stands out. Andrew Balding was hopeful that his five-year-old would be able to continue to challenge in high quality handicaps after a decent season last year and results have been relatively encouraging since he finished seventh on his reappearance at Newmarket.
Brorocco finished second behind an impressive winner at Epsom at the start of June, found it tough to cope with a smaller field that he’s used to at Newmarket next up and was then only beaten by two unexposed three-year-olds last time out.
Balding knows that his charge will need to be bang on it at York to overcome a career high mark but this is the sort of race in which he thrives. It’ll be tough but Brorocco looks good value to win at 12/1 with Bet365.
Plum Draw Can Help What’s The Story
Keith Dalgleish is always a trainer worth following when he makes a trip outside of Scotland and the north east so it could pay to be on board his charge What’s The Story at 16/1 with 888Sport.
That was the case when Dalgleish made the trip to Ascot as What’s The Story finished fourth in the Royal Hunt Cup, a career best performance. He may be unlikely to do break the trend of horses failing to win the John Smith’s Cup after competing at Royal Ascot but What’s The Story is steely competitor who has been given a very good inside draw so is more than capable of grabbing a place.
John Smiths Cup Previous Winners
- 2017 – Ballet Concerto – jockey James Doyle, trainer Michael Stoute
- 2016 – Educate – jockey Thomas Brown, trainer Ismail Mohammed
- 2015 – Master Carpenter – jockey Philip Makin, trainer Rod Millman
- 2014 – Farraaj – jockey Andrea Atzeni, trainer Roger Varian
- 2013 – Danchai – jockey Andrea Atzeni, trainer William Haggas
- 2012 – Kings Warrior – jockey Robert Havlin, trainer Peter Chapple-Hyam
- 2011 – Green Destiny – jockey Adam Beschizza, trainer William Haggas
- 2010 – Wigmore Hall – jockey Martin Lane, trainer Michael Bell
- 2009 – Sirvino – jockey Neil Brown, trainer David Barron
- 2008 – Flying Clarets – jockey Frederik Tylicki, trainer Richard Fahey
- 2007 – Charlie Tokyo – jockey Jamie Moriarty, trainer Richard Fahey
- 2006 – Fairmile – jockey Adam Kirby, trainer Walter Swinburb
John Smiths Cup History
No race in the British racing year has been sponsored by the same company for as long as this hugely popular handicap contest. Johns Smiths have lent their backing to the event since the very first edition of the race in 1960.
Beginning in 1961 with Proud Chieftain and ending in 1984 with Straight Man, it is “ The Major”, Dick Hern who is the most successful trainer in the history of this race.
Willie Carson was the man on board for Hern in 1978 and 1983, when steering Town and Country and Bedtime to victory. Having also won aboard Jolly Good for Bruce Hobbs in 1975, Carson’s three wins are enough for a tie of the lead amongst jockeys with Tony Ives and Geoff Baxter.
It takes some effort for a horse to conquer what is invariably a big field in this handicap contest. To do so twice is extremely difficult. There are two who have proved up to this task though as Prominent won in both 1971 and 1972, and Chaumiere recorded back to back victories in 1985 and 1986.
Trends and pointers
As of 2015 the four year olds hold the edge when it comes to the age of the winner here with 23 wins in total. The three year olds aren’t far behind with 19 wins whilst eleven winners have been aged five. Raccolto, Farm Walk and My Swanee all won at the age of six in the 1960’s but none so old have prevailed since.
There is a pretty strong trend in evidence here when it comes to the weight carried by the winner. In the first 56 editions of the race the first across the line carried under 9st 39 times as opposed to just 17 wins for those carrying over 9st. Interestingly as of 2015 no runner had carried exactly 9st to victory.
The 1987 renewal is unique in the history of the race as it resulted in the first dead heat in the life of the contest, with the judge unable to split Greville Starkey aboard Brave Dancer and Willie Ryan on Wolsey.
Bill Elsey’s Peleid is probably the highest class horse to have won here. Following a famous win in this race in 1973, the bay took a significant step up in class in his stride to stun the field in that years St. Leger Stakes at Doncaster.
Another to go on to bigger and better things following a win in this race was Howard Johnson’s Arcalis. Following success here in 2004, the grey gelding tried his hand at hurdles and proved talented enough to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the 2005 Cheltenham Festival.