John Smith’s Cup Tips and Offers
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 Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup Tips and Betting Offers, 3:50 at York, 13 July 2019
The John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup was, as ever, one of the most oversubscribed races of the season. With competition for one of the 22 places in this valuable handicap as high as eer, we are promised a cracking contest to headline a strong card at York on Saturday.
Experience and Draw Have a Big Role to Play
John Smith’s association with this race is the longest sponsor partnership in horse racing. The brewery first lent their name to this 1 mile 2 ½ furlong handicap in 1960 and over that time the race has produced some very helpful trends for punters to go on.
Those trends suggest backing a younger horse as Educate’s win in 2016 made him the only winner aged over five since 1969. Three-year-old winners are relatively rare but younger horses with enough experience of this sort of big field handicap can get the job done.
As well as the importance of handicap experience, winning form over at least 1 mile 1 furlong is vital. Finally, the draw has proven more important than the amount of weight a horse has to carry with a high draw preferable.
Draw Boosts Stylehunter’s Chances
It’s fair to say that Stylehunter has not been missed by the market. Money started coming in for him as soon as the ante post markets were priced up and his price has only shortened the closer we get to the off.
Those with open ante post positions on Stylehunter were obviously delighted to see John Gosden’s four-year-old confirmed for the John Smith’s Cup. They were even happier when news broke that he was given a great draw in stall 12.
The handicapper looks to have been lenient with Stylehunter after a very good run in the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot and he can take full advantage.
Aasheq Screams Each Way Value
The bookmakers have a pretty big disparity of opinion on the chances of Aasheq in the John Smith’s Cup. Tim Easterby’s charge is available between 16/1 and 25/1 and that top price is well worth snapping up wherever you can find it.
The big issue is obviously his age but there should be no worries about Aasheq’s preparation. He’s been targeted at this race right all season long and there was a lot to like from recent performances at Pontefract, Epsom and Chester suggesting a big run is on the cards.
Stylehunter has already proven that he is more than capable of contending in this sort of challenging handicap against a high number of opponents. He emerged from the Royal Hunt Cup with nothing but credit so it’s a little surprising that he will carry only 9st 2lb. The four-year-old looks ready to capitalise on his good draw off a generous mark at 7/1 with Ladbrokes.
Aasheq has a big task on his hands to end the recent dominance of younger horses, of that there is no doubt. Things have so far gone to plan for his tilt at the John Smith’s Cup though and may well return a place payout from an each way bet at 25/1 with RaceBets.
John Smith’s Cup Previous Winners
- 2018 – Euchen Glen – jockey Alistair Rawlinson, trainer Jim Goldie
- 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.