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Lonsdale Cup preview

The Ebor might be the headline act this week but there's a higher class race for the top-line stayers - the Group 2 Lonsdale Cup. Stepping up for his blog debut is Adam Webb, @AdamWebb121. Read more of his penmanship by visiting his blog

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Lonsdale Cup

Day three of the Ebor meeting has both extremes of flat racing from the speedsters in the Nunthorpe compared to the stayers in the Lonsdale Cup in which seven go to post. Sadly earlier this week, the Queen’s Ascot Gold Cup winner Estimate was ruled out of this race by trainer Sir Michael Stoute as he was not satisfied with the filly’s well-being.

That has taken some of the intrigue from the race but we still have a top class performer in Simenon who was second behind Estimate at Ascot who has the Melbourne Cup as his main aim later in the year. He was very unlucky when running on to be fourth earlier in the season in the Chester Cup behind Address Unknown before his excellent run at the Royal meeting. He will enjoy the ground on the Knavesmire but I would be concerned by a couple of things. First of all, there is a possibility that he won’t be fully wound up for this with this being a warm up for Flemington but my main concern is the form from the Gold Cup not looking strong with only Altano and Number Theory running well afterwards so I believe the favourite is opposable tomorrow. Times Up was very disappointing in the same race but he won this year last year on softer ground before going on to end last season on a high with a victory in the Doncaster Cup. His run before Ascot was underwhelming behind Gloomy Sunday so tomorrow is a watching brief for me.

Last year’s Ascot Gold Cup winner Colour Vision tends to run indifferently especially after his win there although his attempt to defend his crown was an excellent run when he was fourth. Apart from that, this season has been somewhat disappointing but Goodwood wasn’t his worst performance especially under a more patient ride after missing the break. If they revert back to a more prominent role then he could feature especially as the visor looks to have rekindled his enthusiasm. The other Godolphin contender who carries the first colours tomorrow is Ahzeemah who is a likable, consistent horse who has either finished first or second on his last nine starts. His last two starts in this country where he was second to Universal at Newmarket and his most previous one when second in the Goodwood Cup behind Brown Panther where he had most of today’s field behind him. He has a strong chance of winning tomorrow but I believe he will take second prize behind the John Gosden-trained CAUCUS. If you ignore his run in the Goodwood Cup then he has an excellent chance based on his victory at Sandown in the Coral Marathon where he beat Biographer by three quarters of a length in tenacious style. The trainer is in good form as proven by The Fugue’s runaway success in the Yorkshire Oaks today and he will love the fast ground plus the small field suits perfectly.

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The Lexus Melbourne Cup
Group 1, Handicap, 3200m
AUD 7,750,000
Flemington 1500 local, 0400 GMT
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