COX AIMS TWO AT £100,000 SPRINT AT YORK
CLIVE COX is launching a double-edged attack on Saturday’s £100,000 Pavers Memorial Foundation Catherine Memorial Handicap with Harry Three and Watchya set to represent the trainer’s Beechdown Stables at York.
Harry Three looks to be Cox’s leading chance after a one-and-half length victory in a six-furlong handicap at Newmarket last month.
Though Watchya also has a progressive profile, winning two of his last three races – including at Lingfield just over a fortnight ago.
The pair are drawn on opposite sides of a 19-runner-field for the three-year-old only heritage handicap with Harry Three set to jump from stall 19 and Watchya from stall four.
Cox said: “Both horses won their previous start, so come here in top, winning form. Harry Three was quite impressive at Newmarket. Obviously he is up in the weights for that but we’re delighted we’ve got Ryan Moore on board. Hopefully the high draw is helpful.
“Watchya is a dual winner on the all-weather this year – he took a little bit of a sideways step at Ascot in between. But he won very nicely at Lingfield last time. He’s drawn on the other side. Hopefully, he’ll appreciate conditions and goes there in good form” (another former champion jockey, Jim Crowley, is his partner.)
“Both horses would be very much more at home on a drier surface, so hopefully it will suit both parties. They’re scopey, pleasing individuals. It’s nice to have quality horses that we can be competitive with at this level. That’s precisely what we dream of and strive to achieve.”
The Mick Channon-trained Ingra Tor heads the betting for the six-furlong sprint, while the leading Yorkshire-trained contender for the race is Showtime Mahomes, who was successful at York during the Sky Bet Sunday Series on 22 May..
Grant Tuer, who trains at Birkby, said of Showtime Mahomes:
“He seems really well at home, so I couldn’t be happier with him. He is a course and distance winner – he’s drawn the opposite side of where he was.
“He won out of one and he’s in 17 but I actually think 17 will be better for him.
“The form of the race he won at York has worked out really well. I think there’s five have come out and won from behind him – and he went up 5lb. so that would seem fair enough, I would’ve thought and he must have every chance.”
A further highlight of Saturday’s seven-race card is the Sky Bet Race to the Ebor Grand Cup. This mile-and-six-furlong Listed contest has attracted several classy types, including Without A Fight who was only beaten a head by Hukum in a Group 2 at Meydan in March.
York’s latest two-day meeting opens at 2pm tomorrow with the Constant Security Handicap. Saturday’s racing is also scheduled to get underway at 2pm.