NEWMARKET trainer Simon Crisford is looking forward to running the high-quality Mordin in the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup at York on Saturday.
The consistent five-year-old, who recorded a fourth career success when easily winning on his seasonal reappearance at Haydock, already boasts significant form in heritage handicap company having finished runner-up in the Cambridgeshire at Newmarket last season.
Mordin was last seen lining up in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot where he was beaten just over four lengths into tenth, and the son of Invincible Spirit will return to the extended mile and a quarter on the Knavesmire having run midfield in the corresponding race last season.
However, the in-form Crisford – whose fine season was headlined by a first success at the Royal meeting last month – is under no illusions of the task facing Mordin as he goes to post for a red-hot renewal of the £200,000 feature contest.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Crisford said. “It’s such a famous, historic race and it’s one of those races that is so difficult to win because it’s so competitive.
“The horse is approaching the race in good form – he ran in the contest last year – and we’re very pleased with him.”
A maximum field of 22 are set to enter the new larger stalls at York for the 2019 running of the John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup – a race first staged in 1960 and one that has often produced a subsequent Group-level winner.
Mordin has been drawn in stall 20 on Saturday and Crisford admits he would have preferred a lower stall.
“He’s got an awkward post position, which doesn’t give us a lot of options being drawn out wide,” the trainer said.
Mordin, rated 106, will be partnered for the first time by apprentice Seamus Cronin, who will claim a handy 5lb on what is his second ride for the stable; seeking to emulate subsequent Champion Jockey Paul Hanagan who took the contest back in 2002.
“Mordin has reached a very respectable level and he’s obviously a very good horse, but with the rating he has it makes life tough for him in handicaps, but also tough if he steps beyond handicap company,” Crisford added.
“He’s in one of those areas where the racing is particularly competitive and it’s hard for him to be winning, but he deserves to take his chance.
“I was looking for someone to take a bit of weight off his back. Seamus is a very promising young jockey and hopefully the horse can give him a good ride.”
The action begins on Saturday with the John Smith’s City Walls Stakes, a Listed contest run over five furlongs, and the ten-strong field includes veteran speedster Caspian Prince.
Later on the card, Gold Mount – who won the Listed Sky Bet Race To The Ebor Grand Cup Stakes over York’s one mile and six furlong-trip last month – will return to the same course and distance in the Group 3 John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes where a number of contenders for the £1m Sky Bet Ebor itself will be put to the test.
The six-year-old was mooted as a potential Melbourne Cup aspirant following that two and a quarter-length victory and he will face seven rivals as he bids to maintain his unbeaten record for Ian Williams.
The high-class, seven-race card gets underway at 2.05pm.