Friday, July 23, 2010




Trainer Michael Jarvis is hoping that his progressive four-year-old Rainbow Peak can successfully step up to Group Two company in the £100,000 Group Two Sky Bet Stakes (3.05pm) at York on Saturday, July 24.

The Peter Savill home-bred, one of 19 entries for the extended 10-furlong contest, posted a convincing two and a quarter-length win over subsequent John Smith’s Cup runner-up Kings Gambit in the mile and a quarter Listed Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot on June 18.

He previously went down by a head on his seasonal return in the Listed Hambleton Handicap over a mile at York’s May Meeting - his only defeat in five career starts - and reeled off a hat-trick of wins last season with victories at Kempton, Ascot and Newbury. Sky Bet make Rainbow Peak the 11/4 favourite for glory on Saturday.

Jarvis revealed: “Rainbow Peak is on course to head to York for the Sky Bet York Stakes - I have to discuss the race with Peter Savill, who is abroad at the moment, but the race has always been our intention.

“He has come out of his win in the Wolferton Handicap absolutely fine. He won very well and the form of the race has stood up. He is a progressive horse but we are talking about going from winning a Listed handicap to a Group Two, so there is quite a jump in class.

“He had a couple of injuries earlier on in his career - he injured his pelvis and his tibia - and he has gone through the mill a bit. The consequence of that is that he is now a very lightly-raced four-year-old and I am optimistic that he can continue to improve.

“He’s a very laid back horse who only does what you ask him do to - he doesn’t know how to run a poor race.

“The weather forecast looks like there might be a drop of rain between now and Saturday. While he certainly wouldn’t want it to be soft, the ground dries out particularly quickly at York and we wouldn’t risk him on rock hard ground either.”

Godolphin has triumphed in two of the first four renewals of the Sky Bet York Stakes courtesy of Stage Gift (2007) and last year’s winner Kirklees, and a total of five entries from the racing operation this year includes Cavalryman, who took third in last season’s Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe, and Antara, successful in a Group Three at Epsom Downs in June.

The famous royal blue silks may also be sported by last year’s Lockinge Stakes runner-up Alexandros, who was narrowly beaten by the David Simcock-trained Bushman in the Group Three Diomed Stakes, as well as international performers Allybar and Balius.

The Walter Swinburn-trained Stotsfold is set to bid for a hat-trick following a pair of game victories at Sandown, while last year’s fifth Monitor Closely, who subsequently returned to York and triumphed in the Group Two Great Voltigeur Stakes for Peter Chapple-Hyam, may make his seasonal return for his new handler Michael Bell.

Other notable entries include French Group Two winner Debussy, whose trainer John Gosden won the 2008 Sky Bet York Stakes with Pipedreamer, the Tom Tate-trained pair of Kings Gambit and Distant Memories, and the lightly-raced Rebel Soldier, who took a York handicap by eight lengths for Jeremy Noseda last month.

Saturday’s superb seven-race card also features the £50,000 Sky Bet Dash (3.40pm) and another ultra competitive contest looks guaranteed with 39 horses entered for the six-furlong handicap.

The John Ryan-trained Iver Bridge Lad found only Victoire De Lyphar a length and a quarter too strong in the Reg Griffin Memorial Heritage Handicap over the same course and distance on June 12 and is set to return to the Knavesmire following a staying-on fifth in another six-furlong heritage handicap at Newmarket on July 7.

Ryan reported: “We are seriously thinking about letting Iver Bridge Lad take his chance in the Sky Bet Dash. He is in the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood as well and he won’t contest both races. He ran so well at York earlier this season and I would be more confident about turning up on the Knavesmire - it ticks more of the boxes for us.

“He ran a superb race under top-weight at Newmarket last time. It was a typical big sprint - he was drawn where there was no pace and he had to try and get into the race.

“He also got a couple of bumps when he was looking for a gap and was still only beaten a little over three lengths. Hopefully, he will head to York and he’ll go there in very good form.”

Lowdown may make a quick reappearance for Mark Johnston following a comfortable victory in the Scottish Stewards’ Cup at Hamilton on Friday, where he had the likes of Damika, The Nifty Fox and Hawkeyethenoo behind him.

Richard Fahey took the spoils in last year’s race with Knot In Wood and the Malton handler has entered Kaldoun Kingdom, Valery Borzov and Baldemar, while David Nicholls could be represented by Tajneed and Sonny Red.

Sky Bet Racecourse PR Officer Matt Doyle said: “In just its fourth year under the Sky Bet banner, the Group Two York Stakes has attracted a high-class entry with last year’s Arc third Cavalryman for Godolphin and Michael Jarvis’ Royal Ascot winner Rainbow Peak among them. It highlights the growing stature of the race.

“The Sky Bet Dash - won last year by subsequent Stewards’ Cup third Knot In Wood - is the big betting highlight on the York card we sponsor and looks as competitive as ever with us betting 7/1 the field.”

Sky Bet York Stakes, York, Saturday, sponsors bet: 11/4 Rainbow Peak, 4/1 Cavalryman, 5/1 Stotsfold, Antara, 7/1 Monitor Closely, 8/1 Debussy, 9/1 Alexandros, 10/1 Kings Gambit, 12/1 Bushman, 14/1 Balius, 16/1 Summit Surge, Distant Memories, 20/1 Allybar, Lady Jane Digby, Rebel Soldier, 25/1 The Cheka, Dream Lodge, 33/1 Nanton, 150/1 Laudatory

Each-way terms: 1/5 odds, first three places

Link to Sky Bet York Stakes betting:

Sky Bet Dash, York, Saturday, sponsors bet: 7/1 Lowdown, Sunraider, 8/1 Hawkeyethenoo, 11/1 Ingleby Lady, 12/1 Iver Bridge Lad, Novellen Lad, Parisian Pyrmaid, Tagseed, Valery Borzov, 14/1 Kaldoun Kingdom, Discanti, Excusez Moi, Pavershooz, 16/1 Hitchens, Misplaced Fortune, Prohibit, Tajneed, Tiddliwinks, Damika, 20/1 Imperial Guest, Midnight Martini, Baldemar, The Nifty Fox, Confessional, Damien, 25/1 Atlantic Story, Medici Time, Baby Strange, Sea Of Leaves, Singeur, Sonny Red, Tawabb, Tombi, 33/1 Oldjoesaid, Thebes, Esprit De Midas, 40/1 Atlantic Beach, Soap Wars, Star Rover

Each-way terms: 1/4 odds, first four places

Link to Sky Bet Dash betting:


The ground at York is currently good to firm, good in places.

For more information, please contact: Matt Doyle, Sky Bet Racecourse PR Officer, on 07796 266160 or email




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