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Cavalryman ready to ride into QIPCO Yorkshire Cup battle

15 May 2013

The Godolphin horse looks hard to beat in the first race in the Long Distance category, but there are live threats in the shape of French raider, Top Trip, and the improving Quiz Mistress.

Cavalryman, under a fine ride from Silvestre de Sousa, wins the Dubai Gold Cup on Dubai World Cup Night at Meydan in March. Image courtesy of

Cavalryman, trained for Godolphin by Saeed bin Suroor, is one of nine declarations for the QIPCO Yorkshire Cup, the opening race in the Long Distance division of the QIPCO British Champions Series at York on Friday.

If he can show the form he displayed on Dubai World Cup Night in March, when he easily landed the Dubai Gold Cup, he should prove hard to beat in Friday’s contest.

He also looked good in York’s other Series Long Distance race, the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup last August, when he cruised into contention only to seemingly run out of stamina in the final furlong.

That race was over two miles, whereas Friday’s trip of 1¾ miles should suit him ideally.

Bin Suroor has won the QIPCO Yorkshire Cup five times in the last 18 years and in that time no other trainer has won it more than once.

Joshua Tree excelled around the world for trainer Marco Botti and has now moved to Ed Dunlop’s yard, who sent out the winner of this race last year, Red Cadeaux.

What will count against him, however, is the four pound weight penalty which he has to carry. Theoretically this should give Cavalryman the definite edge.

Irish raider Royal Diamond is the other horse with a four pound penalty to contend with and he failed to set the world alight in two runs in Dubai this spring which makes the other overseas raider, the French-trained Top Trip, a more potent threat.

Francois Doumen rarely sends a horse over to the UK without a decent chance of winning and 14 furlongs on good ground should suit him ideally.

Quiz Mistress hated the heavy ground in a Group 1 race at Longchamp on her final start last season, but the fact that her connections aimed her at one of France’s top staying races indicates how highly she’s rated.

The Hughie Morrison-trained filly came back this season and almost beat Universal in a Group 3 race at Newbury over a mile and a half, finishing really strongly. Universal went on to win a Group 2 race at the QIPCO Guineas Festival at the start of this month.

With her three pound filly’s weight allowance, decent ground and the longer 1¾ miles trip, she must have a great chance of going close.

Sir Graham Wade is a tough stayer and cannot be ruled out, but Guarantee needs to take a big step forward on what he has achieved to date. Perhaps the fitting of a visor for the first will bring about some improvement.

Glen’s Diamond was second in this race a year ago at odds of 25-1, but has failed to run up to that level of form since.

A fascinating race is in prospect, live on Channel 4 at 2.45pm. If you can get along to York, even better!