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Times Up seeks repeat victory on Friday

21 Aug 2013

Times Up, who rounded off John Dunlop's training career in style last season, will bid to land back-to-back victories in the Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup on Friday for John's son, Ed.

Times Up won two Series races last year for trainer John Dunlop – can he bounce back to form on Friday? Image courtesy of

This year’s Weatherbys Hamilton Insurance Lonsdale Cup at York on Friday, race four in the Long Distance division of the QIPCO British Champions Series, has all the makings of a fascinating race with seven runners set to go to post.

The improving Ahzeemah ran his best race to date when chasing home Brown Panther in the Artemis Goodwood Cup, race three in the division, but he will probably need to improve again to win this. That’s very possible though and he must have a sound chance.

Askar Tau has the biggest question mark of all the runners hanging over him as he has simply not rediscovered his past form this season. Perhaps the years have caught up with the eight-year-old.

Caucus had been consistent until stepping up in class in the Artemis Goodwood Cup where he was well beaten and will pobably need to find improvement from somewhere to get involved.

Colour Vision has been a little disappointing this season so far, but he did run well in the Gold Cup and if he bounces back to form, he would have a chance.

Glen’s Diamond has a bit to find, but loves York where he won race one in the Long Distance category, the QIPCO Yorkshire Cup, and can’t be ruled out though he did run badly in this race last year.

Irish raider Simenon is definitely the one to go for on ratings – he was a fine second in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot – but his big question marks are the trip and the going.

He has always looked better over further than two miles and some give in the ground, which is most unlikely, would definitely help.

Last year’s winner, Times Up, has yet to fire for new trainer Ed Dunlop (he was trained by Ed’s father, John, until he retired at the end of last season), but his run in the Ascot Gold Cup can be forgiven – John always said that he didn’t like the Ascot track – and he may have needed his first run at Sandown.

Ed has left plenty of time to get him cherry ripe and there is every prospect of him winning back-to-back Lonsdale Cups just as Opinion Poll did in 2010 and 2011.

The race is due off at 2.30pm, live on Channel 4, so tune in if you can. Or better still get a long to York to watch two QIPCO British Champions Series races on the same day, with the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes to follow.