Byline: MICK KINANE
NOTABLE Guest should have a big chance in today's John Smith's Cup at York, as long as no more rain falls to cause an ease in the ground.
This fellow is a tough improving horse and, although the record books tell us that horses drawn high have a bad record in the race, I expect him to be in the firing-line.
I've won on NOTABLE GUEST twice this season, at the Guineas meeting at Newmarket, when he slammed Woodcarver, and at Royal Ascot at York when he overcame a high draw to win the Duke Of Edinburgh Handicap.
His Newmarket win was over 10 furlongs. And the handicapper hit him hard for winning so well, putting him up 11lb.
But he defied that rise, and a step-up to a mile-and-a-half at York, where I had to bide my time and come late on him.
I knew there would be plenty of pace in the race and there was no point in trying to keep to the outside and go around them all. So I sat tight, tried to weave my way through the field and, after hitting the front before the furlong-pole, found plenty and beat CROW WOOD a half-length.
Crow Wood is in today's field and must have a big chance on 5lb better terms. I just hope Notable Guest is improving more and can keep him at bay.
And the horse we beat at Newmarket, WOODCARVER, also runs and is much better off at the weights. But he hasn't run since the two horses clashed on the last day of April.
I've won on Notable Guest over 10 and 12 furlongs. And I'm not particularly worried about the drop back to the shorter trip today, because they're sure to go a fast pace.
We'll be coming from off the pace again, I suppose, and we'll need plenty of luck. But I'm expecting a big run from him in a very competitive handicap.
I respect the chances of both horses Notable Guest has beaten, Crow Wood and Woodcarver. But the Ballydoyle horse MULLINS BAY is probably the one to beat, even from a wider draw than ours.
Mullins Bay ran his best race yet in the Wolferton Handicap at York. He finished second to Imperial Stride and finished a long way clear of the third.
And Imperial Stride boosted the form when he bolted up in a listed race at Newmarket. That was probably a poor race. But he won by 17 lengths!
I have only one other ride at York, MORSE, for Jamie Osborne, in the six-furlong John Smith's Extra Cold Handicap.
Morse shared a race at Goodwood in the spring and is a tough and versatile sprinter, equally …