Copper Knight is a regular on the Knavesmire, winning three handicaps and a listed race from 11 starts at York. That is a fine record when you consider how competitive the racing is at York – his handicap wins were achieved in field sizes of 18 or above – and Copper Knight is now back down to his last winning mark. The speedy Copper Knight is clearly on a fair mark and is extremely effective at York, with the flat course playing to his strengths. However, he is an out-and-out five-furlong horse, so the extra 89 yards here is not in his favour.
What’s The Story has won two big handicaps at York, including this race last season. Big-field events at York really play to his strengths as he is a strong traveller and he certainly impressed with how he went through the race in this last year, making smooth headway before showing a determined attitude to narrowly prevail. What’s The Story is an established handicapper and isn’t hiding anything from the assessor, so he might find a couple of the more unexposed types too good, but he should run his race at a course where he thrives.
Moss Gill is taking a big step up in class in the Nunthorpe Stakes and should not be good enough to trouble an on-song Battaash. However, Moss Gill has compiled a fine record at York and has yet to finish outside the first two in four starts at the course, so he should give a good account of himself. The progressive sprinter won a handicap at the course last season and showed he belongs at pattern level when winning a listed contest last month.
Pivoine has been struggling for form this season and ran poorly in the John Smith’s Cup over course and distance on his penultimate start, but he is on a dangerous mark if bouncing back. He is back down to his last winning mark, a victory which was achieved over this track and trip in the 2019 John Smith’s Cup. That was a second course-and-distance success for Pivoine, who also won this race in 2018 and is clearly effective here.
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