York Cup Special

7
Nov

The York Cup has been a good race for the Durrant family.

Back in 1998 Geoff shared the spoils when My Mate Jack dead-heated with Mazz And Me.

Last year it was the turn of son, Adam, who upheld family pride with My Bonny Lad.

Adam has an excellent chance of claiming back-to-back York Cups (1500m) with Special Delivery on Sunday.

With three wins from his past four starts the Testa Rossa gelding is certain to command the attention of punters.

His only blemish this campaign was a third to Civil Rights at Belmont in October when beaten by a long-head.

Last Saturday week over 1600m at Ascot he ran on from fourth to defeat Cup rival, Halo Express, by a neck.

Durrant has a strong opinion of Special Delivery but stops short of declaring the four-year-old in Sunday’s $70,000 feature.

“I don’t know how to read this guy, but I have a huge opinion of him,” said Durrant on TABradio.

“If you stepped him out in a Railway he would run a cracking race.

“But put him in a maiden he would just fall over.

“He is one of those types that coasts along.

“I’m not sure how genuine he is but he gets the job done.

“If everything goes to plane he is well and truly the best horse in the race.

“But you have to be careful on the tight York track.

“There can be a few tricky results.

“He has to handle that hurdle before we get too excited.

“If he can get around it he will be more than competitive.”

In a field of nine rivals Special Delivery has drawn barrier one.  William Pike, who won the York Cup with Lust For Dust in 2006, retains the ride.

Trainer Darren McAuliffe will look to Military Ruler and Ram Jam to upset Special Delivery.

Military Ruler, in the hands of Jarrad Noske, ran a creditable fourth, beaten a length, to Illuminated over 1800m at Ascot on October 24.

Illuminated is considered one of the major chances to make it four straight wins when he steps up to Listed level in the Ascot Gold Cup (1800m) at Ascot on Saturday.

Noske, and his younger sister, Jerry, who will partner, Zester, are hopeful of emulating the feat of their father in York Cup history.

Jeff rode Raja Boy for Len Pike in 2001.

Julio Santarelli