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Solid chance for Barsanti

14 July 2017 National Sport

Barsanti has a favourite’s chance

Roger Varian feels the John Smith’s Silver Cup Stakes at York on Saturday represents an excellent opportunity for Hardwicke Stakes runner-up Barsanti to gain a first success outside of handicap company.

Having turned in a career-best effort when chasing home Aidan O’Brien’s Idaho in the Group Two at Royal Ascot, the Newmarket handler now hopes his charge can back that effort up in the Listed prize.

It will be the second successive year the son of Champs Elysees has contested the extended one-mile-five-furlong contest, having finished second to Pamona 12 months ago.

Varian said: “Barsanti is in great form. He ran well at Ascot and he loves York as he has run well there previously. The ground will suit him as enjoys a sound surface.

“He looks to have very solid credentials. He has run well at this level before and it was a good run in the Hardwicke, but it would be good to make him a stakes winner and this looks a good opportunity.

“The step back up in trip shouldn’t be a problem and I think he will stay it. He was second in the race last year and he has probably improved a bit from 12 months ago.

“It is a competitive race for the level and it won’t be easy to win, but he does hold a solid favourite’s chance.”

Charlie Appleby is on a fact-finding mission with Rare Rhythm who could be in line for a trip to Australia later in the season.

The son of Dubawi made a winning return to action with victory in the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at the Royal meeting, on what was his first start since finishing eighth in the same race in 2016.

Appleby said: “It looks a bit of match between us and Roger. Obviously Roger’s horse put up a great performance in the Hardwicke, but he goes there in great order. The track is there to suit him with it being a nice galloping track.

“I fancied him the race he won at Royal Ascot 12 months earlier. That day I felt everything was there to suit. I wasn’t sure how he would handle the quicker surface having been a past winner on easy ground.

“It wasn’t a surprise as I knew he was fit and his work had been good. He had been gelded and is lighter and more athletic now and is easier to get fitter. It was a pleasant surprise he won, but I was confident he would run a big race.”

He added: “I am hopeful more than confident he will get the trip. The reason we are taking a look at it is it could open up some nice options in the second half of the season.

“We have got him pencilled in as a possible horse for Australia so I would rather see if we stay first before carting him halfway across the world.”

The field is completed by Clever Cookie (Peter Niven), High Jinx (Tim Easterby), Nakeeta (Iain Jardine), Platitude (Sir Michael Stoute), and Saigon City (Declan Carroll).

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