Rhythm strikes the right note
Rare Rhythm followed up his Royal Ascot success after being off the track for a year with a resounding performance in the John Smith's Silver Cup at York.
Godolphin's five-year-old took the step up from the mile and a half of his Duke of Edinburgh Stakes win up to a mile and five furlongs in his stride.
High Jinx set a steady pace before even-money favourite Barsanti came through to make his challenge, but he was quickly joined by Rare Rhythm (9-4).
Charlie Appleby's runner soon saw his rival off to win in good style by two and three-quarter lengths, giving James Doyle a Listed triumph before he sits out 10 days due to a whip suspension.
"It was a good performance at Ascot after a long lay-off and his work had improved from what Charlie was telling me," said Doyle.
"The signs were good. We were just a little worried he might bounce, but he took the race so well. Charlie thought he had improved for it and he obviously has.
"He stayed the trip very well and when the other horse joined me I knew my fella would find a bit.
"He won cosy in the end."
Appleby's assistant James Ferguson said: "He proved at Ascot he was a strong traveller and James said he appreciated the ease in the ground.
"He's just outstayed them, which opens up a lot more options. The task today was to see if he did stay. He ran at Ascot as though he would stay and we thought he could if he settled him.
"Charlie and Sheikh Mohammed will decide what to do. There aren't any solid options at this stage."
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Take Cover showed he retains all his old dash when burning up the Knavesmire to win the John Smith's City Walls Stakes.
Successful in this race in 2014, the David Griffiths-trained 10-year-old burst out of the stalls and was soon putting it to his rivals with Final Venture trying to keep pace with him.
Despite being pressed hard in the final furlong, Take Cover (9-2) kept up the gallop for David Allan to hold Final Venture by half a length. Cotai Glory was a neck away in third.
Griffiths said: "I was a bit worried when he was sat in the stalls for a while, but he came out lovely and fast. They came at him and he kept digging on that loose ground.
"He ran a smashing race in the King's Stand and hopefully we'll go to Goodwood (for the King George Stakes) and then come back here for the Nunthorpe. He was third last year. Lady Aurelia looks unbeatable, but you never know."
Charlie Fellowes is thinking of the Cambridgeshire for Chiefofchiefs (8-1) after the lightly-raced four-year-old came from the rear to land the John Smith's Racing Handicap.
Ridden by Stevie Donohoe, Chiefofchiefs burst through the pack to score by half a length from Arcanada.
"We've always really liked him, but he's been incredibly immature and he"s still learning," said Fellowes.
"He's done that the hard way. He's come from a long way back and I didn't think he was going to get there for a minute.
"He's won that off 86 and there's a big one in him. He might need to win again to get in the Cambridgeshire. That could be right up his street and hopefully he might be be a stakes horse later on."
Apprentice Georgia Cox and Theydon Grey (5-2) teamed up successfully at York for the third time this season when the William Haggas-trained grey gamely held Byron Flyer by a neck in the John Smith's Stayers' Handicap.
"He's still learning and getting his confidence. Georgia has given him a beautiful ride. He's stepped up in trip, but the further he's gone the more he's been in his comfort zone," said Haggas' wife and assistant, Maureen.
James Bethell's Ulshaw Bridge (12-1) reaped the benefit of his debut fourth at Newcastle when opening his account in the John Smith's Novice Median Auction Stakes under Danny Tudhope.
"He learnt a bit at Newcastle. We were hopeful when Curiosity, who beat him there, won at Ascot earlier. That augured well. My son is very cross because I didn't enter him in the Gimcrack."
John Quinn's Mr Wagyu (4-1), ridden by Tom Marquand, landed a gutsy neck success over John Kirkup in the John Smith's Nursery Handicap.
"He's a tough little horse. When he won his maiden he was the same. He keeps pulling it out," said Quinn.
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