In a bold move earlier this week, Snaith Racing issued a press release confirming the well-being and July readiness of Cup Trial third-placer, Black Arthur, who is one of 31 horses left in the race.
Snaith confirmed that the classy son of Silvano would be “spot on” for the big day.
He has four other possible July runners in It’s My Turn, Krambambuli and Elusive Silva, and said that the decision whether to run Bela-Bela in the July or Jonsson Workwear Garden Province Stakes was still up in the air.
In 2014 the panellists found a place for the crack three-year-old Futura, who was near the top of the July betting boards, but who had only managed third in the Cup Trial behind One Cool Dude and Serissa. The Brett Crawford-trained horse went on to become an Equus Horse Of The Year, but by that stage was yet to win a race at Graded or Listed level, although he had won four of his six career starts. Their decision was vindicated when Futura ran third in the July.
Last year the July panel found a place for both The Conglomerate and Saratoga Dancer, who had finished third and fourth in the Cup Trial respectively, although the order was reversed after an objection. The decision was once again vindicated as they finished first and fifth in the July respectively.
Black Arthur, in fact, has remarkably similar form to that which The Conglomerate had at this time last year. Both were winners of the Gr 2 Daisy Guineas at Greyville as three-year-olds and both were unlucky to be just out of the placings in the July as three-year-olds. Both then failed to find a place in any of their following Cape Summer season starts and both were consequently given necessary gelding.
They then had their first starts as geldings in the Independent On Saturday Drill Hall Stakes where they both stayed on without being a threat. The Conglomerate then crossed the line fourth in the Betting World 1900 and third in the Cup Trial off a merit rating of 101 last year, while Black Arthur, on Saturday, finished third in the Cup Trial off a merit rating of 104.
Neither The Conglomerate nor Saratoga Dancer put in the best performance in the Cup Trial of last year, but Black Arthur was the best performer in Saturday’s Cup Trial.
Black Arthur carried topweight and gave 3kg to the winner Elusive Silva, who beat him by 0,55 lengths, and 7kg to the runner up Crowd Pleaser, who beat him by 0,5 lengths.
Jockey Anthony Delpech told Snaith afterwards Black Arthur had just tired slightly in the closing stages, indicating he had only just needed it and would thus be spot on for the July.
Snaith said, “If he does not get in, I hope it is because they have found a good one and not just a horse who has no chance. Black Arthur is proven at Group level, he has had a perfect preparation and just about every punter out there knows he is a horse who can win the race.”