Eve Johnson-Houghton's Scarlet Dragon heads weights for John Smith's Cup

Snoano wins the Wolferton from Majeed with Scarlet Dragon widest of all
Snoano wins the Wolferton from Majeed with Scarlet Dragon widest of all

Scarlet Dragon heads the weights, while Royal Ascot winner Snoano is also in the reckoning for the 58th John Smith's Cup this Saturday.

A number of those towards the head of the ante-post betting for the £200,000 contest came out of the contest at Monday's acceptance stage, most notably the Charlie Appleby-trained Kidmenever, Luca Cumani's pair El Vip and Banksea, and Royal Ascot disappointment Khairaat.

Named after Britain’s best-selling ale, the John Smith's Cup is the longest-running commercial sponsorship in Flat racing and the centrepiece of a seven-race programme that includes two Listed races, which have both increased in value by 25% to offer £50,000 purses.

Topping the handicap is the much-improved Scarlet Dragon, who improved throughout last season for Eve Johnson-Houghton and won a £60,000 handicap over this course and distance last August. He finished sixth behind Snoano in the Wolferton Handicap on his only start so far this year. Majeed, second in that contest, also remains in the reckoning.

Master Carpenter, the winner of this race in 2015 for Rod Millman, returns to the fray, while Sir Michael Stoute is reponsible for a couple of interesting potential starters in Ballet Concerto and Mustashry.

One-time Derby hope UAE Prince and Central Square are both possible starters for Roger Varian, while Windsor Beach is an eyecatching representative for Johnny Murtagh, who took the Ebor at this track here in 2014 with Mutual Regard.

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