Joe Tuite believe Surrey Pride ticks a lot of the boxes required to win the prestigious John Smith’s Cup at York on Saturday.
A course and distance winner in May, the unexposed four-year-old has been held back to protect his handicap mark ahead of the weekend feature on the Knavesmire.
That came with the added risk of missing the cut, but even if there are no withdrawals he is guaranteed a run and Tuite has already booked leading northern-based pilot Paul Mulrennan on one of the busiest days of the season.
“The plan is to run now he’s made the cut,” said Tuite.
“His form is working out nicely, there’s a few from his last race that have come out and won or run well, so we’re very happy with the horse.
“It looked a very good race what he won up there in May, he won quite nicely and we’ve aimed him at this race ever since.
“The race has decent prize-money, it’s one of the biggest handicaps of the season and he ticks a lot of the boxes for it.”
He went on: “We felt if we ran and won another handicap we might handicap ourselves out of winning this, so we held off. It was a gamble if he got in, but he does now so we’re very happy.
“Paul Mulrennan is booked and it’s great to get him. It’s a busy Saturday, James Doyle is unavailable, so to get someone as good as Paul booked means we are more than happy – he’s superb.
“The weather looks right, it won’t be extremes and everything looks good.”