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Dragon's ready to blow hot; DAVE MITCHELL on York's 3.05 VALUE SCOPE.

Byline: DAVE MITCHELL

TODAY is top-heavy with brilliant handicaps while next Saturday's racing is a quiet affair, so surely a tweak to the fixture list would make sense.

However, our principal interest this afternoon is York's John Smith's Cup (3.05) and the big trends to help find the likely winner are: | Four and five-year-olds dominate (apart from a freak result last year). | Not making seasonal debut but with a maximum of four runs this campaign. | Double-figure draw. | Previous scorer over today's distance.

That leaves us with just four from a field of 20 Scarlet Dragon, Victory Bond, Sixties Groove and UAE Prince.

Of the quartet, Eve Johnson Houghton's SCARLET DRAGON is the first pick as he's proven in big fields and loves York.

Although the fouryear-old has already had plenty of starts, it was only at this time last year he began to improve.

Scarlet Dragon holds Sixties Groove on last October's Newmarket form and can be even better this term, judged on his fine comeback in the Wolferton at Royal Ascot last month.

Have 2pts each-way on Scarlet Dragon (14-1 in places) and 2pts win at 8-1 generally on the classy VICTORY BOND, who will relish stepping back up in trip.

William Haggas targets this race and has won it twice in recent years. His runner boasts Group form and looks to have been laid out for today.

CAPTION(S):

FIRED UP Scarlet Dragon

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 15, 2017
Words:236
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