Richard Fahey's string are in fine form, and he can add to his recent successes with JOE JO STAR looking the pick among these, being preferred to Umverti and King of Connacht. Three wins in his last four outings, on the flat and over hurdles, have confirmed Joe Jo Star's versatility in both codes, in differing conditions and over different trips. He's been in his present yard since November, during which he's improved no end, with five wins and two places from nine runs. He's well in at the weights here, and sets a decent standard, and is entered for a couple of better races than this at York on Friday. Umverti won last time out at Pontefract over a similar trip, but may benefit from any rain. King of Connacht may be going too high up the weights, but still has a few pounds in hand on Umverti, King's Ransom and Hippolytus. There's little consistency at this level, but Joe Jo Star has shown some, and carries our support.
Hippolytus 10-1 (8-12) Towards rear, never dangerous, 11th of 16, 15l behind Celtic Lynn (9-1) at Newcastle 7f hcp 0-75 (5) gs in May.
King's Ransom 10-1 (10-13) Lead, soon clear, ridden 2f out, headed 1f out, kept on same pace, 3rd of 15, 3 1/2l behind Director's Chair (10-8) at Doncaster 1m 2f am hcp (0-70) (4yo+) (5) gd in Mar.
Umverti 13-2 (9-0) Held up behind leaders, not much room and switched right over 2f out, headway over 1f out, ran on to lead inside final furlong, ridden out, won at Pontefract 1m 2f (5) gd in May beating Location (7-9) by 1 3/4l, 12 ran.
King of Connacht 13-2 (9-2) Keen, held up, ridden and headway from over 2f out, no impression final furlong, 3rd of 11, 6l behind Cwm Rhondda (8-10) at Yarmouth 1m 2f hcp 0-60 (6) gf in May.
Cheers For Thea (IRE) 5-1fav (9-3) Towards rear, chased along over 4f out, some late headway, never reached challenging position, 5th of 12, 18l behind Umverti (9-0) at Pontefract 1m 2f (5) gd in May.
Just Observing 5-1 (8-8) Close up, ridden and outpaced approaching 2f out, rallied 1f out, kept on same pace inside final furlong, 5th of 10, 1 1/4l behind Granary Girl (8-8) at Nottingham 1m 2f hcp 0-60 (6) fm in May.
Joe Jo Star 2-5fav (8-9) Led for 1f, remained close up, led halfway, ridden and edged left over 2f out, clear over 1f out, won at Ayr 1m 1f app hcp 0-60 (6) fm beating Darfour (9-5) by 5l, 6 ran.
Shaylee 7-2 (8-12) Tracked leaders, stayed on final furlong, 3rd of 9, 1 3/4l behind Rowan Lodge (9-5) at Carlisle 1m clm stks (6) gf.
Bollin Freddie 18-1 (8-8) Tracked leader, ridden and every chance from over 2f out to over 1f out, weakened final furlong, 9th of 16, 12l behind Forrest Flyer (9-1) at Newcastle 1m 4f hcp 0-60 (6) sft in May.