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Pivoine out for rare John Smith's Cup double on emotional day for King Power

Pivoine: bids to be just the third dual winner of the John Smith's Cup
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Pivoine will bid for a rare John Smith's Cup double on Saturday, a year on from a day that brought huge success and bitter sadness for King Power Racing.

In the Covid-19-enforced calendar shuffle the fixture featuring the John Smith's Cup has been pushed back a week, but Pivoine's success at York 12 months ago came on an afternoon when his owners also took the Superlative Stakes at Newmarket with Mystery Power and the Summer Mile at Ascot with Beat The Bank, who suffered a fatal injury in the course of securing victory.

The Andrew Balding-trained Pivoine went on to finish fifth in the Arlington Million and fourth in the Canadian International but will return to York just 2lb higher in the handicap than when triumphant 12 months ago.

He is unbeaten in two visits to York and if successful again he would become just the third dual winner of a contest that dates back to 1960 and is the longest-standing commercial sponsorship in British racing.

Beat The Bank: a much-missed member of King Power Racing's team

The six-year-old has not raced since finishing fourth at Chelmsford in February and King Power racing manager Alastair Donald said: "We'd like to have got another run into Pivoine, he was down to run in the Brigadier Gerard and he had a small hiccup but he's back to a nice mark and he likes the style of these big handicaps.

"Life was a bit tough for him after winning last year but he ran some very good races abroad.

"He likes the track and the distance is ideal but it's not easy to win these big handicaps twice. It's a very nice trophy and we wouldn't mind keeping it!"

Pivoine is a best-priced 16-1 to emulate Prominent (who won in 1971 and 1972) and Chaumiere (1985 and 1986) in a £60,000 race for  which Caradoc (8-1 from 11-1 with Betfred) was a notable market mover on Tuesday.

Andrea Atzeni is set to bid for his third John Smith's Cup victory in seven years on last month's Doncaster winner Fifth Position for Roger Varian, with whom he teamed up to score on Farraaj in 2014.

Relive a hugely emotional day for King Power in 2019:

Diamond strike for Rob Hornby on Pivoine in John Smith's Cup

Game Mystery Power denies Juan Elcano to land Superlative Stakes for Hannon

Tragedy at Ascot as Beat The Bank suffers fatal injury in Summer Mile win

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He's back to a nice mark and he likes the style of these big handicaps
E.W. Terms