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A maximum field of 22 have declared for the prestigious John Smith's Cup Heritage Handicap this Saturday, to take place at 2.30pm. The rules of the race state that a reserve can also be declared, and due to Irv being the next one on the list, he will be on standby in case one pulls out.

If he does get a run he will come out of stall 12 which is good positioning for a horse who will make a late challenge, off what is sure to be a fast pace.This would be the first time Irv has run at one mile, and two furlongs, but it should suit better than the mile at Thirsk he finished second over 19 days ago. The race on Saturday also represents a big step up in class, with 14 of the participants rated over 100, but to have a runner in such a prestigious event is every owners dream, and anything more than that would be a bonus.

Good luck to the connections, Irvine Lynch.

IRV 25 February 2016. Zoffany-Marion Antoinette Owner-Irvine Lynch.

Of all our flat representatives last flat season Irv was the star performer, fulfilling owner Irvine Lynch's lifetime ambition of leading in a winner at York racecourse, he didn't just win there once, he won there twice in the space of three weeks in June, and July.

Irv was purchased at the 2018 Doncaster Breeze Up sales, and made his debut under Paul Mulrennan at Thirsk in July, being considerately ridden, he finished ninth of fourteen, beaten only six lengths.He then went to Beverley where he never gave himself a chance by pulling far too hard over the extended seven furlongs. It was back to Thirsk finishing a respectable fourth in a novice stakes, followed by his handicap debut at Redcar, off 73 where he was a staying on second, over seven furlongs.

He showed us as a three year old that he had trained on when a staying on fifth at Ripon over a mile, and then an eye catching ninth of 19, over an inadequate seven at York. Dropped back in to Novice company over a mile at Thirsk next time, he once again was doing his best work at the finish, when runner up to the 1/6 shot Davydenko, trained by Sir Michael Stoute. This was followed by the two wins at York both over a mile, with his now regular pilot James Sullivan.

From all accounts Irv has wintered well, and is looking bigger and stronger for his four year old campaign. The plan was to step up in trip last year, but that was put on hold due to his success, connections have always thought that we wouldn't see the best of Irv until he races beyond a mile.

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