Tom Clover is hoping for a change in fortune when Rogue Bear lines up in the 63rd running of the John Smith’s Cup at York on Saturday.
The four-year-old has been somewhat unfortunate not to add to his three career victories in his three outings so far in 2022, making the podium on each occasion, starting with a third in the Lincoln on the opening day of the Flat turf season.
He then went on to be denied by half a length by Modern News in Newbury’s Spring Cup, before losing by an even narrower margin and just a head when upped in trip for a valuable 10-furlong handicap on the Knavesmire during the Dante meeting.
Newmarket-based Clover is now persisting with a mile and a quarter with the headstrong son of Kodiac for his return to Yorkshire and is determined to land a big prize for owners The Rogues Gallery syndicate, who are huge supporters of his yard.
“I felt he was jolly unlucky that day,” said Clover. “To pull quite hard and get beaten a head shows what a nice prospect he is. To come from last, overtake the whole field and just get done, I thought showed a lot of character from the horse.
“We gave him a little break and just freshened up him a little bit and have trained him for Saturday’s race. He looks in good heart at home. I’m hoping he’s actually grown up a little bit. He’s a little bit more relaxed and is learning a lot through his racing. I’m pleased with him.
“It’s a very valuable and prestigious race. ‘The Rogues’ are great supporters of mine and it’s lovely to have a horse like this for them who can run in these Saturday handicaps. The horse really deserves one to fall his way, I feel. Hopefully I’ve got him there in good nick.”