Taking a look back at the weekend and there was a good mix of action on Newmarket’s July Course.
In the Bunbury Cup, Above The Rest was not one that immediately jumped off the page as a well-handicapped horse, having previously raced off a mark of 101 four times without success. But the fact the handicapper had left him there showed he’d been running well enough. On Saturday he found that bit extra, much to the delight of David Barron and co. The second, Sir Dancealot and third, Steady Pace, both ran well in defeat and could have a win in them soon.
The July Cup was a really good race, but the disappointment had to be Caravaggio.
As we highlighted in the weekend preview, it looked between Caravaggio and Harry Angel.
While we were half-right, Caravaggio never looked like getting involved.
Horses are not machines and it was just not Caravaggio’s day. Harry Angel ran beautifully.
We predicted he would lead but actually he was just second for most of the race behind Ballydoyle’s pacemaker Intelligence Cross. This may have been one of those instances where a pacemaker backfired, because as we’ve seen before on the July Course, the track can favour front-runners rather than those held up.
The extra early pace that Intelligence Cross exerted, may just have taken the sting out of Caravaggio. Take nothing away from Harry Angel though, he was a deserved winner, he’s improving and the sprint series as a whole looks phenomenal at the moment. His win was also a very nice present for Sheikh Mohammed, who celebrated his 68th birthday with the victory.
Over in Ireland, Enable added the Curragh crown to her Epsom glory by landing an English-Irish Oaks double.
A flying dismount marked a swift return to the top level for Frankie Dettori, who only returned from injury a couple of days ago. Dettori was quoted after the race saying that Enable was ‘the carrot’ held in front of him that enticed him to return from injury. After all the talk last week about whips, perhaps the carrot is indeed better than the stick? Happy punting.