A sensational weekend of sport and the racing is right out of the top drawer with the feature event the Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket this afternoon.
The classic generation have won three of the last four renewals of this 6f sprint and last month’s Commonwealth Cup winner Advertise (4.40) can continue the good run of three-year-olds in this first clash of the sprinting generations.
Advertise was a Group 1 winning juvenile and the only two-year-olds to beat him in four starts were Calyx in the Coventry and champion 2-y-old Too Darn Hot in the Dewhurst. The selection disappointed in the Guineas on his reappearance at a time when the Martyn Meade yard were under a cloud, but he was a good winner at Royal Ascot reverting to today’s distance and at 11/4 with BetVictor he is the recommendation.
King’s Command (2.55) looked beaten when outpaced two out in a 6f maiden here on debut but rallied to get back-up close home and was going away at the line. Today’s additional furlong should suit in the Gp 2 7f Superlative Stakes and at 15/8 with BetVictor I would be disappointed if he didn’t go very close. Note trainer Charlie Appleby won the same maiden 12 months ago with Quorto and that colt followed up in today’s Gp 2 contest.
Solar Gold (3.30) has a bit to find with Crossing The Line on Chelmsford listed form, but William Haggas’s filly met trouble in running on that occasion and gets the each way vote in the 7f Bunbury Cup – one of the most competitive handicaps of the season. The selection is 9/1 at BetVictor who are paying five places on this prestigious 20-runner contest.
Babbos Boy was given a moderate ride at Royal Ascot last time and is better than he showed on that occasion. Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle this afternoon, but preference is for Dubai Tradition (5.15) who made all stepped up to 12f for the first time at Pontefract last month and looks to have been given a decent mark for his handicap debut.
Setting Sail would have been the selection in the John Smith’s Cup were it not for the fact that he is drawn in stall 23 and Jamie Spencer will do very well to get his mount into a prominent position – where he likes to be – from his wide post.
The vote goes to Exec Chef (3.50) who didn’t have the best of runs when a staying on fourth at Sandown last time and I hope Pat Cosgrave can get his mount into a decent position from what is a good draw in stall two. The each way selection is 16/1 at BetVictor who are paying five places and I am convinced he is better than he showed at the Esher track last week.
Escobar will be a tough nut to crack for David O’Meara in the Mile Handicap, but I just favour Rise Hall (3.15) who may not have quite got home over an additional quarter mile on the July course last time. I hope it is a very good afternoon for trainer Martyn Meade.
At Ascot Fabulist (2.50) did us a favour when winning a competitive maiden at Newmarket last month and I hope the unexposed filly can make a winning handicap debut for John Gosden. Sir Michael Stoute saddles a similarly unexposed sort in Loolwah, but marginal preference is for Fabulist.
Zaaki (4.00) was slowly away but still broke the track record at Epsom last time and I hope Stoute’s progressive 4-year-old – who is 2/1 at BetVictor -can make the transition to Group 2 company in the Summer Mile. Andrew Balding’s Beat The Bank finished runner up in the Gp1 Queen Anne Stakes last month and is the one to beat but must give 3lbs to the improving selection.
I remain convinced there is more to come from Prejudice stepping back up in trip having been given too much to do by Luke Morris last time at 10f. He must go close with Hollie Doyle an excellent booking, but marginal preference is for Faylaq (4.35) who has improved for the step up to 12f in recent starts and is bred to be a champion being out of the Arc and King George winner Danedream.