A cracking renewal of the July Cup, with last years' victor Oxted returning to defend his crown and arriving on the back of a convincing victory in the Group 1 King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. Well supported in to second favourite before the off, he duly picked off rivals and finished strongly to beat the likes of Arecibo (2nd), Extravagant Kid (3rd) and the mighty Battaash (4th). Prior to that he had twice been beaten over six furlongs, finishing some three lengths behind the re-opposing Starman in the Group 2 Clipper Logistic Stakes at York in May on penultimate run. Ed Walker's runner has won four from five over todays' trip, with the only blot on his copy book a disappointing run in the British Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot in October, although that came at the end of the season on soft ground. Both will have plenty of supporters and look tough to split at the head of the market.
Creative Force is unbeaten in four this season, climbing the ranks and adding handicap, Listed and Group 3 victories to his name. He looks capable of further improvement and has the benefit of a prior victory over course and distance so rates as a solid each way option on his first run in Group 1 company.
Rohaan arrives here having won his last three, including when beating Dragon Symbol in a Group 2 contest at Haydock in May. There is no doubt that he is a talented individual and is extremely versatile with regards to conditions (has won on good-to-firm right through to heavy, and on the all-weather), he gets 6lbs from the main market principles however is only rated 3lbs below Oxted and ha the same rating as Starman so he is another who can make his presence felt.
Dragon Symbol was first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot last month however lost the race in the stewards room. Putting the eventual result aside, he still ran an absolute stormer of a race and is another who is versatile regarding conditions and is unlikely to be too far away at the finish.
At a bigger each way price, Extravagant Kid also holds plenty of appeal. He won a Group 1 at Meydan in March and was only two lengths behind Oxted when they met in the King's Stand Stakes last time out, however is better suited to this six furlong trip and has again been partnered with Frankie Dettori so I am expecting a big run here.
Others to consider at bigger prices include Chil Chil who won a Group 3 race on the tapeta at Newcastle last month but is equally as effective on turf and Glen Shiel who is a prior Group 1 winner who is another hugely consistent performer, although would perhaps prefer a slower surface than likely to encounter here.
CREATIVE FORCE (E/W)
EXTRAVAGANT KID (E/W)
written by Dean Kilbryde