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14:15 Newmarket – Darley July Cup Stakes

The July Cup was established 1876 and was originally classed as a Group 2 race before being upgraded to Group 1 status in 1978. It is leg six of the Global Sprint Challenge, takes place on the famous July course at Newmarket over a distance of six furlongs, and has been won by some of Europe’s top sprinters such as Starspangledbanner, Limato and Harry Angel in recent years.

A number of today’s runners did battle in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last month, with Eqtidaar just holding off Sands Of Mali to win by half a length and the hot favourite Sioux Nation disappointing in sixteenth. Sir Michael Stoute has been in excellent form in recent weeks so I would expect to see another solid performance from Eqtidaar, while Sands Of Mali has been excellent all season and won’t be far away at the finish, although there have to be question marks over Sioux Nation as he had perfect conditions last time out and couldn’t land a blow. 

Limato returns for his third run in this race having won in 2016 and finished second to Harry Angel in last years’ renewal. His two performances so far this season have failed to show the same spark but drops back down to a trip that he excels over today he needs to be respected.

Redkirk Warrior was heavily supported for the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot but ultimately disappointed, finishing down the field in tenth. He had won his last two prior to that run so could quite easily bounce back but has also been known to put in a poor performance or two so does come with risks attached.

US Navy Flag is another who disappointed at Royal Ascot. Despite going off as second favourite for the St James’s Palace Stakes, he shot off like a rocket only to be reeled in with a furlong to go and ultimately finished ninth of ten. He does like to race prominently but these tactics haven’t proved to be as successful this season so it’s interesting that he is the first choice of jockey Ryan Moore.

Dreamfield ran a cracker at Royal Ascot and was only denied in the final strides, losing his three-race unbeaten record in the process. This is a step up in grade but he has been pretty impressive in all four career runs and even though only second last time out that was arguably his best performance to date so could quite easily be capable of further improvement if over the exertions of three weeks ago and looks worthy of an each way play.

That said, preference is for Blue Point who lowered the colours of both Battaash and Lady Aurelia when winning the Kings Stand Stakes last month. He also got the better of last year’s winner Harry Angel when they met last last spring and has won 50% of all races over today’s trip so brings excellent form at the very top level in to this race and can add another Group 1 victory here.


ITV Races:

12:45 Ascot – Muscika (E/W)

13:05 Newmarket – Neverland Rock (WIN)

13:20 Ascot – Century Dream (WIN)

13:40 Newmarket – Spanish City (E/W)

13:55 York – Muthmir (WIN)

14:35 York – Dal Harraild (WIN)

15:10 York – Get Knotted (WIN)

15:20 Newmarket – Argentello (WIN) – NAP

15:40 York – Dash Of Spice (WIN), Mordin (E/W)

written by Dean Kilbryde


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