Newmarket’s July Festival takes centre stage for the next three days, with a veritable feast of racing on offer for our delectation and delight.
Day 1 has the Princess Of Wales’s Arqana Racing Club Stakes at 3.35 as its centrepiece, with a quality 6-runner field over 12 furlongs of the July course.
Favourite for this race is the Charlie Appleby trained Frontiersman and this Dubawi colt has made a seamless transition from handicaps to Group status with apparent ease. A comfortable win in a Class 2 handicap off a mark of 101 was followed by a narrow defeat by Highland Reel in the Group 1 Coronation Cup at Epsom, despite being all at sea on the notorious camber.
With nothing in today’s field remotely of the calibre of the globe-trotting Coolmore beast, our first duty today is to thump Frontiersman to take this race at an available 11-10.
There are two other Group races on the card, with the day opening with the Bahrain Trophy (Group 3) at 1.50, a race that we are all over like the proverbial rash
Favourite at 11-4 is another Godolphin inmate moving up from handicaps in Atty Persse, which is trading at around the 11-4 mark. The difference this time, though, is that winning a handicap off 93 is probably not good enough and the Spanish Archer comes into play.
Preference for the main investment in this race is the Brian Meehan trained Raheen House, last seen finishing an unlucky 4th in the Group 2 King Edward VII Stakes at the Royal meeting. With the Meehan yard experiencing a resurgence in recent weeks, this 110 rated Sea The Stars colt might just outclass this field and rates a sound bet at 4-1.
There are also other things to do in this race.
David Elsworth has won this race twice before and both his winners came here after being beaten in the Queen’s Vase at Royal Ascot. Desert Skyline finished 6th in that race, after meeting all the trouble going and finishing fast and late. In the hope that Fran Berry is on a going day, we suggest an each way bet here at 9-1.
Just behind Desert Skyline and finishing just as well after being well stuffed a furlong out was the John Gosden trained Face The Facts and, although this horse has a bit to find on official ratings, it’s well worth a small e/w punt at a juicy 25-1.
We complete our portfolio for this race by recommending 6 combination Exactas on the three.
The other Group contest is at 2.25, when the Arqana July Stakes for 2-y-os takes place and this race sees the re-appearance of the Royal Ascot winner Rajasinghe, which is favourite at 5-2. However, it is notoriously difficult to win Group races with a penalty and the consensus seems to be that the Coventry Stakes was slightly sub-standard, so we look elsewhere.
It’s likely that the hot stable of James Tate will triumph in this race and his Invincible Army at 6-1, fresh from a 5 length romp over course and distance last month is recommended as a strong e/w bet.
Interestingly, though, Martin Harley, who has ridden Invincible Army in both its races has chosen to ride Mr Tate’s other representative Hey Gaman, which is available at 11-1, having won a Yarmouth Class 4 event by an easy 4 lengths, so the hint should be taken with an e/w wager as well.
To recap, our business today is:
Frontiersman 3.35 – win bet at 11-10
Raheen House 1.50 – win bet at 4-1
Desert Skyline 1.50 – each way at 9-1
Face The Facts 1.50 – small each way at 25-1
Invincible Army 2.25 – each way at 6-1
Hey Gaman 2.25 – each way at 11-1
ps: Don’t forget the forecasts.
pps: Davy Crockett was a Frontiersman who died at The Alamo.