Final day of the Newmarket July meeting today, dubbed ‘Super Saturday’ by the media, with high value races spread across three Grade 1 tracks.
We’ll be concentrating on the Suffolk card and the eagerly awaited highlight is undoubtedly the Group 1 Darley July Cup Stakes at the television-influenced time of 4.35.
Hot favourite for this 10 runner affair is the unbeaten 3-y-o Caravaggio, described by Mr O’Brien as the fastest horse he has ever trained. Given that he has trained a few in his time(!), we perhaps should sit up and take notice, but even money is not our idea of a value bet. Caravaggio was last seen demolishing his field, including the re-opposing Harry Angel in the Group1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, winning more easily than the winning distance would suggest.
The Commonwealth Cup is a relatively new addition to the Pattern Book and it has been mooted that it was inserted because the 3-y-o sprinters couldn’t hold a candle to their older and more battle-hardened rivals – a theory which will be tested this afternoon.
The winner last year was the Henry Candy trained Limato, who beat 17 rivals by a comfortable two lengths, which, trust me, is a long way in this sort of race. This season, Limato has run but twice, making his reappearance in the Group 1 Al Quoz Sprint in Meydan at the end of March. Second favourite for that race, the tenth place finish resulted in Harry Bentley being publicly ‘jocked off’ and Ryan Moore taking over for the 5-y-o’s next outing, the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, in which he finished a close 3rd behind (our selection) The Tin Man and Tasleet, both of which are also in today’s field.
What that race did is signify that Limato is nearing his previous best, which is very, very good and the drier the ground today, the better the chance. It was forgotten that at Meydan, the heavens opened just before the race and it was that, not the riding, that produced a below par performance. Indeed, all is now forgiven and Harry Bentley is back aboard – you could surmise that, with those initials, he was pencilled in for the ride.
We think that Limato has every chance of completing the double and recommend a strong each way bet at 9-2.
The other Group race on the card is at 4.00 when the bet365 Superlative Stakes takes place and this looks (surprise, surprise) at the mercy of the Coolmore representative Gustav Klimt, who will doubtless look a picture in the parade ring. There are times when the obvious is the thing to do and we advise a win bet at 7-4.
Also in this race, do have a small each way on the supposed Godolphin second string Zaman at a working man’s 14-1 – he could be a big improver.
Main handicap at 3.25 is the bet365 Bunbury Cup, with just 19 runners hurtling down 7 furlongs of the July course. We may have this race covered, however, with a win bet on Tashweeq at 5-1 and an each way bet on Gossiping at 9-1.
And now an in-depth analysis of the handicap at 2.50 – City Of Joy will win it – get on at 5-2.
Limato 4.35 – each way at 9-2
Gustav Klimt 4.00 – win at 7-4
Zaman 4.00 – each way at 14-1
Tashweeq 3.25 – win at 5-1
Gossiping 3.25 – each way at 9-1
City Of Joy 2.50 – win at 5-2.