Final day of the Newmarket July meeting, with the Group 1 Darley July Cup Stakes at 4.40 the main event.
12 runners are due to take part and, to sort out the likely winner, we will pose a hypothetical question: ‘If Blue Point was included in the list of runners, would you back it?’ Our answer would be a resounding ‘Yes’ so we must recommend a strong bet on Dream Of Dreams, which, with a better passage, might well have beaten said Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot.
Trip and ground should be similar today so we suggest getting stuck in to Sir Michael‘s 5-y-o, each way, at 9-2.
The bet365 Superlative Stakes at 2.55, a Group 2 for the babies, has, at the moment, a field of 8 and in this we like the chances of Wild Thunder at a palatable 12-1.
Richard Hannon is not noted for first time out 2-y-o winners, but Wild Thunder appeared at Goodwood at the end of May and put in an impressive performance, quickening up well to beat a subsequent good winner, going away at the finish. Later season entries suggest the yard think a lot of this colt and he can take this race as a next step.
The bet365 Bunbury Cup over 7f has a field of just 17, but may not be as impossible as it looks.
Favourite at 9-2 is the William Haggas trained Solar Gold, which fits perfectly into the ‘could be anything’ category, having been placed in two Listed races on its only two runs this season. A mark of 96 might be lenient so a modest win bet is recommended.
Our other bet in this race is an each way punt on Ambassadorial at 11-1.
Previously trained in Oirland by Michael Halford, this 5-y-o made an impressive debut for Jane Chapple-Hyam when running away with a Class 3 handicap at Chelmsford City 24 days ago and can run here off just a 1lb higher mark. This horse has had only 5 runs on turf, but was 4th in two Listed contests and could cause a surprise.
TV cameras also visit the meetings at York and Ascot this afternoon and, while we are going to swerve the bookmaker sponsored 5f handicap in Berkshire, we will have a crack at the two handicaps on the Knavesmire.
The John Smith’s Racing Handicap at 3.15 looks at the mercy of Martin Meade‘s progressive Rise Hall and we recommend a win bet on this one at 2-1.
The John Smith’s Diamond Jubilee Cup Handicap, worth an astonishing £124,500 to the winner is a different cauldron of tuna, with a field of 22, but, nothing daunted, let’s have a go.
Favourite is the John Gosden rained Stylehunter, last seen as a fast finishing 4th in the Royal Hunt Cup and likely to be well suited to the step up in trip. At 6-1 we suggest backing this each way.
Further down the list we are also attracted by the claims of Aasheq, which is available at 20-1. Tim Easterby‘s 6-y-o has had the pause that refreshes since two solid third placings and is handicapped to outrun its odds today – so there.
Let’s hope that if any more course records are broken, it’s our selections that do it.
Dream Of Dreams 4.40 Newmarket 3pts e/w @ 9-2
Wild Thunder 2.55 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 12-1
Solar Gold 3.30 Newmarket 2pts win @ 9-2
Ambassadorial 3.30 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 11-1 (5 places)
Rise Hall 3.15 York 4pts win @ 2-1
Stylehunter 3.50 York 1.5pts e/w @ 6-1 (6 places SkyBet)
Aasheq 3.50 York 1pt e/w @ 20-1 (6 places SkyBet