Highlight of today’s meeting at Newmarket is the Group 1 Darley July Cup Stakes at 3.35, with 13 runners due to line up.
Worthy favourite at 5-2 is the Clive Cox trained ‘new kid on the block’ Golden Horde, the 3-y-o who was our selection when running away with the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on similar ground that he will encounter today. Taking on his elders, some of whom are hardened, if not even grizzled top class sprinters is no walk in the park, but such is the potential of this Lethal Force colt, we have to recommend a win bet.
If there is a danger, it could be Khaadem who finished 4th in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal meeting, behind two of today’s rivals. Charles Hills‘s 4-y-o ran much better than his finishing position on first start since October and we suggest an each way ‘saver’ at 12-1.
Coverage starts at 1.50 with the bet365 Handicap over a mile and the fav for this is Finest Sound, which demolished the large field in the Britannia Stakes, only to see the ludicrously handicapped Khaloosy sweep past and disappear into the sunset.
Such was Finest Sound‘s superiority over the rest of the 22 runner field that the handicapper has raised it a full 7lbs, which makes the current 9-4 look no value at all.
What is value, however, is the 18-1 available about Into Faith, from the David Menusier yard. This son of Intello pouched a valuable conditions race at Longchamp on his third and final run as a 2-y-o, but his previous run is of even more interest. 4th of 12 in a Sandown maiden may not sound much, but the winner was the Group 1 winning Palace Pier and the horse in third was…Finest Hour. With a 4lb pull for just a length, we must have an each way bash at this one, especially after a promising pipe-opener at Newbury last month.
The British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Handicap at 2.25 has a field of nine still standing and, in the hope that at least 8 turn up, we recommend an each way bet on Nasaiym at 10-1. First time out may be the time to catch James Tait‘s young lady and her defeat of the now 110 rated Run Wild at Newbury last year makes her opening handicap mark of 87 look tempting.
It’s the turn of the 2-y-os at 3.00 when the bet365 Superlative Stakes is run and here we like the chances of Charlie Appleby‘s Master Of The Seas.
Easy winner of his only race so far, form that has been franked by the placed horses, this is a ‘could be anything’ selection and we go each way at 9-2.
Over at un-royal Ascot, the feature race is the Group 2 Betfred Summer Mile Stakes which sees a re-match between Mohaather and Skardu, who finished 7th & 8th in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes, after neither got a run. Backing ‘unlucky’ horses next time out can be the quick way to Carey Street, but we think this is the superior form line so we recommend a win bet on Mohaather at 2-1 and an each way punt on Skardu at 6-1.
Every sunbeam that hits the Ascot turf will be in Skardu‘s favour and we can see these two fighting out the finish – that’s the theory, anyway.
Final race to look at is the Betfred Fillies’ Handicap over the straight mile at 2.05.
Ralph Beckett‘s 3-y-o finished a really good 5th of 15 over CD in the Sandringham last time out, and, with the drying conditions in her favour, could give the rapidly improving Rob Hornby a great ride. Back her each way at 5-1, please.
That’s it – now off to see whether Ben Stokes can raise a smile.
Golden Horde 3.35 Newmarket 4pts win @ 5-2
Khaadem 3.35 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (4 places Skybet/Bet365)
Into Faith 1.50 Newmarket 1.5pts e/w @ 18-1
Nasaiym 2.25 Newmarket 1pt e/w @10-1
Master Of The Seas 3.00 Newmarket 1.5pts e/w @ 9-2
Mohaather 3.15 Ascot 4pts win @ 2-1
Skardu 3.15 Asoct 1pt e/w @ 6-1
Declared Interest 2.05 Ascot 1pt e/w @ 5-1
* If your History lessons didn’t cover this, you’ll just have to Google it.