Fairground Attraction‘s 1988 smash leads us in to July Cup day at Newmarket, with the Group 1 sprint due off at 4.25.
Favourite in the 13 strong field is the pride of Richard Fahey‘s yard, Perfect Power, currently available at 11-4.
This very likeable 3-y-o has hardly put a hoof wrong in its short career, the one blip when running (optimistically) in the 2000 Guineas, in which, not surprisingly, he didn’t get the trip.
Coming here after a smooth victory in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and ridden, as per, by Christophe Soumillon, we recommend a win bet at the price stated.
The one other horse in the line up that could spoil the party is Creative Force, which finished a close fifth in this race last season when still learning to handle the transition to sprinting but has had a lot more practice since.
Would almost certainly have won the Platinum Jubilee at Royal Ascot bar the wrong draw and we must recommend an each way bet at 5-1.
Televised action starts at 2.05 with the Bedford Lodge Hotel Fillies’ Handicap over 7f, which has a ‘dead eight’ field.
Favourite at 7-4 (as ever) is the Haggas representative Kidwah, which is unbeaten after two wins at six furlongs. Clearly a member of the ‘could be anything’ club, an opening handicap mark of 88 doesn’t look generous after beating a couple of trees at Redcar last time.
We prefer more visible form and suggest a win bet on the second in, Golden Spice, which has the services of Mr Buick.
George Margarson‘s runner won its first two starts on turf, both over this trip, before not quite getting home over a mile at Royal Ascot, finishing 10th of 28.
Back to its best trip, 100-30 looks a fair price.
We also suggest an each way bet on handicap debutant Victoria Grove at 9-1. Unfashionable trainers’ runners tend to be overpriced and there was little wrong with this horse’s smooth win at Leafy last month so let’s cheer on Henry Spiller‘s pet.
The bet365 Mile Handicap at 2.40 has a field of eight, all of which have a chance and, with no edge, we miss this one out and move on to the bet365 Superlative Stakes at 3.15.
Just 5 runners in this, but three with a live chance and our trusty pin has landed on the one race, one win shoulders of Isaac Shelby, which should be backed at 3-1.
The bet365 Bunbury Cup Handicap at 3.50 has just 18 runners, almost all with a squeak, so we throw two darts and hope.
The lovable Jumby at 7-1 and dear old Ropey Guest at 12-1 will carry our dreams and aspirations.
Cameras are also at York for four races, beginning with the John Smith’s Racing Handicap at 1.45.
Eilean Dubh is the 100-30 jolly following it’s win from 19 others over CD at the end of May. Since that run, Karl Burke has chosen to run his horse over 6f at Pontefract, but has now recovered his senses and a follow up is on the cards.
We also like the chances of Blue For You from the O’Meara operation. A winner at Leopardstown off a similar mark when trained across the water last year, this 4-y-o showed there was more to come when a close third at Sandown and it wears the winning headgear for the first time in the UK today.
We’ll go each way at 8-1.
The Group 3 at 2.20 has cut up to just three runners and isn’t a betting race, so on to the very valuable John Smith’s Cup Handicap at 4.05.
Absolutely in the ‘impossible’ category, of the 22 starters, we suggest each way bets on Brilliant Light (8-1) and Caradoc (18-1) and leave it at that.
Finally to the John Smith’s Stakes at 4.40, a 5f Listed race.
Regular readers will be aware of our slight anathema to 5f sprints, but we have to recommend a bet on Caturra in this one.
A Group 2 winner as a 2-y-o, Clive Cox‘s youngster showed he had trained on last time out when third to the rapidly improving Mitbaahy and can take a hand in the finish here under the underrated John Fahey. Have an each way bash at 11-2.
Let’s hope there will be time to watch some of the cricket.
Perfect Power 4.25 Newmarket 3pts win @ 11-4
Creative Force 4.25 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 5-1 (4 places)
Golden Spice 2.05 Newmarket 2pts win @ 100-30
Victoria Grove 2.05 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 9-1
Isaac Shelby 3.15 Newmarket 2pts win @ 3-1
Jumby 3.50 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 7-1 (6 places)
Ropey Guest 3.50 Newmarket 1pt e/w @ 12-1 (6 places)
Eileen Dubh 1.45 York 2pts win @ 100-30
Blue For You 1.45 York 1pt e/w @ 8-1
Brilliant Light 4.05 York 1pt e/w @ 8-1 (6 places)
Caradoc 4.05 York 1pt e/w @ 18-1 (6 places)
Caturra 4.40 York 1.5pts e/w @ 11-2