On the final day of the brilliant July Festival at Newmarket, a strong field of 14 speedsters will contest the six furlong feature at an early time of 2.15pm, with the card kicking off at 1.05pm. The Darley July Cup is worth £500,000 in prize-money and is undoubtedly one of the most important sprint races on the Summer calendar.
This year, several powerhouse owner silks are suitably represented, including the boys in blue of Godolphin who possess a strong hand, along with the Coolmore lads and a rather talented Hamdan Al Maktoum owned 3yo trained by Sir Michael Stoute, and their horse also has a big say on form.
Blue Point is the market leader here for Charlie Appleby, having scored decisively in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. He’s been good at 6f in the past, but will he handle the July course on his first visit?
Eqtidaar was impressive in the Commonwealth Cup, a strong, bull of a 3yo who really covers the ground well. But quite a few horses rather disappointed in that race – which looked top class on paper – but has left me lukewarm until I see the form advertised is open company.
The 3yos, also including Sioux Nation, Sands Of Mali, US Navy Flag and Invincible Army, have it to prove against the older horses and considering several of this seemingly talented bunch are just about the prices they should be, the value might lay elsewhere. 7 of the last 10 July Cups went to a 4+ year old horse.
The joker in the pack is John Gosden’s lightly-raced 4yo DREAMFIELD, an exciting son of Oasis Dream – who won this in 2003 – and a horse coming here right on the back of a handicap run. Sounds hopeful at best to suggest a horse with such a profile can land a Group 1 of this nature on only his fifth visit to a racecourse, but he is a very interesting individual. Backed as if defeat was out of the question in the Wokingham at Royal Ascot, Dreamfield produced a fine effort and did all bar win when being denied by Bacchus on the day.
His last two speed figures suggest he is a Group 1 contestant, we’ll find out tomorrow if he’s up to becoming a Group 1 winner.
LIMATO is yet to have his conditions this season, with connections trying to make a miler out of a sprinter, but last year’s runner-up has everything in his favour to run right up to his best here under Harry Bentley and he has to be considered a danger to all.
July Cup Bets
Dreamfield – 1pt E/w
Limato – 1pt E/w
Earlier on in the day and indeed after the early feature, there are a few speed figure picked horses I’ve initially noted and will probably stick into an Lucky 15. Here they are:
1.05 – FORSETI
3.20 – CLUBBABLE
3.55 – ELIZABETH BENNETT
4.30 – FINAL
Happy punting this weekend, enjoy the equine and sporting festivities!
You can read more from Kevin O’Malley and find the latest form, racecards, free tips & news on GG.CO.UK.
Odds are provided at time of writing, please check your betslip to confirm they have not changed before betting.