Newmarket’s three-day July Festival comes to a conclusion on Saturday afternoon with an eight-race card (12.10-16.10) that is headlined by the Group 1 Darley July Cup over six-furlongs at 15.35.
Our expert has gone through the card seeking some winners and don’t forget you can watch all the action from Newmarket – as well as every UK and Irish race – via live streaming when logged into MansionBet.
12.10 bet365 Handicap (1m4f)
The unbeaten Godolphin runner Yuri Gagarin should prove popular in the betting here but he’s not exactly thrown in off a mark of 95, despite the clear promise of his two wins. He also races on turf for the first time in this handicap bow and will need to do so on soft ground. FUTURE INVESTMENT has contested some tough handicaps since novice successes at Chester and Ripon last summer. Stamina is assured and he’ll handle soft, while last month’s Newbury second looks good as the winner was second in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock from 9lb higher since. Ralph Beckett’s charge is a solid contender here.
12.45 bet365 British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes (7f)
Five of the six runners have never seen the racecourse so the betting will be a vital guide. Wedding Dance was a beaten favourite on debut here last month and needs to improve. She’s one of three for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin here. The trainer won this with a newcomer last season and fires ?1,000,000 Dubawi filly NASH NASHA at the target now. James Doyle’s mount should be good enough for a winning start.
13.15 bet365 Novice Stakes (1m)
Charlie Appleby’s team are in scintillating form just now and DECLARING LOVE is a fascinating runner in this novice contest. She raced only once last season, finishing third over 6f on the Rowley course here. That form is exceedingly strong, with winner Daahyeh and runner-up Raffle Prize both dual group-race scorers last season. This filly should be ready on her belated second start and is a big player. The main danger should be presented from Al Mutathar, winner on debut over a mile here last month and certain to progress now.
13.50 bet365 Mile Handicap (1m)
Finest Sound was a good second in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot. Simon and Ed Crisford’s charge was well backed and found only the piercing run of Khaloosy too good. He was though well clear of the remainder and has claims from this increased mark. DANCE FEVER shed his unbeaten record on seasonal return at Windsor last month but can come on for that. He looked shy of sharpness at a crucial stage before finishing well. An unchanged mark of 91 appeals and the returning Adam Kirby is 3-3 on his back.
14.25 British Stallion Studs EBF Fillies’ Handicap (7f)
Plenty of these fillies have questions over them at the moment and so John Gosden’s INDIE ANGEL looks well-placed off bottom-weight. She put up a good showing in first-time cheekpieces at Doncaster last time, just getting reeled in close home over a mile. The drop in trip should suit and she retains scope for further progress from an unchanged rating.
15.00 bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2, 7f)
Any amount of potential here with nine last-time-out winners and six unbeaten records in a field of ten. Seventh Kingdom took a while to get going at Doncaster but finished very strongly and should give David Egan a nice spin around here.
That leaves Frankie Dettori partnering King Zain, a good Kempton winner on debut while Aidan O’Brien’s Hudson River is superbly bred and won well on debut in Ireland. MASTER OF THE SEAS pulled a long way clear with runner-up William Bligh at this track last month on debut and that rival was a decisive winner himself next time. That win came on soft, and there should be plenty more to come from the Dubawi colt.
15.35 Darley July Cup (Group 1, 6f)
Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde has strong claims of becoming he fourth three-year-old winner of the July Cup in five years. Clive Cox has won this in recent times with Lethal Force and Harry Angel and the 6lb he receives from older horses is significant.
That said, SCEPTICAL is fancied to overturn Diamond Jubilee Stakes form with Hello Youmzain and bag a Group 1 sprint. Frankie Dettori perhaps made his move too soon at Royal Ascot and, with Golden Horde sure to get on with things, he can keep the power dry and swoop later this time.
16.10 bet365 Bunbury Cup (Heritage Handicap, 7f)
A tough finish for punters with 20 going to post in the Bunbury Cup. Bottom weight TOMFRE won four times last season (three here at Newmarket) and has scored on soft ground. The Cable Bay colt met some traffic last time at Sandown before flying home for a head-defeat.
He should be capable of better things and can go well again his elders. Royal Ascot winner Motakhayyel may have a job on to uphold Buckingham Palace Handicap form with fellow Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned runner Mutamaasik, who is better off at the weights and doesn’t have a draw bias against him now with Ryan Moore taking over.