IT’S the final day of the July Festival, with the Group 1 July Cup the big race of the day.
A field of crack sprinters will go head-to-head at 4.40pm, but there are some superb supporting contests on a brilliant afternoon of racing.
Race 1 – 1.50 Rossdales British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes
This race has produced a Group-class filly in the past five years.
ENNISTYMON is certainly bred for the job; she is related to Group 1-winning two-year-old’s Brave Anna and Hit It A Bomb.
She got no luck whatsoever when seventh in a strong maiden at the Curragh on her debut, and with that experience under her belt she can open her account at the second attempt.
The chief threat may come from Kodiac filly Light Blush, who cost 435,000gns as a yearling.
Keep an eye out for Baaqy with Dettori in the plate.
SELECTION: Ennistymon WATCH OUT FOR: Light Blush
Race 2 – 2.20 bet365 Mile Handicap
HONEST ALBERT was too strong for Bayroot when the pair clashed at Nottingham last month.
The former actually lines up here off 5lb better terms, so he should confirm his superiority and preserve his unbeaten record.
Akwaan arrives seeking the hat-trick following wins over C&D and at Yarmouth. He is feared most.
SELECTION: Honest Albert WATCH OUT FOR: Akwaan
Race 3 – 2.55 bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2)
The vibes around King’s Command are strong, and trainer Charlie Appleby won this race 12 months ago with subsequent Group 1 winner Quorto.
He is clearly a key player but is skinny enough in the betting with several exciting prospects in opposition.
Chief among them is YEAR OF THE TIGER, the first foal out of the brilliant Tiggy Wiggy who bolted up by four and a half lengths at Naas a week ago.
He took a couple of runs to find his feet but he can go on improving for his powerful yard.
Maxi Boy wasn’t beaten far in the Coventry having raced on the wing. He is another to consider, along with the Haydock maiden winners Juan Elcano and Mystery Power.
SELECTION: Year Of The Tiger WATCH OUT FOR: King’s Command
Race 4 – 3.30 bet365 Bunbury Cup
Kynren will surely win one of these big handicaps soon. He ran another fine race when fifth in the Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot and this return to 7f is no issue.
Roger Varian’s Spanish City is another who is often thereabouts in these big field contests, but there is a question mark over his attitude at present.
Impressive Chelmsford winner Ambassadorial and last year’s winner Burnt Sugar are well worth a place on the shortlist, but preference is for SOLAR GOLD.
She was a little unlucky when third behind Classic winner Billesdon Brook at Chelmsford last time.
This scenario could be perfect for her (big field, strong pace) and she is still improving.
SELECTION: Solar Gold EACH-WAY: Kynren
Race 5 – 4.05 Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa British EBF Fillies’ Handicap
Plenty of chances here in a trappy heat.
It could pay to side with top-weight CHALEUR. She has been off since September but she looked above average when winning easily over 7f on her handicap debut.
Flarepath ran with plenty of promise when second on her return at this venue and she is the main threat for her in-form yard.
I Am Magical was third in a muddling event at Sandown and is expected to show up better this time, while Ice Gala is another worthy of consideration.
SELECTION: Chaleur EACH-WAY: I Am Magical
Race 6 – 4.40 Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1)
An excellent race in prospect. Advertise is a worthy favourite following his comprehensive victory in the Commonwealth Cup (Ten Sovereigns back in fourth) at Royal Ascot.
There is a suspicion, though, that it wasn’t the strongest renewal of that contest and he will need to step up again now tackling his elders.
Preference is for DREAM OF DREAMS, whose fast-finishing second to Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee is the strongest form on offer.
He is a sprinter firmly on the upgrade and he sees out 6f very strongly, so the stiff uphill finish here should play to his strengths.
It’s impossible to knock Wokingham winner Cape Byron on what he has achieved this year and he is well worth a crack at this grade.
But the time he clocked in winning that evenly-run contest leaves him with ground to make up on Dream Of Dreams; they went flat out in the Diamond Jubilee so Cape Byron’s energy was used more efficiently.
Dear old Brando has been placed in this race twice and he arrives here fresh having skipped Royal Ascot.
He can’t be dismissed, while the three-year-old filly Fairyland is interesting stepped back up to 6f.
SELECTION: Dream Of Dreams WATCH OUT FOR: Brando
Race 7 – 5.15 Maritime Cargo Handicap
Only six runners to close out a fantastic few days on the July Course.
The well-bred DUBAI TRADITION won easily upped to this trip at Pontefract on his last start.
He appeals as the type to go on improving in handicaps this summer and is preferred to Apparate, who ran well in a decent contest at Salisbury 17 days ago.
The booking of Dettori bodes well for Hareeq, while Doctor Cross can’t be ruled out either.
SELECTION: Dubai Tradition WATCH OUT FOR: Apparate