The action comes thick and fast for punters today with televised big race action at Newmarket, York, Ascot and The Curragh.
Darley July Cup Stakes
Starting at HQ, it is July Cup day and the star turn is undoubtedly Caravaggio who remains unbeaten for Coolmore. He won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last time out, accounting for a couple of these rivals in the process. He is clearly the one to beat, but his price reflects it.
The Tin Man did us a favour by winning at Royal Ascot when he had Taslett and LIMATO just behind him. Limato has the course form having won this race last year and that Ascot effort should have put him spot on for this. He looks the best value amongst the favourites.
A shock seems unlikely given the race’s strength in depth, but if a long shot hits the frame at least then we could secure some tidy returns. With that in mind it is worth backing Limato to win and chancing BRANDO and GROWL each-way. Brando is a classy sprinter on his day, but he can break blood vessels, which explains his poor run last time out. Prior to that he looked a horse very much on the up.
Growl unseated his rider in the stalls at Ascot, but he has run well behind the likes of The Tin Man and Brando before and there is a chance that this race could fall apart if the leaders go off too fast, too soon. If that is the case, Growl is just the sort to pick up the pieces and he wouldn’t mind if any forecast rain arrives.
Bet365 offer 1/4 odds for the place in this race, with other bookies only offering 1/5.
|Limato (win)||4.35 Newmarket||9/2||Bet365, Paddy Power|
|Brando (ew)||4.35 Newmarket||33/1||Bet365|
|Growl (ew)||4.35 Newmarket||100/1||Bet365|
bet365 Bunbury Cup Handicap
The other good betting heat on the Newmarket card is the Bunbury Cup at 3.25pm.
We have been over the cliff a number of times with BOSSY GUEST before, but we are convinced he is going to win one of this races at a big price one day so we are going to suggest supporting him again here. His running style means he’ll need a lot of luck in running.
Plenty of those on our shortlist are drawn high and the other one to back on that side is SIR DANCEALOT, who has been highly tried recently. He is dropping in grade, here but the trip and ground look ideal.
Of those with a low berth in the stalls, FLAMING SPEAR looks the pick. He’s always been well regarded by connections and looked a horse to follow when coming from last to fast courtesy of an impressive turn of foot when last seen on the track.
Steady Pace, Robero and Above The Rest are others to consider – the latter would be particularly interesting if the rain arrives.
Paddy Power are offering 5 places for each-way bets on this race.
|Bossy Guest (ew)||3.25 Newmarket||16/1||Paddy Power|
|Sir Dancealot (ew)||3.25 Newmarket||25/1||Paddy Power|
|Flaming Spear (ew)||3.25 Newmarket||7/1||Bet365|
58th John Smith’s Cup Handicap
York’s feature contest is the John Smith’s Cup over the extended mile and a quarter.
We were really keen on SIXTIES GROOVE‘s chances at Royal Ascot last time out, and he would probably have been involved in the finish had he not been left quite so much to do by Adam Kirby. Gerald Mosse takes over the reins today and we think this horse can cope with the drop in trip and take home the valuable price.
The big danger looks to be BALLET CONCERTO for Sir Michael Stoute. He looks ready for this step up in trip, whilst CENTRAL SQUARE could prove the pick of a strong pair of runners from the in-form Roger Varian yard.
Once again, Paddy Power are offering 5 places for each-way bets on this race.
|Sixties Groove (ew)||3.05 York||7/1||Paddy Power|
|Ballet Concerto (ew)||3.05 York||8/1||Paddy Power|
|Central Square (ew)||3.05 York||20/1||Paddy Power|
ohn Smith’s Racing Handicap
Earlier on the card the connections of Sixties Groove can get the day off to the best possible start courtesy of ABE LINCOLN. He was another of our fancies for the Royal meeting, and although he disappointed there he still looks unexposed and open to improvement.
|Abe Lincoln (ew)||1.55 York||8/1||Paddy Power, Coral|
The big betting heat at Ascot is the Heritage Handicap at 2.10pm and with there being a bit off cut in the ground at the Berkshire track we think ORIONS BOW can finally get off the mark for his new yard. He has been well backed on recent starts to suggest he is in fine form at home and still considered to be well handicapped, and the slight easing in the going may be the key to him.
Conditions should be fine for EDWARD LEWIS too, who has improved since moving to David O’Meara, whilst the pick of those at bigger prices could prove to be YALTA, who takes a massive drop in class here.
Sky Bet are offering 6 places for each-way bets on this race.
|Orions Bow (ew)||2.10 Ascot||5/1||Bet365|
|Edward Lewis (ew)||2.10 Ascot||13/2||Sky Bet|
|Yalta (ew)||2.10 Ascot||12/1||Sky Bet|
Darley Irish Oaks
There is a Classic over in Ireland this afternoon in the shape of the Irish Oaks and it is hard for us to desert Enable after she did us such a big favour at Epsom in June, but she is no sort of price here. In fact, with her taking such a large chunk out of the market it is probably worth backing a couple against her at bigger prices.
The one open to most improvement is arguably RAIN GODDESS, who tackles this trip for the first time. She is bred to stay.
At an even bigger price, INTRICATELY is also tacking a mile and a half for the first time. She wasn’t beaten far in the Irish 1,000 Guineas and has possibly been written off too soon given her powerful connections.
|Rain Goddess (ew)||5.55 Curragh||8/1||Coral|
|Intricately (ew)||5.55 Curragh||50/1||Paddy Power|