Newmarket’s three-day July Cup meeting kicks off this afternoon with Sir Michael Stoute poised for a good day, the trainer double-handed bidding for a record tenth win in the Princess of Wales’ Stakes with Arab Spring and Hillstar.
Hillstar ran an excellent race to finish second behind stable-mate Telescope in the Hardwicke Stakes despite pulling early however preference lay with Arab Spring (2.40) with Ryan Moore in the plate, seeking the five-timer..
The Monsun colt defied the burden of top weight to win the Duke of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot in comfortable fashion and looks the ideal type to improve further upped in class and trip. Any further rain would only add to the progressive 4-y-o’s chances and he should give the trainer further success.
John Gosden is another with an excellent record on Thursday’s card and his Forever Now (1.40) taken to land a fourth successive Bahrain Trophy and third in on the spin for owner Lady Bamford.
Forever Now is a full-brother to 2012 winner Shantaram and looks another classy Galileo colt laden with stamina and impressed last time out at Doncaster, winning a warm maiden by eight lengths. Whilst his brother was unable to have a crack at the final classic of the season Forever Now will hopefully be on Town Moor in September and is 20/1 with BetVictor to be John Gosden’s 4th St Leger winner in the last eight years.
Aiden O’Brien brings The Great War (2.10) over the Irish Sea bidding to restore the colt’s reputation in the July Stakes after a lacklustre effort last month at Royal Ascot. The War Front colt was punted into odds-on and was previously hyped as Ballydoyle’s top juvenile after facile wins at Tipperary and the Curragh before his subsequent flop in the Norfolk Stakes but he looks sure to be suited by the step up in trip and remains a 33/1 chance with BetVictor to return on the Rowley Mile for next year’s 2000 Guineas.
Neil Callan returns to riding in Britain this week after a spell riding in Hong Kong and he reunites with former boss Kevin Ryan for the ride on Astaire in Saturday’s G1 July Cup at Newmarket – 20/1 with BetVictor at the time of writing. Callan rode the colt to victory in last year’s Gimcrack and Middle Park Stakes and the pair have an excellent record when teaming-up, which should bode well for his ride on Rise to Power (2.30) when travelling to Doncaster this afternoon.
The colt is related to plenty of useful types including the Dream Day and Sabbeeh, both making winning debuts, and he looks the ideal type to make a winning start.
The fillies’ handicap looks an excellent renewal with plenty of Newmarket raiders, including John Gosden’s Water Hole and Charlie Appleby’s History Book however William Haggas’s Buredyma (4.15) should be able to seal the hat-trick after recent successes at Goodwood and Chester.
The Dutch Art filly won despite being badly hampered in the closing stages last time out at Chester and a 2lb rise could sorely underestimate her. William Haggas is having an excellent season with his 3-y-o’s (33% strike-rate) and with Buredyma receiving 9lb from her elders, she is a confident selection.
Providing Town Moore avoids the forecasted showers that are due to hit South Yorkshire in the middle of the week then Tim Easterby’s Captain Dunne (5.25) looks set to follow-up Friday’s win at Haydock in the sprint handicap over the minimum trip.
The 9-y-o escapes a penalty for his success in Friday’s apprentice handicap and made full use of his tumbling handicap mark to score by a comfortable three lengths. Rachel Richardson retains the ride and is excellent value for her 7lb claim.