Former Talksport man Charlie McCann marks your card with seven to follow on Saturday at Newmarket, York and Ascot. View selections below
Irish handler Eddie Lynam holds all the aces in this afternoon’s July Cup with both Royal Ascot winners Sole Power and Slade Power (3.50) both chasing a memorable G1 sprint double. Sole Power looks all about speed and preference lay with the Diamond Jubilee winner with the selection taken to follow in the hooveprints of Starspangledbanner and Lethal Force and provide further success for the Lynam and the Powers.
Ralph Beckett’s Crystal Lake (2.05) will relish the soft ground in the opening mile handicap. The Verglas colt chased home the pair of subsequent 100+ rated pair of Muteela and Pretzel over course and distance on his last start and looks well handicapped to go even closer from an unrevised mark.
Aidan O’Brien brings the stoutly bred Gleneagles (2.40) across for the Superlative Stakes over seven furlongs. The selection is a full brother to Ballydoyle’s classic winning filly Marvellous and confirmed his debut promise to shred the maiden tag on his second start last month at the Curragh. He stayed on strongly to win the race well and was nibbled in the aftermath for next year’s 2000 Guineas; 20/1 (from 66s) with BetVictor for the first classic of next season.
‘Super Saturday’ also sees excellent racing from York with The John Smiths Cup one of the highlights of the season on the Knavesmire and Bold Sniper backed to land the spoils for Her Majesty the Queen.
The Sir Michael Stoute trained gelding was a beaten favourite when narrowly touched off last time out in the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot and should remain competitive from an unrevised mark of 102 however preference lay with Peter Niven’s Clever Cookie (2.55). There should be plenty of pace in the race and PJ McDonald replaces Graham Lee in the plate and is tasked with getting the dual purpose horse last to first, hopefully completing a hat-trick of wins on the Knavesmire.
Jwala won The City Wall Stakes before springing a 40/1 shock in the Nunthorpe Stakes at the track a month later and Kingsgate Native (3.30) can return to winning ways after three excellent runs this far this season. Robert Cowell’s former G1 winning sprinter has been placed on all three starts this term and can go better than last week’s second with Ryan Moore replacing James Doyle in the plate.
Peter Hedger spent 240,000 guineas on Continuum (2.20) at last autumn’s Tattersalls Sales admitting at the time that “I am going to wrap him up in cotton wool now, he is the most expensive horse I have bought.”
The 5-y-o was formerly trained by Sir Henry Cecil at Warren Place and despite winless in three starts thus far this term has offered plenty of promise. Hedger’s stable star needs rattling quick ground and heads north for York’s listed handicap over a mile and three quarters after two excellent runs at Ascot, the latter behind Arab Spring in the Duke of Edinburgh handicap at the royal meeting.
Prior to that, the Dansili gelding had finished fourth in a brace of warm listed races on less than ideal conditions and the fast ground and a 2lb drop at the weights can give the trainer his first career win on the Knavesmire.
Andrew Balding’s Tulius (2.30) heads a field of twelve for the Summer Mile at Ascot and has been a model of consistency since returning to action this season. The selection was second in the Lincoln Handicap from top weight on his seasonal beau before making all to win the Bet365 mile at Sandown.
He bettered that when chasing home Olympic Glory in the G1 Lockinge and at Newbury before an excellent fourth last time out in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. He carries a 3lb penalty for his Sandown success but looks the only genuine top grade performer in what looks, on paper, a weak renewal.