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Ground could be a huge factor in the Darley July Cup

12 Jul 2012

Soft ground at Newmarket is likely to disadvantage many of the leading contenders for Saturday's Darley July Cup, but a few of the runners are likely to relish it as they stake their claim to the fourth QIPCO British Champions Series sprint.

Society Rock after his victory in last year’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes – can he add the Darley July Cup to his CV on Saturday? Image courtesy of

A field of 15 has been declared for the Darley July Cup, which is so often won by the horse ultimately crowned as Europe’s champion sprinter.

The six furlong contest, the fourth race in the QIPCO British Champions Series Sprint category, is the highlight of the final day of the Piper Heidsieck July Festival on Newmarket’s July Course.

The line-up includes the Temple Stakes winner and King’s Stand Stakes runner-up, Bated Breath, who was also runner-up to the 2011 champion sprinter, Dream Ahead, in this race last year, and last year’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner, Society Rock, who missed the break in this year’s renewal to be a never nearer fifth.

Top class international raiders, Ortensia, trained in Australia by Paul Messara, and Krypton Factor, owned and trained by Fawzi Nass from Bahrain, will be looking to build on their runs at Royal Ascot last month, while the ex-Australian colt Sepoy, now trained in Newmarket by Mahmood Al Zarooni, will make his European debut in the race.

The high class miler, Strong Suit, steps down to six furlongs for the first time since his two-year-old season in 2010, and he is joined in the line-up by stable-mate Libranno, who always runs well on the July Course.

Irish raiders Dandy Boy, who won the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot last time, and three-year-old Fire Lily also bring competitive form to the race.

The ground, which is now soft on the July Course, is like to play a huge part in the outcome, with Bated Breath, Strong Suit, Libranno, Ortensia and Krypton Factor all seemingly better on faster ground.

Guaranteed to like the ground on their past performances are Society Rock and Sepoy, while Dandy Boy’s connections also expect their charge to relish cut in the ground.

For the full race details and field, CLICK HERE.