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Runner-by-runner guide to the Darley July Cup

14 Jul 2017

We analyses the ten runners for the summer sprint showpiece at Newmarket


Limato and Harry Bentley win the Darley July Cup last year. Can the pair repeat the trick at Newmarket on Saturday? Picture:

The Darley July Cup, run over six furlongs at Newmarket on Saturday is the fourth leg in the sprint category of the QIPCO British Champions Series. This year’s renewal looks a vintage edition and her is our runner-by-runner guide.

Trainer: Kevin Ryan
Jockey: Tom Eaves
General odds: 16-1
There will not be a bigger horse in the line-up than this imposing bruiser. Defied a mark of 110 when winning the Ayr Gold Cup in September and was an excellent length third to The Tin Man at Ascot on QIPCO British Champions Day a month later. Returned with a comeback win at Newmarket and put a line through his latest effort at York because he broke a blood vessel. Lively outsider if bringing his A Game with him.

Trainer: Richard Fahey
Jockey: Paul Hanagan
Odds: 40-1
Stayed on well to split The Tin Man and Brando in the QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot in the autumn and that form puts him in the mix. However, he has not reproduced it since and his backers got no run for their money in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last time when he reared at the start and unseated his rider.

Trainer: David O’Meara
Jockey: Danny Tudhope
Odds: 66-1
Reliable gelding who ran as well as he has ever done when second in an all-weather Group Three last time at Newcastle. However, this is a good deal tougher and surprise if he does not find at least one or two too good.

Trainer: Henry Candy
Jockey: Harry Bentley
Odds: 5-1
Brilliant winner of the Darley July Cup last year and subsequently won a Group One contest in France in similarly dashing style. Indicated he was back to something like his best when a close third behind The Tin Man and Tasleet in the Diamond Jubilee last time, when he ran out of room late on. Faster the ground the better and Harry Bentley being back on board is another positive.

Trainer: Richard Fahey
Jockey: Jamie Spencer
Odds: 50-1
Likeable individual who generally runs his race but has had his limitations exposed in pattern company. Not in the same league as Mayson, who won this for the stable in 2012.

Trainer: William Haggas
Jockey: Jim Crowley
Odds: 8-1
Has come of age this term, winning the Group 2 Duke Of York Stakes in taking style before splitting The Tin Man and Limato in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Those efforts make him hard to discount, although the trainer has voiced concerns about the July Course suiting him in the past. Any rain a bonus.

Trainer: James Fanshawe
Jockey: Tom Queally
Odds: 6-1
The syndicate-owned gelding has proved a great flagbearer for his stable – winning the QIPCO British Champions Sprint at Ascot in October and the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the same course last month. He clearly has a soft spot for Ascot but no reason why he will not be equally effective on the July Course and his trainer gave an upbeat bulletin when the Champions Series visited him on Monday. Has to be on any shortlist.

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Ryan Moore
Odds: Evens
Six runs have produced six wins for the exciting colt who Aidan O’Brien has hailed as the fastest to ever gallop at Ballydoyle. Plenty to admire about the way he pegged back Harry Angel in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last month. His trainer afterwards predicted more improvement and, if he does take another jump forward, he is going to take plenty of stopping.

Trainer: Clive Cox
Jockey: Adam Kirby
Odds: 13-2
Clive Cox has never made a secret of his admiration of Harry Angel and the colt has vindicated him – winning the Temple Stakes in a record time at Haydock on his penultimate start before beating all bar Caravaggio in the Commonwealth Cup last time. Has bundles of pace and perhaps a flatter, easier track would play more to his strengths, but he cannot be underestimated.

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien
Jockey: Padraig Beggy
Odds: 66-1
Has a Group Three win at the Curragh on his CV but yet to strike this term and looks very much the stable second string. No surprise if he is forcefully ridden to ensure a strong pace and perhaps make sure Harry Angel does not get an easy time at the head of affairs.