13:30 Rossdales British EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes – 7f
Just six face the starter in another maiden to open the card. Achillea is the only one of the field with any racecourse experience and ran with credit on debut at Newbury.
However, it is hard to believe that there won’t be a newcomer to beat Achilles and the two more interesting runners on pedigree are perhaps Her Majesty The Queen’s Blue Missile and the Lope De Vega filly LUCKIN BREW.
The latter is the suggestion, though of course do keep an eye on the market here.
The selection is a sister to Antonio De Vega, a 7f 2yo winner who scored at Group 3 level, while her dam was a Listed-placed 7f winner. This trip looks a good starting point for her and, with Running Lion representing the Gosdens and the also well bred Frankness involved for the Andrew Balding team, it could develop into both a competitive and informative contest.
14:05 Bedford Lodge Hotel & Spa Fillies’ Handicap – 7f
Truly Acclaimed arrives seeking a hat-trick and has been improving in recent times, scoring in a Class 4 at York in May and following up last month at Ayr.
He’s been claimer-ridden for several starts now and that’s the case again here. He could still be well treated but more obviously so that looks to be the case with KIDWAH.
William Haggas trains this Kodiac filly, who was a comfortable Doncaster maiden winner (6f, soft) on debut, while she stepped up significantly on that when romping home by more than 4l at Redcar last time (6f, good).
Very much an improving filly, she looks to be a potential Group horse running in a handicap here and is taken to score.
Golden Spice was below par at Royal Ascot last time (1m, good to firm) in the Sandringham. Prior to that, she had won back-to-back over 7f and now returning to that trip, she could bounce back and go close.
14:40 bet365 Mile Handicap – 1m
Just the ‘dead eight’ has been declared for this Class 2 contest and it’s a race that looks quite open.
Laasudood won a 7f Kempton maiden when with Sir Michael Stoute last season and has improved on that in both starts since joining Richard Hannon this term. In two starts, he’s been stepped up to around a mile and his most recent success, at Doncaster (1m, good to firm) suggests he may still be ahead of the handicapper, despite a 7lb rise.
JIMI HENDRIX is coming along steadily and ran an absolute cracker at 20/1 when third in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot. He’s already a winner over this trip and there will surely be more to come from him.
Bay Of Honour looks to be a serious player. Charlie Appleby’s Shamardal colt won a Kempton novice event (7f, AW) last year and beat the right horse into second when making a big improvement to land a Thirsk novice event (1m, good) on his reappearance last month. He’ll need more of that to defy this initial handicap mark of 94 but that looks possible, so he can’t be ruled out lightly.
The unexposed, hat-trick seeking Be Lucky My Son looks in need of a more significant improvement from his most recent run to this than some of this field and might find at least one too good.
15:15 bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2) – 7f
Just five go to post for this. The Charlie Appleby/Godolphin team already think enough of VICTORY DANCE to have given him an entry in the Group 1 National Stakes at the Curragh in September.
Therefore, there’s no surprise to see the son of Dubawi put in as the favourite, having won a novice event over this C&D last month. You’d expect him to come on plenty for that first run and with the stable in good form, he is taken to make a successful step up into Group company.
Lion Of War scored on debut at Leicester (7f, good to firm) last month, before going on to make all and score by 10l in a Newcastle novice event (7f, AW) a couple of weeks later.
He looks well worth his place in this race as a result of that and he should be capable of going close.
There was nothing wrong with how Isaac Shelby did his job in winning a Newbury maiden over an extended 6f on debut (good to soft). The form of that race is working out well and his chance is much respected as a result, with some natural improvement likely.
15:50 bet365 Bunbury Cup (Heritage Handicap) – 7f
The strong-travelling MONTASSIB was unbeaten for his first three starts and ran with plenty of credit when fifth in the 29-runner Buckingham Palace Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
He looks particularly well treated based on his Goodwood win prior to that Ascot run and it would be no surprise to see him bounce right back to win again.
Samburu has a similar profile to Montassib, having kicked off his career with a hat-trick. Instead of the handicap route, he went to the Group 3 Jersey Stakes (7f, good to firm; first-time cheekpieces) at Royal Ascot, where he was perhaps a bit too keen and eventually finished a 3l sixth, which still represented progress.
Rhoscolyn ran a blinder to be a 1l third in the Buckingham Palace Stakes, which suggests there may still be a little more to come from him, despite already having had 20 starts.
He’s on the same mark of 103 for this and is a 12/1 chance. For me, he looks some each-way value for those wanting to take on the favourite, whom he finished ahead of at the royal meeting.
Al Rufaa and, if he runs here rather than on Friday, Lord Rapscallion are both of interest at 20/1 and bigger and you could do worse than having a small each-way interest.
16:25 Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1) – 6f
The centrepiece of the entire meeting takes place as the penultimate race on the final day.
No favourite has won this race for the past five years, and only three ‘jollies’ in the last decade have been successful.
Both Aidan O’Brien and Clive Cox have won the race twice during that period but Cox does not have an entry this time and O’Brien relies on the 25/1 chance CADAMOSTO, who has been a drifter in the build-up and has over 2l to find with the favourite, Perfect Power, from their Commonwealth Cup run at last month’s royal meeting.
Seamie Heffernan steps in for the mount (Ryan Moore has ridden him in all six career starts so far) on this improver, who is unlikely to have been entered for the trip across the Irish sea. He needs improvement but that is not impossible and he has around half a stone to find.
Naval Crown is 4-14 and arrives on the back of Group 1 success in the Platinum Jubilee success, when he finished a neck to the good over his reopposing stable companion, the better fancied Creative Force. The latter would be better-placed if any rain came but that is not forecast. Artorius was third behind that pair at Royal Ascot and there is no obvious reason why he will turn the tables. Having said that, he certainly can’t be ruled out.
Perfect Power won the Commonwealth Cup with some degree of comfort, producing his best yet. He is largely consistent and didn’t get home over a mile in the 2,000 Guineas behind Coroebus. He gets 7f and that will be no bad thing, as they will go hell-for-leather over shorter here. He is a massive player.
17:00 Moet & Chandon Handicap – 1m4f
And so to the last race of the 2022 Newmarket July Festival.
Another small field, just six, goes to post for this 0-90 contest, which is reasonably open.
The Andrew Balding-trained Bizarre Law is the talking horse, having come into this from a marked improvement in scoring at Goodwood (1m4f, good to firm) last month in the same grade.
ADJUVANT is interesting. His form has plateaued out over 1m2f but his dam won over this trip and it offers the possibility of further improvement, now trying it for the first time. With 5lb claimed off his back he looks too big to let pass by at 13/2.
Glen Savage was a debut winner at Newbury in April 2021. He was then off the track until being supported in to 7/2 when reappearing at Doncaster (1m2f, good) last month. He was hampered inside the final furlong that day and might have finished closer.
There’s plenty of stamina on the dam’s side of his pedigree and he could have a huge say from a mark of just 89.
Commonsensical has put together three good efforts since joining Hugo Palmer, winning the first and most recent of them (1m2f, good; 1m3f, good to firm). He should get every yard of this and is not ruled out from a fair mark of 88.