Boodles July Festival 2023 picks: July Cup favourite well-set


As the summer rolls on with the Royal Meeting in the books, racing returns to Newmarket this week for the 2023 Boodles July Festival.

Three days of top-class action at HQ are headlined by Saturday’s July Cup, as rivals square off in a re-run of last month’s Commonwealth Cup.

With 21 races on the slate, once more we have picked one to watch across across each day.


Quinault; bet365 Handicap, Thursday, 15:00 (Class 2, 6f)

To say Quinault has enjoyed a dominant spring and summer would be quite the understatement.

A gelding formerly on the books of Charlie Appleby, trainer Stuart Williams has seen eventual rousing success since taking the reins in February.

Third and then sixth on the A/W at Chelmsford, a return to Essex in April saw a maiden win and the start of a dominant run.


Then switching to the turf at Brighton in May, the horse proved his class.

Following a double on the Rowley Mile and a narrow win at York by a nose, Quinault now goes for a sixth win on the spin.

Unbeaten at Newmarket, can he convert on the July course?

Washington Heights will seek revenge from the Knavesmire and Quinault may not go off as favourite.

Therefore, a 13/2 shot looks decent.


Coppice; Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes, Friday, 15:35 (Class 1, 1m)

Friday’s antepost punt is so far backing George Boughey’s impressive Via Sistina, but might Coppice show her hand?

Dropping into Suffolk with a win from the Sandringham, there is slight doubt over Frankie Dettori’s presence this week.


Regardless of jockey, the 3yo filly is coming good, going for three-in-a-row here.

Having won over 7f, this longer trip remains her preference.

The slightly softer turf may be of concern for John & Thady Gosden, but with wins on varying ground, Coppice can challenge at a healthy 7/1 with William Hill.


Shaquille; Pertemps Network July Cup Stakes, Saturday, 16:35 (Class 1, 6f)

And so to the main event of the July Festival, the July Cup.

Shaquille looks mighty indeed.

Julie Camacho’s colt has become the pride and joy of the Hughes, Rawlings and O’Shaughnessy team.

In seven career outings, Shaquille has been beaten just once – last August at York and like Quinault goes for six-in-a-row.


With three turf wins this season, victories in the Howden and Carnarvon were capped off with Group 1 success in the Commonwealth Cup.

On that day, Shaquille came out on top over Little Big Bear.

Renewing hostilities with the ride of AP O’Brien, last year’s Duchess of Cambridge bridesmaid, Lezoo is also in attendance.

Arguably the NAP of the Festival, few could could make a case against Shaquille, and at 7/4 with BetVictor still carries value.

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