July Festival Day 3 – The Top Three

Newmarket July Cup Day


Well, we are back in profit.

As we head into July Festival Day 3, the P&L is at +1.275 points; admittedly, that isn’t a groundbreaking number, but seeing that number in the green after a small drop into the red is a pleasing sight.

With rain affecting courses up and down the country, today could be a tough card, but here are my three fancies for July Festival Day 3.


2:20 Ascot – Aldarry @ 9/4 with William Hill – 3pt WIN

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Something that made Swingalong the NAP of yesterday at Newmarket was the fact I didn’t think the race was that strong behind the favourite.

And although it’s not to the same level as yesterday, this year’s Summer Mile Stakes at Ascot isn’t a vintage renewal, making ALDAARY a good bet in the race.

All season, connections have been entering and not declaring their five-year-old by Territories because the ground was too quick, so when they did eventually send him to the Criterion Stakes last time out on good ground, I was slightly surprised.

On his first run for nearly 13 months on unsuitable ground at a sharp trip, he ran a great race before fading late on.

Now with conditions in his favour and race fitness on his side, it’s understandable why the market has him as the well-backed favourite.

On his three runs before his latest start, the 116-rated gelding ran to 119, 119, and 117 on RPRs alongside his good times on the clock in soft conditions.

With a few in here needing to answer questions about soft ground and ability, Aldaary could be a Group 1 horse in time, and if he is, he should win today.


3:10 York – Millebosc @ 15/2 with William Hill – 1pt EW

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The in-form William Haggas stable will hopefully have a good day today based on two of my selections as in the John Smith’s Cup, Millebosc is my big fancy on his second start for the Newmarket-based operation.

The five-year-old by Le Havre made his introduced to UK racing at the end of last season as he finished a staying-on fifth on the all-weather at Lingfield.

Before that, he raced in France for Stephanie Nigge and had some classy three-year-old form thanks to his third to St Mark’s Basilica, a six-time Group 1 winner for Aidan O’Brien, in a race that also had Sealiway, an Ascot Champion Stakes successor, in second.

The majority of his French form came on softer ground, something he will get at York, and Haggas has fired in three of the last 12 winners in this race, so for him to be his sole representative could be a tip in itself.

Therefore, at 10/1 off a mark of 97, he looks well-handicapped on old form.


4:00 Newmarket – Streets of Gold @ 7/1 with BoyleSports – 2pt EW

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Although the Bunbury Cup is notoriously hard to work out, I recently said on the Only Fools Love Horses podcast that Streets of Gold was my NAP of the meeting.

Having been 14/1 at one point, the three-year-old by Havana Gold is still a decent price at 8/1 and with the ground set to be riding on the easier side of good to soft, he is ground versatile based on his win on soft at the Curragh last September.

Officially, Eve Johnson Houghton’s contender, who was unbeaten as a two-year-old in five starts, is the second-highest-rated horse in the field off a mark of 105.

However, with an eight-pound weight-for-age allowance in his favour, the relatively experienced colt will carry just nine stone on his back.

As well as that, due to a close third-place finish in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot, he is officially four pounds well in as his handicap mark is actually 109, but because the Bunbury Cup is an early-closing race, he still gets to run off his previous rating of 105.

Hopefully, Streets Of Gold’s ground versatility will put him in good shape to be challenging in one of the major handicaps of the day on July Festival Day 3.

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