Another week, another cracking summer’s Group One race event, this time coming from Newmarket as the highlight of the Newmarket July Festival, the July Cup Stakes.
Run, unsurprisingly, on the July Course at the Suffolk track over a distance of 6 furlongs, the July Cup was established in 1876 when Queen Victoria’s horse, Springfield, became the first ever winner.
The race is open to horses aged three years or older and was last won by the Richard Teal owned Oxted who had Cieren Fallon in the saddle.
But what can we expect from 2021 renewal which will get underway on Saturday the 10th of July at 16:35?
Hot Picks For The July Cup Stakes
Well, firstly Oxted and Fallon are back to defend their crown.
If his performance in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot is anything to go by he looks fresh and ready to justify his co-favourite current position.
The only concern is whether or not he is up for this drop back up to six furlongs, but it caused him no problems last year so there is little reason to show concern.
This year, he concedes 6lbs to the three-year-olds in the field and it’s true that he may not have enjoyed spending February out in Riyadh but he is indeed a short price but for a reason.
His rival at the top of the betting is Ed Walker’s Starman, who impressed at York in May earning himself this step up in grade.
Like others in the field, he failed to make an appearance in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot due to the soft ground but returns here to impress again if you fancy his short price enough that is.
With the exception of a dreadful outing in the Champions Sprint Stakes at Ascot last October, he has looked good, winning four out of his five starts so far.
He banished his awful Ascot memories with a more than sound run out in the Duke Of York Stakes back in May.
He certainly looks more than Group One ready and is without question a sprinter of class and could well be dangerous.
Archie Watson’s Dragon Symbol was actually first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup but had his win taken off him and gifted to Campanelle after a stewards’ enquiry deemed that Oisin Murphy had veered into his rival.
That was on 6 furlongs of bad ground at a water logged Royal Ascot and he looked even better on fast conditions at Hamilton in May over a shorter by one furlong trip.
Saturday’s going in Suffolk should be good at least which should suit him better.
The Young Ones In The Field
Of the young ones in this weekend’s line up, Rohaan looks to be one of the more dangerous.
He enjoyed a great winter before carrying his form into the new season, picking up wins at Haydock, Lingfield and a couple more at Ascot, the latter coming in the Wokingham Stakes.
His win on Merseyside even coming at the expense of the aforementioned Dragon Symbol.
In short, David Evans’ charge has more than earned his shot at a Group One.
Another three-year-old worth your time and consideration is Creative Force.
Charlie Appleby’s gelding has already racked up very good CV and looks ready for this step up in class.
Other than a poor return in the 2020 Coventry Stakes on what was just his second ever run out, he hasn’t yet faltered, coming home first in five out of his six starts.
His last win coming at Ascot in the Jersey Stakes and he hasn’t found any trouble at listed level on his last three appearances.
Unlike Rohaan he hasn’t clocked up to much higher grade experience but that shouldn’t be a concern.
There are claims for Glen Shiel too who, following an excellent 2020, has started the new year off slightly cooler but not totally out of form.
He lost by a length to Dream Of Dreams in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes but will be better suited to this track so long as the weather plays to his strengths at the weekend.
A similar story surrounds Art Power who had a fantastic summer of 2020 before dropping off the sprinter’s radar just a little bit.
If his showing at the recent Diamond Jubilee Stakes where he came in third to Dream Of Dreams – who will not be running here disappointingly – is anything to go by, he might well be on the verge of rediscovering his finer form.
The Best Of The Rest
Elsewhere in the betting Clive Cox’s colt Supremacy was left trailing by Rohaan in the Pavillion Stakes but was, it has since been revealed, unfit at the time.
If his problems are behind him and he manages to recapture his past form, he could find himself in the mix.
When Rohaan and Dragon Symbol 1/2d in the Sandy Lane Stakes at Haydock back in May, Method came home fifth by two and a-quarter lengths.
However, tellingly it was Martyn Meade’s runner’s first run out of the season, which wasn’t the case for each of his competitors.
The heavy going took its toll that day but he showed enough to suggest that he is more than capable of taking the race to the front two should they meet again when his fitness has sharpened and the ground is better, as should be the case on Saturday when this Group One flat race goes off.
2021 July Cup Betting Odds
|Dragon Symbol (6)||9/2|
|Creative Force (3)||13/2|
|Art Power (17)||14/1|
|Glen Shiel (14)||14/1|
|Chil Chil (8)||16/1|
|Extravagant Kid (12)||18/1|
|Line Of Departure (5)||25/1|
|Good Effort (7)||40/1|
|Glorious Journey (11)||50/1|
|Miss Amulet (10)||50/1|
|Emaraaty Ana (15)||66/1|