16:35 Darley July Cup Stakes
The July Cup provides a fascinating clash of the generations, and it gives us the chance to see just how good the brilliant Caravaggio really is.
The three-year-old son of Scat Daddy came through with a great run to blow the field away in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, and he is priced to do the same here, currently trading at around 11/10. This is certain to be a lot tougher, however, and will be without a doubt his toughest test to date. The pace is likely to be very strong, with the other O'Brien runner, Intelligence Cross setting exactly the kind of tempo that is wanted by Caravaggio, and it will come down to who has the stronger kick inside the final furlong.
Harry Angel is another three-year-old and was second to Caravaggio at Royal Ascot. He ran very freely whilst right up with the pace, and if Adam Kirby can get him to settle much better this time around, then he will prove a lot trickier for Caravaggio to pass, and I think may actually beat him. Whether or not that is good enough to beat one of his elders, remains to be seen. A lot of the July course is downhill and it wouldn't be a surprise to see the Clive Cox trained speedster a few lengths clear when they hit the rising ground. It will then be down to whether one of his rivals has the finishing kick to get past him.
Harry Bentley is back on board Limato, last year's winner of this race, and I am very confident he will go well again. This is, without a doubt, a stronger renewal of the race than last year, but the drying ground is a big plus and Henry Candy's brilliant gelding is full of class. He is equally at home over six or seven furlongs, so is likely to be one of the strongest when we come to the business end of proceedings. He has an excellent cruising speed so will be able to keep tabs on the trail blazing Harry Angel, and I can see him flying away from them in the final 100 yards.
Both of the Tin Man and Tasleet beat Limato at Royal Ascot in what was a thrilling race. Tasleet looked all the world like being crowned the winner inside the final furlong, only to see The Tin Man run on really strongly and take the Jubilee Stakes. Limato didn't have the run of the race and was hampered towards the finish, therefore, I think they would both be doing extremely well to beat him again here today.
This is a very interesting race when looking at some long-term trends.
One that really stands out and is a negative for the favourite, is that only two Irish trained horses have won this race in the last 15 renewals.
The main five in the betting all fit a lot of the other long-term trends, and it is surely going to be a wonderful race.
Limato - 2 points @ 9/2 (most firms)