Newmarket is set for the July Festival
Image source: Newmarket Racecourse Twitter

Dubai: The eyes of the racing world will be on Newmarket Racecourse in the UK from Thursday as the prestigious three-day July Cup festival takes place there, culminating on Saturday in the Group 1 Darley July Cup, one of the hottest sprint races of the season .
The race on the historic July course offers world-class action with a generous mix of high fashion and entertainment.
Established in 1876, the Darley July Cup is one of the most valuable and prestigious sprint races in the world and the winner is often referred to as the best sprinter in Europe.
Here are five horses to watch out for during the meeting:

Al Aasy

Use of the Princess of Wales (Group 2) 2,400 m²

Al Aasy was only beaten by Pyledriver in a hot renewal of the Coronation Cup at Epsom on Derby Day, a race that could have come its way if it hadn’t gotten far under pressure in the last two stadiums. Trainer William Haggas has his eyes on the grand prize, the £ 400,000 King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Ascot later this month, but chooses to keep his smart colt boiling by giving him a run in Newmarket this week .
Mark Johnston’s Sir Ron Priestley, the Jockey Club Stakes goalscorer along with Sir Michael Stoute’s highly regarded Highest Ground, appear to be the greatest dangers.

Live your dream, right
Live your dream, right
Image Credit: Courtesy of Godolphin

Live your dream

Bet365 Trophy (Heritage Handicap) 2,800m

Live Your Dream looks a progressive guy, having won three of its last four starts on all-weather surfaces in the UK. Iffraj’s son is bred to last, and with champion jockey Oisin Murphy taking the ride for Godolphin handler Saeed Bin Surour, he appears to have a real claim to victory if he’s not in the top three lands. A constant performer to keep an eye on in what appears to be an open race.

Ebro river

Tattersalls July Stakes (Group 2) 1,200m

James Doyle gets this intelligent performer going, who appears to be on a good pace, which he showed in a publicly traded race at Sandown in May. This is a leap in class, but coach Hugo Palmer is confident that Galileo Gold’s two-year-old son has what it takes to make a name for himself in the Pattern racing company the second time around. On his last start in Group 2, Coventry seemed to be making good progress in the last two stadiums at Royal Ascot Ebro River but couldn’t find any more and had to settle for fifth place behind some smart horses. He deserves another chance at this level and this looks like the perfect race to set the record.


Bet365 Mile Handicap 1,600m

Roger Varian seems in no hurry with his undefeated son from Dubawi, who is making his third career start with a decent looking handicap over a mile.
Bashosh may have had to work hard to win at Doncaster last time, but he showed a lot of courage and willingness to learn.
Varian will be looking to learn more about Bashosh’s skills in Newmarket and is sure to find out a lot given the depth of the field.

Creative Force wins 2020 at Newmarket.
Creative Force wins 2020 at Newmarket
Image Credit: Courtesy of Godolphin

Creative power

Darley July Cup stakes (group 1) 1,200 m

Godolphin handler Charlie Appleby has his string in tip-top shape, a fact driven home by his extraordinary Epsom and Irish Derby doubles with Adayar and Hurricane Lande. The coach, who originally wanted to keep his exciting Jersey Stakes winner on seven stadiums, makes a surprising decision to lead him over the shorter six-stage journey and against a high-profile sprinter. It is evident that Appleby fears nothing and is ready to roll the dice with a horse that has been unbeaten in its last four starts but not at Group 1 level. Dubawi’s son remains healthy but appears to have the gears required to turn him on on Newmarket’s July course.
However, he has to do his best to take on top speed balls like last year’s heroes Oxted and Starman, who only lost once in four conspicuous missions.

Cup festival in July

When: 8.-10. July
Where: Newmarket Racecourse
TV: Dubai Racing Channel