The Group 2 Superlative Stakes is the curtain raiser on the final day of the July meeting and has been won by some classy two-year-olds down through the years. Dr Devious, Dubawi and Redback to name but a few.
The once-raced Godolphin colt Quorto looks have a really nice pedigree for the race, being a son of former winner Dubawi. The Charlie Appleby trained colt was a winner over the course on debut beating the well regarded Handmaiden.
William Buick takes the reins and the likely race favourite is most definitely the one to beat.
Aidan O’Brien sends out the thrice raced Cape Of Good Hope, who only broke his maiden at Tipperary last week. The regally bred colt is a full brother to both Highland Reel and Idaho and if he is half as good as either of them he’ll be a danger to all.
Mick Channon’s Certain Lad looks like the other horse to note in the race having finished third in the Group 2 Railway Stakes at the Curragh most recently. He had been unbeaten in both starts prior to this run and he should run another big race.
Selection: Cape Of Good Hope
The Bunbury Cup is one of the most competitive handicaps you will see all season. Richard Fahey is the joint leading most trainer in the race with 3 victories courtesy of Brae Hill(2011), Heaven’s Guest(2014) and Rene Mathis(2015).
Twenty horses are declared to take part this year with Gilgamesh heading the market for George Scott. The son of Foxwedge is four from six in handicaps ran over six furlongs and after a strong finish in the Wokingham, he must again go close.
Once a 20/1 shot for the race, Marcus Tregoning’s Mukalal seems to have found his optimum trip of seven furlongs, he travelled very well until fading late on in the Royal Hunt Cup and reproduction of that run would put him in the shake-up.
The horse I like in the race is previous listed winner Tupi, Richard Hannon’s gelding has the right profile and weight for a race of this nature and at the expected double-figure starting price I expect Tupi to cause an upset.
Others to note include Ryan Moore’s mount Makzeem, Firmament and Roger Varian’s Spanish City.
The July Cup is the highlight of the week at Newmarket, the six-furlong Group 1 contest is part of the British Champions series and has been won by some real speedsters. Starspangledbanner, Oasis Dream and Lethal Force have all tasted victory in this prestigious prize in recent years.
Blue Point is the current favourite having comfortably landed the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot when last seen. This victory was a career-best effort for the son Shamardal having bombed out in the Chairman’s Sprint Prize at Sha Tin before that. Charlie Appleby’s colt seems to save his best form for Ascot and I’d be willing to take him on.
Last season’s Champion two-year-old US Navy Flag is a fascinating runner here, he has been very disappointing this season, with a runner-up finish in the Irish 2000 Guineas the best he could muster from four starts.
Aidan O’Brien will be banking on the drop down in trip bringing out improvement from his free going colt. US Navy Flag’s was a winner over the course and distance in the Group 1 Middle Park Stakes last season so don’t rule out this son of War Front, especially with Ryan Moore in the saddle.
Eqtidaar showed massive improvement to cause an upset in the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup beating Sounds Of Mali who re-opposes today. The Commonwealth Cup is restricted to three-year-olds and I just have the feeling that it wasn’t the strongest Group 1. I think that both horses will have to improve again if they are to feature here.
Dreamfield was the handicap banker of the week for many at Royal Ascot and the impeccably bred son of Oasis Dream very nearly lived up to his billing. John Gosden’s colt was sent off 2/1 fav in the Wokingham which was just ludicrously short for a 28 runner handicap at the Royal meeting but if didn’t hang inside the final furlong Dreamfield may just have repelled the challenge from battle-hardened Bacchus.
James Doyle said of his Wokingham run:
“He was pretty impressive even though he was beaten at Royal Ascot. Both myself and Mr Gosden made it clear we thought he was a ridiculously short price, and he nearly made us look quite silly as he ran a mighty race”.
That was only his fourth career start and with natural improvement, Dreamfield must be on any shortlist.
The previous winner Limato must get a mention when previewing the race, he won in 2016 and was runner-up in 2017 behind Harry Angel. Both runs this season have been well below his best but if Henry Candy can rejuvenate his stable star he’ll take all the beating.
Others to note are Australian raider Redkirk Warrior, the likeable Brando and Sir Dancealot.
At Ascot, the Group 2 Summer Mile takes centre stage and I can’t see past Lord Glitters. David O’Meara has a great record with milers and this purchase from France last season to replace stable star Mondialiste looks a very shrewd buy.
The son of Whipper has done nothing but improve since joining O’Meara and following a career-best runner-up finish in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot most recently Lord Glitter should be very tough to beat. Marty Meade’s Eminent looks one of the biggest dangers as he drops down in distance and class on the back of two lacklustre performances this season. If he recaptures some of last season’s form he will go very close.
Others to note are Beat The Bank, Suedois and previous winner Arod.
Selection: Lord Glitters
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