July Festival Climax Today

Advertise is the pick

Proof positive that high summer has arrived in Britain is the staging of the three-day July Festival meeting at Newmarket with today’s Group 1 Darley Stud-sponsored July Cup the undoubted magnum opus for racing’s Headquarters.

Neil Morrice writes on Hollywoodbets that when thinking July those thoughts conjure up images of high fashion with lashings of fine champagne and Pimms as the sport’s cognoscenti flock to the town’s summer course, one that contrasts vividly with the Rowley course with its rolling camber while complimenting it with its uphill finish.

Run over six furlongs, the July Cup was inaugurated in 1876 and gained its Group 1 status in 1978 when Lester Piggott posted the seventh of his record ten successes in the race on Solinus.

Great horses on its roll of honour include the 1949 and 1950 winner Abernant; 1958 and 1959 scorer Right Boy; 1983 winner Habibti, 1984 winner Chief Singer and 1990 victor Royal Academy.

Heading the betting market at 11-4 with Hollywoodbets is the Martyn Meade-trained ADVERTISE who looked back to his best at Royal Ascot and will attempt to continue the good record of Commonwealth Cup winners in the big sprint.

Advertise reacted positively to blinkers to score comfortably and as a Group 2 winner over course and distance at this time last year must have a huge chance of providing Frankie Dettori with another feature race triumph.

LIMATO is not as good as when winning the 2016 running but his presence brings competition to the table, as he showed gritty determination to land the Group 3 Criterion Stakes over seven furlongs here on his latest start.

Sir Michael Stoute landed the race with MARWELL in 1981 and then in consecutive years with top notchers GREEN DESERT in 1986 and AJDAL in 1987 and has a similarly upwardly mobile sprinter to bid for glory in DREAM OF DREAMS, whose head defeat by Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee stamps him as a class act.

Aidan O'Brien (photo: Coolmore)

Aidan O’Brien (photo: Coolmore)

Aidan O’Brien’s powerful Challenge is spearheaded by TEN SOVEREIGNS who needs to redeem himself after finishing fourth when favourite for the Commonwealth Cup.

He could be joined by the filly FAIRYLAND whose suspect stamina found her out in both the Newmarket and Irish 1,000 Guineas. Then running her over five furlongs in the King’s Stand was perhaps an over reaction and there’s a strong case that she will find this six right up her street.

Dovetailing with the July Cup on Saturday is the Bet365 Bunbury Cup which will produce some heated betting activity, especially as KYNREN and SPANISH CITY are likely runners. Both horses regularly attract heavy market support and have been on this occasion backed in to head the ante post market.

Not that the bookmakers are too worried, as both have failed to put their head in front and are proving expensive to follow.

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