Tag Archives: Darley July Cup

The July Cup (Group 1)

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Caravaggio wins the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. Picture courtesy of Getty Images and Mike Hewitt.

Caravaggio is a ball of speed.

Rumors suggest he’s clocked 47 miles per hour over 2 furlongs on the gallops at Ballydoyle. Aidan O’Brien has confirmed he’s the quickest they’ve had ever at home and today against the older brigade he put’s his unbeaten record on the line. Should he win he will extend that run to seven.

Should he win in the style he’s capable of it will be no surprise if it’s his last run.

Coolmore will surely be very tempted to retire him to fill the hole left in their stallion rooster by the untimely death of his father Scat Daddy. His value of a stallion will far exceed any winnings he might pick up in the future on the racecourse.

As fans it will be our loss. The three year old middle distance division might look a bit muddled this year, that’s something that can’t be said about the sprinters.

Harry Angel’s connections won’t be complaining should Caravaggio be called ashore after this. They’ve a seriously good sprinter on their hands and without Caravaggio around he’ll shine brightly. All that said he was flattered to be only 3/4 L behind Caravaggio at Ascot. The other three year old in the field is Intelligence Cross who will set the fractions for the favourite.

The older brigade is headed by Limato who put in his best display when winning this last year as a four old. Since then he’s won the Prix de la Foret over 7 F at Chantilly however he was beaten over the minimum 5 f trip in the Nunthorpe at York last year and failed to see out the mile at the Breeders Cup at Santa Anita. This year the yielding ground beat him at Meydan on his comeback and he was then a fair third in the Diamond Jubilee when The Tin Man and Tasleet got the better of him. Both reoppose here.

That was a big turnaround for The Tin Man as Tasleet had 6 1/4 L to spare over him on their previous meeting in the Duke Of York Stakes at York in May. His trainer James Fanshawe says he doesn’t do that well in the spring. He likes summer and also the autumn as he showed when he won the Champions Sprint at Ascot last year when he beat Growl and Brando. Both the latter two will have to put in career best’s to be involved here. The same can be said of Mr Lupton and Intisaab.

Michael Tabor part owner of Caravaggio said when discussing his chances that Aidan O’Brien doesn’t say it for the sake of it, he really thinks Caravaggio is something special. An opinion that is backed up by the clock on the run at Ascot. He feels he’s every bit as good as Ballydoyle’s great sprinters of the past Stravinsky and Mozart who both won this as three year old’s.

It might be the last time we’ll see him, the performance could be that special.

Recommendation: Caravaggio 11/10 win







Darley July Cup (G 1)

The best sprint of the year. Simple.

Not so to find the winner. The 6 f trip with the stiff uphill finish of the July course find’s out any weaknesses in stamina. You need a combination of high cruising speed, staying ability and turn of foot to win.

Two three year olds get the weight allowance from the older ones and in Gale Force Ten that pull could prove significant. Classic form and a Jersey win bring memories of Mozart’s victory in 2001 who travelled the same path for Aidan O’Brien. Zenetto didn’t fire in the Diamond Jubilee but won a big pot over this trip here in April.

The first three from Royal Ascot’s 6 f Diamond Jubilee reoppose. Lethal Force powered home from Society Rock and Krypton Factor to win by 2 L.

The first two also from the King Stand step up from 5 f. The South African Shea Shea looked to have it won in the centre of the course but was caught late by the finishing surge from Sole Power who in an exquisitely timed ride came from last to first up the stand side.

The Australian Shamexpress found the trip too sharp in the King Stand and will be better suited by this extra furlong while the American Havelock will be once again partnered by Frankie Dettori who rode him in the Diamond Jubilee. He didn’t get a clear run at Ascot and may offer more here.

Kevin Ryan’s Hamza didn’t run at Ascot and comes here fresh from a small win at Beverley after winning over this trip here in May. Sovereign Debt comes back in trip having run a screamer in the Lockinge where only Farah got the better of him.

The line up completes with Slade Power who last time out at the Curragh won the Sapphire Stakes over the minimum trip having failed previously in the Diamond Jubilee.

Eddie Lynam said  ‘Johnny Murtagh is undoubtedly the best trainer riding today.’ after the KIng Stand. If he can preserve Sole Power’s energy he can break the duck at 6 f and we can look forward to another classic quote from Eddie.

Recommendation : Sole Power 9/1 win