Having had a quietish start to the week betting wise, just the one bet so far, Red October winning on Tuesday, but it really heats up now with a big meeting at York on Thursday and the July Festival getting underway at HQ Newmarket. The revised fixture list for this season still has me a bit upside down, the Dante in July, all a bit mad aint it, but that’s the world we live in right now. I will look at the big races and my bets for the day in time order.
We change to the July Track at HQ of course for the Moet & Chandon July Meeting, clue is in the name, and this meeting is at least where it should be in the calendar! They get underway at 12.10 and have a Listed race, a Group Three and a couple of Group Two’s on the card. At 1.50 they face a mile for the Listed Bahrain International Sir Henry Cecil Stakes. Al Suhail is one I have talked of and backed before. The 2,000 Guineas looked a huge ask and he duly finished well down the field, that said he has some fair form in the book as a two-year-old. Having won at second attempt he was a promising third in G.3 Solario Stakes and a good second on final outing as a 2yo to Military March in G.3 Autumn Stakes in October. The fact he comes for this rather than the Dante at York suggests to me the yard want to get a win under his belt before other targets. Get on at 9-2. Lord Campari is jolly off the back of his sixth in a fair maiden at two and a good win at Newbury recently on three-year-old debut. Second and third that day have had wins in lesser company since, but I am not convinced by the form and he needs to improve on it to win here. The same can be said of Magical Morning who takes a step-up in class as well.
Still at HQ at 2.25 it’s the Group Three 1m5f Bahrain Trophy Stakes. Al Dabaran was well beaten into third in the Queens Vase at Ascot stepping up from the mile trip to 1m6f but the form of that race hasn’t worked out too bad! At 100-30 I think he is worth a bet to get back to winning ways in a wide-open affair.
The fillies are on show at 2.40 up at York for the Group Three Musidora over 1m2½f. Khalid Abdulah looks to have a strong hand with two from three entered left in the line-up. Godolphin also had three entered but just two run, Dubai Love for Saeed bin Suroor and Lake Lucerne for John Gosden. This is a real headscratcher and with punters having to guess which one has the most improvement to come. Dubai Love is the one that has plenty of form around this level but has the tendency to find one too good; did win the UAE 1000 Guineas in January. The one I think the Bookies have got wrong is the Gosden trained filly Lake Lucerne. She was green as grass and edging left from a long way out at Chelmsford in March but still won and if she has learnt a little and matured, she could have a lot more to come yet. By Dubawi out of Breeders' Cup Distaff winner Round Pond she is well-bred and at the prices she is the one for me at 14-1.
At 3.00 the two-year-olds line-up for the 6f Group Two Tattersalls July Stakes. Another open looking affair in which you can make a case for four or five. Yazaman was drawn the wrong side of the track in the Windsor Castle at Ascot, was slowly away and didn't have the clearest of runs at times. All that said to finish second to Tactical beaten 1¼lentghs was no bad effort. The way he has gone in both runs to date suggests the step-up a furlong won’t be an issue and I think he can pick them off late and take this. I have the 13-2.
At 3.15 we have the Group Two Dante over the same trip for the colts. This of course is considered by many to be the leading Derby trial, not this year. Highest Ground was pretty impressive winning a Novice Stakes at Haydock last month and heads the betting and looks a fairly good thing with Al Suhail going to Newmarket rather than coming here. I don’t want to take him on but don’t want to back him odds-on either so it’s no bet.
The lucky last at Newmarket at 4.10 is the Group Two 1m4f Princess Of Wales's Tattersalls Stakes. Old Persian looked desperately in need of the run out in France last time. It turned into a bit of sprint finish and it was soft ground which he clearly is no fan of with Barzalona hardly giving his a hard time when it was clear he couldn't win. I can forgive him that run and expect him to be much more like his old self here. Cheekpieces go on and back on better ground in a race likely to be run more to return to the winners enclosure is expected. I have the 5-1.