Weekend Racing: Haggas can Get the Best Out of Dal Harraild7 min read
The Group 1 July Cup is the feature race of a “Super Saturday” of racing with fabulous flat cards at Newmarket, Ascot and York but we begin our preview with the July Cup at Newmarket which is often the best European sprint of the year.
The stalls are on the stands’ side for the six-furlong event which will see 14 go to post including Blue Point (2.15) who I backed for the Diamond Jubilee (6f) at Royal Ascot antepost. Much to my chagrin Charlie Appleby’s four-year-old ran in the King’s Stand Stakes over the minimum trip where he came home a ready winner.
The selection is equally as effective over today’s trip, however, and I will be disappointed if he doesn’t run a big race. The selection is and we are paying each way 4 places on the contest.
The classic generation have won the race twice in the last three years courtesy of Muhaarar and Harry Angel and the best trial for the race for the 3-year-olds is obviously the Commonwealth Cup -won last month by Sir Michael Stoute’s Eqtidaar who is to follow up.
Quorto (1.05) won over 6f here on debut and is the only unbeaten colt in the seven-runner field for the Gp 2 Superlative Stakes which opens the card. The selection is and should appreciate today’s additional furlong. Certain Lad has the best form in the book for Mick Channon, but this wouldn’t be the strongest of Group 2s and I hope the Appleby runner can improve past his more experienced rivals.
I have closely followed the burgeoning training career of George Scott and I hope his Gilgamesh (1.40) can get the breaks at the right time in the Bunbury Cup one of the big betting races of the day. The selection is only and we are paying 5 places (1/5th odds) on this 20-runner handicap. I will be disappointed if he doesn’t finish in the frame.
In the Mile Handicap Curiosity looks well treated with just a 3lbs rise for finishing second in the Britannia at the Royal meeting but Ibraz (3.20) and Argentum are three-year-olds I have been trying to keep on the right side of recently and marginal preference is for the former.
The form of Ibraz’s Sandown success last month has been franked by the subsequent exploits of the runner up although the handicapper has had his say and Roger Varian’s 3-y-old must race from a 7lbs higher mark.
Dal Harraild (2.35) disappointed when last seen in Meydan earlier in the year but trainer William Haggas looks to have found a good opportunity for his 5-year-old who has winning form on the track.
Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for Wadilsafa (3.10) at Royal Ascot and the colt deserves another chance dropped back in trip to a mile – the distance of his Newmarket Novice success back in May.
The John Smith’s Cup is one of my favourite races of the year although there are no progressive 3-year-olds in the field again this year. Thundering Home (3.40) gets the vote for David Menuisier and at he merits each way (5 places) consideration. The 5-y-o is well berthed in stall five and you can put a line through his Royal Ascot run last time.
Dal Harraild (NAP)
Ascot is the third Grade 1 track racing today and there was the possibility that the track would be hit by a thunderstorm yesterday. If the ground was on the slow side on good then Century Dream would be the one to be with in the Summer Mile, but the vote goes to Lord Glitters (1.20) second in the Queen Anne Stakes at the Royal meeting.
This Gp 2 contest is run over the round mile and the selection can, hopefully, follow perennial front-runner Arod through from his good draw in stall two. Trainer Martyn Meade insists Eminent has been working the house down at home, but has failed to transfer his homework to the track this term. The selection is with Eminent 9s.
Frankie Dettori rides Elwazir (3.05) for Owen Burrows in the 10f Handicap and I thought he looked potentially very smart when running away with a Sandown Novice event last month. The two Hamdan Al Maktoum jockeys (Jim Crowley and Dane O’Neill) have bigger fish to fry elsewhere, but I hope Elwazir can defy an opening mark of 96.
The unbeaten Extra Elusive looks a receives 10lbs from the selection and looks a big danger with Silvestre De Sousa booked for Roger Charlton.