Its already been a good week at HQ with a number of eye-catching displays at this years July Meeting. Still one day to go though, with another seven opportunities on offer to enter the winner’s enclosure. Here we pick out our three best bets on the closing day.
2:15 Darley July Cup
Having built up a head of steam on the opening two days, the Newmarket July meeting reaches full speed on the concluding Saturday. Speed being the operative word regarding the feature race on the concluding card as the best sprinters in the business battle it out over a peddle to the metal six furlongs in the July Cup.
Blue Point sets a formidable standard having mastered Battaash over five furlongs in the Kings Stand Stakes last time. He is yet to score in top company at this trip though and looks a short enough price to our eyes.
Rated 116 but receiving 6lbs from the older runners in the field, the one best in at the weights here is Richard Fahey’s Commonwealth Cup runner up, Sands Of Mali. Good in winning the Sandy Lane Stakes earlier this season, he was if anything even better in defeat at Ascot. Racing away from the main action, he fairly flew home once popped the question and only just failed to reel in Eqtidaar. He looks solid to at least make the frame here.
Tip: Sands Of Mali each way at 8/1 with Ladbrokes
3:20 bet365 Mile Handicap
This contest has tended to go to those runners near the top end of the handicap with eight of the past ten winners carrying 9st1lb or more. Hopefully that record will be improved still further this year as it is the top weight, First Contact, who will be carrying our cash here.
Whilst the bare form of his 11th in the Britannia Stakes last time out is slightly disappointing, when watching that race back he was never really in with a chance. Trapped in behind a swathe of runners as the pace quickened from the front, the race was effectively over by the time he was switched into the clear. He did finish to good effect though, despite still looking a little green and retains plenty of promise on what will be just his fifth career start.
Tip: First Contact to win at 11/2 with Ladbrokes
3:55 Spa At Bedford Lodge Hotel British EBF Fillies’ Handicap
In the days big handicap for the fillies the one to side with is the John Gosden runner, Perfection. This daughter of Dutch Art went into our notebook for this meeting when scoring in good style on the Rowley Mile track here in May, and despite since being defeated in the Sandringham since, we are still keen on her chances.
It’s never easy to win when you are on the wrong side of the track, but it’s tougher still when you are racing all alone as she was at Ascot that day. In the circumstances she did well to finish as close as she did in that one-mile contest. Back down to seven furlongs and in a smaller field she looks likely to go close.
Tip: Perfection To Win