The July Cup is England’s most prestigious Group 1 Sprint, and the winner is often crowned the season’s Champion Sprinter. It is run over 6-furlongs on Newmarket’s July Course, and has been a Group 1 Race since 1978.
- This century the race has been won by six 4-year-olds, five 3-year-olds, five 5-year-olds, and one 6-year-old
- Aidan O’Brien has trained 3 winners
- Paul Hanagan has ridden 2 of the last 5 winners
- SPs of the winners this century have ranged from 5/2 to 22/1
The Major Contenders
Won all his six races so far, and looked a world-beater when swooping late in this season’s Commonwealth Cup. Won twice at Royal Ascot, on ground ranging from soft to good-to-firm, and Aidan O’Brien has already had 3 winners of the July Cup, two of which were 3-year-olds. The only negative is that he’s yet to race at Newmarket, but he should be hard to beat.
Last year’s winner bids to become the first horse to win consecutive renewals of the July Cup since it became a Group 1 contest. He probably needs to better that form here though with some useful 3-year-olds in contention, and he was beaten by both The Tim Man and Tasleet at Royal Ascot.
The Tin Man
Continued to improve throughout his career, and his win in the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot last time out was his best run yet. However, whilst that made it 3 from 4 at Ascot, he’s yet to race at Newmarket.
Always held in the highest regard by his trainer, who is an excellent trainer of sprinters. Only had 5 runs and, though he was beaten a length by Caravaggio last time, he could still give the likely favourite most to do.
Looks a different horse this year dropped back to 6-furlongs, and belied the notion that he needed soft ground when an unlucky second to The Tin Man at Royal Ascot, when he was interfered with slightly when about to unleash his challenge. Ran well at Newmarket as a 2-year-old.
Twice a course and distance winner, but was only seventh in the 2016 renewal. Held by several of these recently, and others have more progressive profiles.
One of the more interesting outsiders having been second in the race last year, and improved from Royal Ascot to here last season.
Inconsistent sprinter, but a horse who loves to come from off a fast pace, which he got when winning a handicap off a big-weight over course and distance earlier in the season. Also placed on his only other course start, and one to be interested in at big prices, especially as he’s a potential ride for Paul Hanagan.
If all the major contenders turn-up, this will be a brilliant renewal of the July Cup, and it will be a surprise if the winner isn’t crowned Champion Sprinter.
For my money, the 3-year-olds Caravaggio and Harry Angel look right out of the top-drawer, and Caravaggio produced such an amazing turn-of-foot last time that he’s impossible to bet against. However, for those who prefer to play big-odds, an each-way bet on Mr Lupton at around 50/1 could pay dividends.
Mr Lupton Each-Way