NEWMARKET’S July Fesitval is always one of the highlights of the flat season and there’s some good bets to be had today and tomorrow, writes CHARLIE CROASDALE.
With the EBF Stallions Maiden Stakes now split into two divisions (4.45 and 5.20), there’s now eight races to get stuck into today and the best bet arrives in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes (2.25) where Clemmie should take all the beating.
The sister of 2,000 Guineas winner Churchill, Aidan O’Brien’s two-year-old filly was beaten on debut before a staying on seventh in the Albany Stakes at Ascot.
Clemmie stepped up markedly a week later to land the Group 3 Grangecon Stud Stakes at the Curragh on Irish Derby weekend, nudged along by Ryan Moore and forging clear inside the final 100 yards.
Clemmie appeals as the type who is improving with every run for O’Brien and looks the pick at the prices (10/3) to turn over favourite Nyaleti.
In the Handicap (3.00) over a mile and two furlongs, I’ve found a value alternative to Mark Johnston’s favourite Titi Makfi, who will likely be a warm order after racking up a four-timer.
Johnston’s three-year-old filly was an impressive winner of a four-runner affair at Chester last time out and could well still be ahead of her ever-increasing mark (now 93) and Moore is booked to ride.
This handicap is far more competitive however and at a big price I’ll give Hugo Palmer’s Colibri another chance after a disappointing run in the Britannia Stakes at Royal Ascot.
Colibri finished 16th but a line can be drawn through the run, given he was drawn 32, which ended up being completely the wrong side of the track.
I’m far more interested in the bay colt’s fourth in the Esher Cup at Sandown in April, travelling like the winner a furlong out but carried markedly left inside the final 220 yards, losing all chance of victory.
Palmer’s yard were in no sort of form earlier this year but are firing on all cylinders now and Colibri may prove better than a handicapper with William Buick.
Away from Newmarket, William Haggas’ Lapilli is a sprinter I’ve been waiting to see reappear and the four-year-old can land the Irish Thoroughbred Handicap at York (4.45) over a flying five furlongs.
Lapilli was given a quiet time of things last year, winning three of his four starts, including a success at Bath on his final start, leading on the bridle a furlong out before surging clear under Georgia Cox.
Haggas’ main man Pat Cosgrave is back on board today and it would be no surprise to see Lapilli make a mockery of his 87 mark, as I fully expect him to be rated 100+ before the season is out.
It’s the July Cup tomorrow back at Newmarket (4.35) and it promises to be a vintage renewal with the likes of Caravaggio, The Tin Man, Harry Angel and Limato all locking horns over six furlongs.
Caravaggio maintained his unbeaten run in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot but I’ll take Clive Cox’s Harry Angel to turn the tables here.
Harry Angel travelled supremely well through that aforementioned race but was reeled in late on, and it could be a similar story here. However, at around the 13/2 mark at the time of writing, Cox’s colt is the each-way value and can land this Group One prize.
n I hope plenty of readers took the advice in last week’s column, as the 75/1 treble was landed on UAE King (13/8), Calder Prince (11/2) and Teodoro (7/2) at morning prices.
Let’s hope the good form can continue this weekend!
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