Even after a very busy Thursday featuring some potential Group 1 types, the next two days of racing stand out with Newmarket and Ascot taking centre stage.
The July Cup is the feature race but it is tough to call, though Threat and Equilateral both look overpriced, so we stick to these special few who look to provide some great value.
Friday 10th July 2020
12.10 Newmarket (Handicap) – SPECTRUM OF LIGHT
It’s an early start on Friday and a prompt chance for Charlie Appleby to carry on his terrific form at Newmarket with Spectrum Of Light.
His ratings so far in finishing second, third and first in three starts, official or otherwise, look to grossly underestimate him given that he’s been keeping company with some good horses.
On a line through those other horses this beautifully bred gelding, a son of Golden Horn out of a Shamardal mare, could well be a 90+ horse by now but gets in this handicap off a mark of just 80 and so with conditions in favour he is taken to score.
Of those in behind preference is for John Gosden’s Grand Bazaar, while Wise Glory and Group One Power are also capable of landing blows.
2.25 Newmarket (Duchess of Cambridge Stakes – Group 2) – MORE BEAUTIFUL
A fine event for the young fillies and formerly the Cherry Hinton Stakes, and this year’s race is one that can go to the all-conquering Aidan O’Brien team with their representative More Beautiful.
The majority of cash floating around is bound to be going the way of Karl Burke’s Newcastle and Royal Ascot winner Dandalla, while the improving Time Scale is another who can go well for Ralph Beckett after a taking Listed success over on the Rowley Mile.
In winning a maiden at Naas upon the resumption of racing in Ireland though, More Beautiful marked herself out immediately as a potential top-notcher and in the process clocked the best time figures available in this field despite it being first time out.
4.10 Newmarket (Falmouth Stakes – Group 1) – NAZEEF
This is a potentially tight Group 1 race for the fillies and mares, with former Guineas winner Billesdon Brook remaining capable and yet being a little way down the list.
One Master retains plenty of ability but may well just be regressing overall, while Aidan O’Brien’s Magic Wand is considered rock-solid after an easy Group 2 win and a fine fourth to Ghaiyyath in the Eclipse so far this season.
What wouldn’t surprise however is if the event came down to two of John Gosden’s string, a man at the very top of the worldwide racing game who truly excels with fillies.
Terebellum has been in brilliant form this term having won a good Group 2 race before going on to be a close second to Circus Maximus in the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot. As good as that form is, she remains vulnerable to one who can progress past her and that is where Nazeef comes in.
A winner now of five races in a row, she overcame unfavourable conditions on her seasonal debut to win at Kempton in Listed company before going on to score nicely at Royal Ascot in a Group 2. She can carry on moving up the racing ladder and looks a ready-made victor at the top level.
Saturday 11th July 2020
1.50 Newmarket (Handicap) – EASTERN WORLD
There are a couple of angles to look at in this three-year-old race; the proven handicap form of Finest Sound and the novice potential of the likes of Haqeeqy and Eastern World.
Finest Sound is bound to go well while Haqeeqy’s easy win on the Rowley Mile marks him out as a good one, but the way in which Eastern World was able to lay up with the pace on the same course and still pull clear at the death wins it.
His mark for that run of 90 looks to significantly underestimate him and so it could be yet another HQ win for Charlie Appleby and Will Buick.
3.00 Newmarket (Superlative Stakes – Group 2) – SEVENTH KINGDOM
There’s plenty of talent in here as you’d imagine, with three colts in particular standing out on potential based on their respective debut efforts.
Aidan O’Brien sends Curragh scorer and son of Galileo Hudson River for this and while he is bound to improve a ton as most from the yard do, he will really have to given this test is not necessarily where his real talents are bound to lie and he ran just 13 days ago.
Godolphin’s Master Of The Seas also made a winning start in a four-runner race, something that makes his form hard to judge, but while he is second on the list based on how well his stable is going and how much he may have come on in three weeks he doesn’t quite match up to Seventh Kingdom.
John Gosden’s son of Frankel made a quite brilliant debut at Doncaster, and having been treated properly and left alone for a month it would be no surprise were we to see a Group 1 showing here in all but name.
3.15 Ascot (Summer Mile – Group 2) – MOHAATHER
The once hot hope for the 2000 Guineas may not have won the Queen Anne at Royal Ascot without trouble in running, but would surely gave finished third and that would have been some result first time up after a layoff.
Mohaather drops in class here, goes round a bend and has the advantage for once of race fitness. With those things in mind he should now reach a new peak and that’s something that should ensure he’s good enough to take this race before he inevitably moves back into Group 1 company.
Just ahead at Ascot was Marie’s Diamond who challenges again, while at a similar level all things considered are Skardu, Lord Tennyson and Dukes Of Hazzard. Sir Michael Stoute’s Zaaki will be supported, but needs a big step forward from recent runs.