Matt Chapman’s | Newmarket & York preview
I love Newmarket’s July Cup (3.50)– some of my favourite horses have won the race – but it can throw up some strange winners that you end up thinking to yourself: “How the hell did that win?
The reason is that the draw often plays a huge part, especially as the 6f dash often features a biggish field.
Don’t get me wrong – if you are good you will still win. Take a look at Oasis Dream, Royal Academy, Ajdal, Green Desert, the amazing Chief Singer, Habibti and Moorestyle.
This time there is not a big field (12 runners) and the best horses on official ratings – and the market leaders – are Shea Shea and Lethal Force.
But I think there is a real problem for Shea Shea as he will need to be delivered late and needs a strong gallop. That also applies to the King’s Stand hero Sole Power who beat Shea Shea at the Royal fixture.
I love Sole Power – but I don’t love him over 6f off a soft pace. Sorry Paddy. You hear me?
I see absolutely no reason why Lethal Force (4/1) won’t do exactly what he did in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, set a slow pace and quicken inside the final two furlongs.
He’s grabbed us all by surprise – but conditions will suit him here and I can’t have him out of the first three. Jockey Adam Kirby is a plus. A knocking each-way bet.
Meanwhile at York, there’s the 20 runner John Smith’s Cup (2.55) to get our teeth into beforehand. Stencive looks a worthy favourite and went close at Royal Ascot but at four times the price I’m going to take an each-way chance with Saptapadi (20/1). I’d ignore his last run behind Brown Panther – he’s much better than that – and is trained by the canny Brian Ellison.
He stays strongly and is very well handicapped on his best form – having run off a mark of 109 in the past. He’s now rated 94. I think this could be his day to sit behind the leaders and power home. If he wins around 20s it will be a massive Yeeehaaa!
- Betting: Gallop into all the latest runners, odds and form here
- Combined horses video: Back up to 4 horse for the price of 1