It would be wrong to think I am a big fan of the July course at Newmarket and my mood wasnt helped by the rides given to Kipps and One Master on Friday. The untouchable media darling Ryan Moore gave Kipps a moderate ride in the 10f handicap and put 3lbs overweight on the grey – why book him? – while Pierre-Charles Boudot never placed One Master to challenge in the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes.

Oh well at least we’ll never see a 25/1 shot getting loose on the lead and making all in the hands of an inexperienced jockey in the Derby? Of course not.

The Group 1 July Cup is today’s feature race at Newmarket, and I think last year’s Richmond Stakes at Goodwood might prove the key race. In that juvenile contest I was convinced Richard Hannon’s Threat was a good thing, but he was readily brushed aside by Golden Horde (3.35) and I feel the Clive Cox three-year-old – 2/1 at Unibet – will confirm the form.

The selection did us a favour in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot last month and the classic generation – who receive 6lbs from their elders – have won four of the last five renewals of this great mid-summer sprint. The selection was below par on heavy ground when third in the Prix Morny back in August which tempers confidence somewhat, but a dry day is forecast on the July course and the hope is that the ground will be no worse than good to soft. The selection is 9/4 with Boylesports.

In the opening 12f handicap the unbeaten Yuri Gagarin could be well treated for his opening mark but both his career wins to date have come on the all-weather and the second and third have not exactly franked the form of his recent Kempton win – although the third was first post the post – later demoted – at Wolverhampton.

Future Investment (12.10) was no match for Laafy at Haydock on his reappearance but the winner ran a terrific race in the Old Newton Cup last weekend from a 9lbs higher mark, and Ralph Beckett’s four-year-old clearly goes well with plenty of cut in the ground. The selection is 9/2 with William Hill.

Over at Ascot and Margaret Dumont went into many notebooks when third at Pontefract on debut – form that has been franked by the first two. She must go well but Be Easy (1.00) was as green as grass at Haydock on debut and is bred to be smart. She is 5/2 from 3/1 at bet356 in a four-runner race and looks overpriced.

My two against the field in the 1m 6f handicap are Sexy Beast and Platitude (1.30) with the latter getting the each way nod for Amanda Perrett despite the fact that he has a bit to find with Island Brave on his seasonal reappearance. The seven-year-old has not won for over two years but has dropped to an attractive mark and has run very well at this track previously. It is possible that he is being lined up for something at Glorious Goodwood – the scene of two of his three career wins – later in the month but at 12/1 with Boylesports – 4 places – he looks overpriced.   

Duke Of Hazzard was given a poor ride, but was ultimately disappointing at Royal Ascot, in the Queen Anne Stakes where Mohaather passed the post full of running having met trouble in running throughout the last three furlongs. He could easily be out of the very top drawer, but I feel he will need to be to beat Lord Glitters (3.15) who finished runner up in this corresponding race two years ago and landed the Queen Anne over the straight mile here back in 2019.

The selection ended 2019 largely out of sorts and he missed last month’s Royal meeting, which is a concern, but he has a good record fresh and at 17/2 with William Hill he gets the each way vote.

Woodhouse (7.45) finished third – well-backed – at Doncaster on her handicap debut over a mile and she ought to appreciate the step up to 10f this evening at Salisbury. The filly was not given a hard time by Ryan Moore on her reappearance and leading apprentice Thomas Greatrex takes off a valuable 3lbs. The 5/2 has gone but he remains 9/4 with bet365.

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