The ground looks sure to remain on the fast side of good at Newmarket for the second day of their July Cup meeting.
Peter The Great heads the market in the 10f handicap for the classic generation having won two of his three career starts including over C&D last time when he easily landed the odds despite failing to settle.
He must go close but my two against the field are King Frankel (1.50) and King Of Clubs with marginal preference for the Mark Johnston trained colt who gets the each way vote.
The selection – 13/2 with William Hill 4 places – finished a never nearer fourth in the Golden Gates Handicap at the Royal meeting last time when ridden by Frankie Dettori on ground which may have been softer than ideal, although he was heavily backed.
Today’s better ground should suit, and he bounced off fast ground when breaking his maiden tag at Pontefract earlier in the year. He looked an unlucky loser at Epsom on his penultimate start when he reared badly at the start losing many lengths but going down by just a nose.
The feature event is a terrific renewal of the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes for fillies and mares over a mile. Four-year-olds have won the corresponding race seven times in the last decade, but I expect to see the classic generation take this but which one?
If Snow Lantern ever learns to settle, she would be some horse and I hope to see her reverse Coronation Stakes form with winner Alcohol Free on this better ground. 1000 Guineas winner Mother Earth is another who will appreciate underfoot conditions and is a big danger, but I hope to see Andrea Atzeni produce Primo Bacio (3.35) fast and late as he did when the filly scored at York back in May.
The ew selection – 6s Boylesports 4 places – is drawn out on the wing in stall 12 with just Snow Lantern on her outside and there is no guaranteed pace in the race which is a concern for this confirmed hold up performer. Just Beautiful is the only likely pace in the race which muddies the waters and I feel we may get a tactical race. Let’s hope Andrea Atzeni is alive to such a possibility.
Inveigle (4.10) has been raised 6lbs for running away with a minor Yarmouth handicap last time but he could hardly have been more impressive, and he can follow up in the colours of Her Majesty the Queen.
The ew selection – 4s with 10Bet – is another who must overcome a wide draw – stall ten of ten – but he has always been considered a class act by those close to the Michael Bell yard and Callum Shepherd certainly got a good tune out of the selection last time. No Nonsense would have gone very close with a clear run over C&D last time. One of these days everything will come right with the 5-y-old, but he does have issues at the start. He would be a big danger if getting away on terms.
The ground was described as good to soft – soft in places – at York on Thursday ahead of today’s card and I hope that conditions don’t dry out too much in the opener for Cormier (2.05) who was a facile winner at Pontefract last time and is taken to follow up from a 6lbs higher mark. This looks a much stronger race, but he looked well ahead of his mark last time although I would want to see the word soft remain in the official description on the Knavesmire. The selection is 5/2 with MansionBet.
I am convinced Dark Shift (4.00) failed to give his running at York on ground that may have been quicker than ideal last time. Conditions were described as good to soft at Ascot on Thursday with further showers forecast. I hope to see him bounce back at a course where he won first time out as a juvenile last term. The opening 5s with William Hill was too big and the selection is 3s with BetVictor at the time of posting.