The Newmarket July Festival is a three-day racing spectacle held in the United Kingdom in July every year. It is one of England’s most prestigious race meetings and features world-class jockeys and trainers from all over Great Britain. The action begins on Thursday 10 July, with the two Group 1 races on Friday and Saturday being the highlight. There are also four Group 2 supporting features during the three-day festival, featuring some quality horses that participated at Royal Ascot recently.
Newmarket Racecourse, which has a maximum crowd capacity of 45 000, has two courses, the Rowley Mile Course and the July Course. Both are wide, galloping tracks that are used solely for flat racing. The Rowley Mile Course has a long ten furlong or 2000m straight with minor undulations towards ‘The Bushes’, two furlongs (400m) out. The penultimate furlong (200m) is downhill and the last is uphill, forming ‘The Dip’. Races beyond the distance of 2000m start on the ‘Cesarewitch’ or ‘Beacon’ course which turns right-handed into the straight. This course is used for racing in the Spring and Autumn.
The July Course, also known as the Summer Course, has a 1600m straight, known as ‘The Bunbury Mile’. After two furlongs (400m), there is a long downhill stretch before the uphill furlong (200m) to the finish. This course also uses the ‘Cesarewitch/Beacon’ course for longer distances, again turning right into the straight.
|1||(2)||Certify (USA)||16/1||C Appleby||W Buick||113|
|2||(5)||Integral||15/10 F||Sir Michael Stout||R L Moore||117|
|3||(3)||Peace Burg (FRA)||25/1||A P O’Brien||J P O’Brien||108|
|4||(7)||Purr Along||12/1||J P Murtagh||J P Spencer||109|
|5||(1)||Sky Lantern (IRE)||2/1||R Hannon||R Hughes||119|
|6||(4)||Kiyoshi||14/1||C Hills||Harry Bentley||109|
|7||(6)||Rizeena (IRE)||9/2||C E Brittain||O Peslier||111|
Day 2 will be dominated by Group 1 action in the QIPCO Falmouth Stakes to be run over a mile and features high-class Fillies and Mares. Jockey William Buick rode Elusive Kate to victory for John Gosden in last year’s race. He now partners the Charlie Appleby trained longshot CERTIFY (20/1) and will be looking to go back-to-back.
All the form points to the four-year-old bay filly, INTEGRAL (7/4), who handed today’s market rival SKY LANTERN (2/1) a thrashing in the Duke Of Cambridge Stakes at Ascot over this trip, just under one month ago. She is top class and boasts four wins from her seven career outings and her conditioner, Sir Michael Stoute, is confident of another huge run from her. He had the following to say, “Integral runs in the Falmouth on Friday and I would say she’s my best chance at the meeting.”
However, upon closer inspection, one would notice that the latter was returning from just a six month break and in all probability may have just needed the outing. She was beaten only a neck into 2nd by Elusive Kate in this race last year and will undoubtedly strip a fitter horse today. Moreover, she did beat INTEGRAL by one length over this c & d last September so she could be an entirely different proposition this time around. She is expected to make big improvement on that last outing but does have the huge 5.50 length deficit to overturn.
The three-year old filly RIZEENA (4/1) is also very classy and she won the Coronation Stakes over this trip at Ascot in mid-June. Her record of five wins from nine attempts is evidence of her ability but she does take on stronger, older rivals this time around and will be severely tested.
|1||Aljamaaheer (IRE)||7/1||R Varian||P Hanagan||115|
|2||Darwin (USA)||40/1||A P O’Brien||112|
|3||Gregorian (IRE)||20/1||J H M Gosden||W Buick||116|
|4||Jack Dexter||40/1||J S Goldie||G Lee||111|
|5||Moviesta (USA)||25/1||B Smart||P Mulrennan||113|
|6||Rex Imperator||20/1||W J Haggas||108|
|7||Slade Power (IRE)||11/4 F||E Lynam||W M Lordan||120|
|8||Sole Power||10/1||E Lynam||R Hughes||115|
|9||Tropics (USA)||33/1||D K Ivory||R Winston||109|
|10||Undrafted (USA)||16/1||Wesley Ward||L Dettori||–|
|11||Astaire (IRE)||22/1||K A Ryan||N Callan||113|
|12||Cougar Mountain (IRE)||20/1||A P O’Brien||–|
|13||Due Diligence (USA)||7/2||A P O’Brien||116|
|14||Fountain of Youth (IRE)||66/1||A P O’Brien||107|
|15||Hot Streak (IRE)||12/1||K A Ryan||J P Spencer||115|
|16||Justice Day (IRE)||25/1||D R C Elsworth||S De Sousa||108|
|17||Noozhoh Canarias (SPA)||5/1||E Penate||C Soumillon||116|
The final day sees the running of the prestigious Darley July Cup over six furlongs for three-year old horses
and older. This event was established in 1876 and the current prize money is 500 000 Euros (roughly R7 million). It is one of Britain’s most valuable sprint races and many past winners have gone a long way to be crowned the champion sprinter in Europe. The recent Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner at Ascot, SLADE POWER, tops the bookmaker’s boards at 5/2.
Many of the recent Royal Ascot performers take their place in the Group 1 Darley July Cup and this promises to be a cracking contest. SLADE POWER (5/2) and the King’s Stand Stakes winner, SOLE POWER (10/1) lock horns. Of course, both runners represent the Edward Lynam stable and are owned by Mrs. Sabena Power.
The former is a five-year-old bay entire’ and he is a 9-time winner from his seventeen career outings. The son of Dutch Art is unbeaten in his two starts in 2014 and deserves the favouritism tag. He will be looking to atone for his 3rd in this race last year behind Lethal Force. His stable companion is a seven-year old bay gelding who has won nine of his 29 career appearances. He beat Stepper Point by just over one length in the King’s Stand Stakes over 1000m at Ascot last time but is currently on offer at double figures for this contest. Interestingly, he son of Kyllachy he has never won beyond five furlongs despite having gone close before.
DUE DILIGENCE (4/1) is a worthy second favourite, courtesy of his good 2nd behind SLADE POWER in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, last month. The three-year old son of War Front has run four times for two victories in the UK and his conditioner, Aidan O’Brien, will be hoping that he can reverse the form of his latest defeat.
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