AFTER three years in Lambourn the July Cup could be heading back to Newmarket and Sir Michael Stoute’s Freemason Lodge stables.
The Commonwealth Cup has produced two of the last winners and EQTIDAAR can continue that trend tomorrow (Saturday) and keep it in the colonies for Barbadian Stoute.
The three-year-old has always been highly regarded and was one of the winners that helped Stoute surpass Sir Henry Cecil’s record at Royal Ascot. That was just the fifth race of his career and the way he drifted left under pressure suggests he is still learning so there could be plenty more to come.
SANDS OF MALI was a strong challenger to EQTIDAAR at the Royal meeting and is another who could be open to more improvement.
Charlie Appleby’s BLUE POINT may look to have an appealing profile but this son of Sharmadal is 0-4 over this trip of 6f at Group 1 level.
So, the value in the race may lie with LIMATO who is at best price of 9/1 with Carrigill’s. Henry Candy’s charge has an enviable record of 1121 (3 from 4) across both Newmarket tracks.
And he has plenty of ‘previous’ in this contest, triumphing in 2016 before bumping into Harry Angel last year.
The Bunbury Cup is a fiendishly difficult contest in which to pick a winner , as such is the norm now with top end handicaps many of the contenders have met previously this season.
Current ante-post favourite GILGAMESH led home the smaller near side group in the Victoria Cup and was beaten less than two lengths in seventh and confirmed that promise when winning at York two weeks later.
The Marcus Tregoning-trained MUKALAL was the horse that I took out of the Royal Hunt Cup as he made good headway over a furlong out before being found out for his earlier exertions in the race when he just would not settle.
A drop back to seven could prove to be a masterstroke for this imposing gelding.
I flagged up ELGIN last week who did not make it to the track but I’m sticking with Alan King’s talented hurdler to land the 0-100 Hammerton Handicap at York today (Friday 2.40).