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July Cup preview

With thanks to the talented Sam Preen, @sampreen a man so dedicated to racing he has several racehorse tattoos! Read more of his excellent work on his blog, Soft In Places.

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July Cup

The big one we’re all looking forward to. Sadly, the race lost some of it’s sparkle when Black Caviar and co headed for home after her very lucky win at Royal Ascot and she was found to have suffered a minor injury and a summer holiday looks due for her. Thankfully, we still have unlucky but multiple Group runner Bated Breath, who was last seen finishing a very unlucky second behind Little Bridge at the Royal Meeting last time out. He’s not the best on Soft ground and has always been very unlucky in Group 1s, so it could pay to look elsewhere unless your confident he’ll finally get his head in front here.

Surprising Royal Ascot winner Dandy Boy proved the huge step down in trip was no problem when he ran on well in the final furlong to luckily get his head in front. He is a winner on Soft ground over this distance and on the back of his last run, he could run into a place here.

The veteran of the race Genki hasn’t won since the Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle last year. Since then, his age seems to have caught up with him and is more then likely to struggle here. Frequent Handicap runner Hawkeyethenoo finished a respectable third behind Dandy Boy at Ascot last month. His record on soft has been less then impressive and he’s likely to find a few too good here, as will Krypton Factor, who has his best career back in Meydan before finishing a respectable 6th behind Black Caviar, and this is his first run on soft so he’s best watched here.

Libranno found his old form when racing up a double in Listed company and Group 3 at Newmarket after disappointing at York earlier in the year. He’s yet to win on soft but should the ground improve, he could run a good race if the ground improves. Outsider Mayson is another put up a good race at Doncaster on his sole run on Soft ground and has since gone on to improve, but he’s likely to struggle here.

Recent Godolphin purchase Sepoy heads here after disappointing on both his runs this year. He was very impressive last year, only losing one race at short odds before bouncing back to take two more Group Ones. He is winner on soft ground over 6 furlongs but he looks unlikely to be winning this unless he’s capable of bouncing back to his old form.

The same can be said for Sirius Prospect, who hasn’t been the same force of old this year but ran the best race for some time when finishing 2 1/2L behind Black Caviar with blinkers applied for the first time. Their back on again and having being a distance winner on Soft ground, he could run a good race.

Last year’s Golden Jubilee Stakes winner Society Rock was another runner to finish behind Black Caviar last time out. He runs very well in big fields and won the Golden Jubilee in Soft ground before going on to finish second at Deauville on Soft again. On the back of that and his last run, he stands a cracking chance and should be thereabouts.

Strong Suit has disappointed on both of his runs this year and wouldn’t want the ground to be too soft. He has ran on Soft back in 2010 over Course and Distance but he is likely to be a non runner judging by the way the stable are talking. Outsider The Cheka ran the race of his life two starts ago at York in Group 2 company before finishing well behind Black Caviar last time out. He hasn’t ran on Soft since 2009 which he won and with a visor on for the first time, he could run a big race at huge odds.

Multiple Group 1 winner Ortensia lost her good record when disappointing on her first start over here at the Royal meeting last month. She has won on Soft back in 2008 but he takes a step up in trip today, and with William Buick getting the leg up for the first time, she could run into a place.

Outsider Reply hasn’t always lived up to expectations but he’s twice finished second in Group 1 company before disappointing at Ascot last month. Down in trip again, he wears a visor for the first time but he can be best watched here. Fire Lily loves the testing conditions and she is unbeaten on both her starts on testing conditions. She has been unlucky in some races but finally got her head in front to claim a second Group 3 race last time out. This looks much tougher but she could well run herself into a place at bottom weight.

Conclusion: What looks like a tough race on paper, it could pay to side with Society Rock who loves the testing conditions and the distance. He could overcome the outside draw and for the price he is, the price is tempting to throw a few pound on. Of the rest, The Cheka could run a big race at huge odds in a first time visor.

Selection: Society Rock

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