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July Stakes preview

The July meeting at Newmarket is a great three days of racing, and we're blessed in the UK at the moment with a glorious run of genuine summer weather. So any horse needing a bit of give in the ground probably won't be peaking this week. One of the early features of the meeting is the Group II July Stakes for the two year olds, so who better to draft in for the preview than @twoyearoldtips from the excellent new site Twoyearoldtips.

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The July Stakes

A very exciting renewal of the July Stakes with a field full of promising two year olds. Three bring Royal Ascot form to the table and they are taken on by three juveniles whose profiles are without blemish. Could be the finest two year old race of the season so far.

Anjaal- a son of Bahamian Bounty who cost 105,000 guineas as a yearling for owner Sheikh Hamdan and trained by Richard Hannon. Two runs to date have resulted in one win. Finished eighth on debut when favourite in a Newmarket maiden that has been boosted time and again this year. Then made no mistake when bolting up by four lengths at Beverley when heavily backed. That was a weak race in the context of this and will have to improve to win for connections who took this race last year with Alhebayeb.

Astaire- was a very impressive winner on his only start to date, when making all in a maiden at York. That wasn't a great race for the track but he showed good speed and won cosily. The performance can be upgraded by the lack of stable form in the two year old department, and whilst they are still not banging in the level of winners they usually do, things have improved a touch recently. Could well fly under the radar here and has the potential to run a bring race at rewarding odds.

Bahamian Heights- another son of Bahamian Bounty, who is having a fine season with his juveniles. This one looks to lack the class of some of these although he showed a fine attitude when winning last time out under a good ride from today's jockey. Would appear to be another example of Clive Brittain over facing one of his charges. Not for mine on this occasion.

Brown Sugar- ran an incredible race on debut, when an unconsidered 40/1 shot in a Newmarket maiden won by the reopposing Jallota. Was slowly away that day and drifted across the track before finishing like a train to be beaten only just over a length. Made no mistake next time when odds on at Salisbury winning easily by five lengths. Will be interesting to see how he fares in the market in relation to Anjaal. Another one to take very seriously.

Canyari- seen only once just under two months ago when bolting up by five lengths on debut from the useful Legend Rising, twice a winner since. The third that day who was ten lengths behind has also won a maiden at Ripon. Will be intriguing to find out why he has been off the track since debut, as his bare form merited a trip to Royal meeting. If he has been targetted for this race then must have a massive chance of making it worth the wait.

Figure of Speech- impressive winner on debut when slamming Whaleweigh Station by four lengths over course and distance. No reason why that one should turn the form around and the trainer and jockey combination are always to be feared on the July course. However they don't always improve as much as expected from first run to second but if this one does then he is another fascinating player.

Intermath- From the David Evans yard and Tom Queally rides. Perhaps a fortunate winner on debut at Salisbury, favourite veered violently hampering the second and third, but very unfortunate when returning to the Wiltshire venue for his second start. Was cantering just off the pace when he fly jumped the path unseating today's jockey. May well have won that day but will have to improve to trouble the principals here.

Jallota- consistent sort who has form lines with Astaire and Brown Sugar who ran his best race to date when fifth to the hugely impressive War Command in the Coventry. Finished only 2.25 lengths of the second that day and that form gives him a chance here. However is more exposed than many in this field and it would be a surprise if he finished top of the pile.

Master Carpenter- a colt by first season sire Mastercraftsman who has won two of his four races to date for trainer Rod Millman. Finished well down the field when quietly fancied for the Chesham last time and the suspicion is this is a stronger race. Back down to the trip where he showed his best form but i can't see him having the class to take a hand at the finish here.

Sir John Hawkins- Regally bred juvenile, 2nd foal of multiple group one winner Peeping Fawn by Henrythenavigotor, from the Ballydoyle team. Perhaps surprising given his pedigree that he has proved so precocious, beating a useful yardstick of Jim Bolger's on debut before running a fine race when third behind his stablemate War Command in the Coventry. Trainer won this with Ivan Denisovich in 2005, and has had only one runner since when Gale Force Ten was a beaten favourite last year. Has the best form in the field, but its fair to say this wouldn't be a target for the stable's absolute top notch juveniles. Likely to be well found in the market and opposable for mine in this.

Whaleweigh Station- Evidently well thought of by his trainer, won this in 2006, who was well backed when a good second on debut. Was expected to put this experience to good use next time over course and distance, when sent off at 6/4. Ran a solid race but was firmly put in his place by debutant Figure of Speech and no real reason why he will reverse the form with that rival.

A fascinating renewal, with plenty of unexposed sorts taking on those with Ascot form. Obviously the market will tell us more but at this stage it is fair to assume that Sir John Hawkins will be a pretty warm order. He brings the strongest form to the table but I feel may be vulnerable at the potential prices with plenty of likely improver's lurking in the field. Whilst it is a bit unsettling he hasn't been seen for two months Canyari's debut form, when thrashing a useful sort by five lengths, looks very good and he is taken to graduate to group class in style here. Of the many dangers Astaire looks one who could be overpriced whilst Brown Sugar is another who could run a big race.


Verdict
1 Canyari
2 Astaire
3 Brown Sugar

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