July Cup 2019 Tips, Odds & Analysis
For those who are racing lovers, there’s a glut of Group action, and it is headed by Newmarket’s July Festival, the highlight of all the racing that Newmarket hosts on its summer course. The pinnacle of the meeting is undoubtedly The July Cup, one of the features of the sprinting calendar and a race which has made the careers of a lot of sprinters, first on the track and then as stallions in the future.
What Is The July Cup?
The beacon race of the July Festival, the July Cup was first established in 1876. When race grading – the system which gives us Group 1’s and 2’s etc – was introduced in 1971, it immediately became a Group 2, but it has been a Group 1 since 1978. In 2008, it became part of the Global Sprint Series, and is now the sixth leg of the said series.
A notable trend in the last ten years is the prominence of young sprinters. Since 2007, 10 winners have been three or four years old, including three of the last four. The July Cup is the first time that younger sprinters, who now have a programme made specifically for them, take on their elders head-to-head.
Winners tend to be well established, high class sprinters – seven had won a Group 1 before – but some do break their top level duck on this occasion, so don’t let it put you off backing a maiden at this level.
Royal Ascot has traditionally produced a plethora of July Festival winners and this race is no different. Four recent winners came straight from the Diamond Jubilee, and two winners have come from the Commonwealth Cup, a strong record considering how ‘young’ that race is. Another winner to come from the Royal Meeting was US Navy Flag, who dropped down from a mile. That was the third time Aidan O’Brien had pulled off that particular feat, following on from Stravinsky and Mozart.
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What’s The Key Form Race This Year?
There isn’t one in particular. The three leading market contenders all come from the three different Royal Ascot sprints this year, and they dominate the betting markets.
The strongest bare form comes from Dream Of Dreams 4/1 with 888Sport, who went within a head of denying Blue Point his history making Diamond Jubilee. He relished the extremely strong pace at Ascot before closing rapidly at the death after Blue Point was running on empty late, confirming his huge promise after an impressive return win at Windsor.
The form of his Windsor win was backed up by Glorious Journey running a close second in the Criterion Stakes whilst The Tin Man (third under a penalty and sixth when unlucky in the Diamond Jubilee) was third, and the speed he showed there after being blocked for a run is reassuring, especially as the July Course, despite visual impressions, tends to be a quicker course than Ascot. All things considered, he is the most attractive choice and is the NAP.
The Commonwealth Cup has already provided two winners of this and Advertise, who was right back to form when landing this year’s renewal, has plenty going for him. 10/3 with Royal Panda, he always had strong credentials at his best – see his Dewhurst second – and as a winner over course and distance, there’s little not to like. If one was being choosy about his form chances, one could say that the Commonwealth Cup’s key form horses didn’t perform, and that this will be harder, but he holds an excellent chance nevertheless.
Wokingham winners do not often follow up here, but so impressive was Cape Byron, 6/1 with Mr Green, in winning this year’s renewal that he is now rated just 2lbs below Dream Of Dreams. He appeared to relish a really strongly run 6 furlongs and the hill at Ascot, so it remains to be seen how he responds to what is a less stiff track here.
Unibet will give you 7/1 on Invincible Army, who disappointed a little in the Diamond Jubilee but bounced back in the Chipchase Stakes. He is an undeniably a talented sprinter and maybe this track will suit him more than Ascot did (winner at York). Could this be one run too many for him in a short space of time?
The four afore mentioned runners appear to have a gap on the rest of the field, although Pretty Pollyanna, 33/1 with William Hill, would be interesting choice at an each-way price if cutting back in trip.
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