Five horses to keep on side at the July Festival at Newmarket

Tue 9 Jul 2019

Oliver Brett selects five horses to follow over the three days at the July Festival which will be shown live on Racing TV.

By Oliver Brett

The Flat season moves along at an almost indecent pace at this time of year, and the July Festival at Newmarket is a real opportunity to see whether Royal Ascot winners can be rubber-stamped as animals of rare quality, or whether instead some of those horses beaten under the gaze of the Queen can plot a path to redemption.

Here are five horses to watch at Newmarket this week.


Race: Tattersalls July Stakes (2.25, Thursday)

Trainer: Archie Watson. General odds: 7-2.

Watch how Guildsman scored on his debut at Goodwood

Archie Watson has developed an enviable reputation as a high-class trainer of two-year-olds and Guildsman is probably the best of his current crop.

An effortless winner on debut at Goodwood in early June, he attempted to back that effort up 11 days later in what looked a strong renewal of the Coventry Stakes and was not remotely disgraced by finishing third to Arizona where he passed the post three-quarters of a length behind the Ballydoyle colt.

He briefly led in the Coventry around 100 yards from home, so this race may suit better as he will not have to contend with the stiff uphill finish of Ascot.

If anything, his breeding suggests he could probably stay further, so longer trips will be an option if he does not get his nose in front where it matters on Thursday.

Horse: MASAR

Race: Princess Of Wales’s Tattersall Stakes (3.35, Thursday)

Trainer: Charlie Appleby. General odds: 5-4.

Relive Masar's victory in the 2018 Investec Derby

Fans of Masar had to wait a long time to see last year’s Derby winner re-appear in competitive action.

Finally, after one or two minor setbacks, that moment came when the son of New Approach was pitched into the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot more than a year after his Epsom success.

A bad stumble at the start - where James Doyle was almost unseated - did not help matters one bit, but he was expected to do better than his fifth of eight finish.

His next assignment is also a Group Two, but it looks a weaker field and, if he is ever to recover his ability, you would expect him to win it, though Mirage Dancer may well prove a stout opponent.


Race: Duchess of Cambridge Stakes (2.25, Friday)

Trainer: Roger Varian. General odds: 7-4.

The form of Daahyeh's debut win is working out well

Bated Breath is the cheapest option on the Juddmonte stallion menu, mere soup of the day compared to Frankel’s lobster if you will, but is certainly capable of producing the odd diamond and Daahyeh, a good-looking and athletic chestnut filly, is one of those.

She has done everything right so far, notably when beating everything Wesley Ward, Ballydoyle and Godolphin could throw against her in a massed-field Albany Stakes.

That success followed her debut victory in a Newmarket novice stakes race that has worked out extremely well.

The second in that, Raffle Prize, won the Queen Mary at Ascot and the fourth, Picture Frame, got off the mark in good style at Newbury two weeks ago.


Race: Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes (3.35, Friday)

Trainer: William Haggas. General odds: 100-30.

One Master in action at the Curragh in May

The shock winner of the Group One Prix de la Foret on Arc day last year was then asked to contest hugely valuable prizes at Churchill Downs and Sha Tin.

That bold plan did not quite come off and when she was only fourth of seven on her seasonal debut at the Curragh, there might have been fears that the five-year-old mare’s French success the previous autumn had been a flash in the pan.

Her third in the Queen Anne Stakes was more encouraging as she finished well ahead of some much more fancied contenders and, back against her own sex at Newmarket, she could take some catching.

It would be no more than her owners deserve after some enterprising race placement.


Race: Darley July Cup Stakes (4.40, Saturday)

Trainer: John Gosden. General odds: 7-2.

Advertise was successful in the July Stakes last year

Three-year-olds have been successful in all but one of the past four renewals of the July Cup and Advertise will head to HQ with more than a fighting chance, primarily on the back of his Commonwealth Cup success when sent to the front at the furlong pole before scooting clear in first-time blinkers under Frankie Dettori.

He has a previous July Course victory under his belt too, and a good one at that, when scoring in the July Stakes last year and his form is rock-solid all the way through barring a below-par run in the 1000 Guineas which was clearly the wrong trip for a colt who has won four of his five starts over six furlongs.

He probably will not be delivered very late in the day - last year at Newmarket he put the race to bed at the half-furlong marker.

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