Quirky Limato has got what it takes

By Harry Bentley
Fri 14 Jul 2017

Harry Bentley looks at Saturday's Darley July Cup in depth and believes that Limato has a cracking chance of becoming the first dual winner since Right Boy in the 1950s and has high praise for Kieran Shoemark who lost his claim in style at Epsom on Thursday night.

Darley July Cup:

It’s an amazing Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday and it is a real thrill to be on Limato in what looks a tremendous race.

There are ten in it and any of the big five could win it in my view. I thought the first three home in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot of The Tin Man, Tasleet and Limato all put in brilliant performances. I think that coming in to this race Limato has every reason to reverse that form with the two that beat him.

It was Limato’s first race since he finished down the field in Dubai so he has got to come on a bit. All reports on his home-work suggest he is flying and if he can put in a similar performance to 12 months ago when he was a two-length winner he will take a lot of beating.

Newmarket received a lot of rain earlier in the week but it is drying out all the time and the track drains well. Limato has proved he can handle Newmarket, which is more than you can say for some of his rivals. Course form is a massive bonus for me on the July Course.

There is a kind of quirkiness to Limato, which is quite amusing. He is not the biggest but he has a massive engine and a big heart. His quirks make me like him even more.

[Trainer] Henry [Candy] has done a fantastic job with him. Limato is in the perfect place at Henry’s yard – at Newmarket horses can be rushed off the gallops, whereas at Lambourn it is a slower pace and it suits his state of mind.

Looking at our rivals they all look dangerous. Godolphin’s Harry Angel has loads of speed and Adam Kirby is likely to jump and be positive on him. Intelligence Cross pushed Harry Angel to go faster in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and he is drawn in stall three to Harry Angel’s six so won’t be far away from him.

Adam will have to try to not get in a battle up front with Padraig Beggy, which will be hard. When you’re in that position you don’t want to break the stride of your horse and get them to do something they are not used to doing. Ideally you have to try to set steady fractions. With those two up front, Caravaggio, who won the Commonwealth Cup in style, could probably drop in behind me and Ryan Moore will try to make up the sort of ground the pair did so well at Royal Ascot. They are drawn next to me in stall two, but you can overthink things sometimes and I’ll try to keep it as simple as possible.

We don’t yet know how good these three-year-old sprinters are and it will be their first real test against the older brigade, but we have to assume they are the real deal. When Aidan O’Brien and Clive Cox say they have something special on their hands you have got to listen.

Saturday rides:

Much like every other jockey on Saturday I’ve got loads of rides and I like the chances of Mountain Angel in the Bet365 Mile Handicap. We were a good second to Saturday’s rival Afaak last time at Doncaster, and that horse went on to run a really good race from the wrong side of the track in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot. We’ve got a 2lbs pull in the weights for our beating by three-quarters of a length. We’ve got a nice low weight and I think we can run a big race. Sir Michael Stoute’s City Of Joy looks a serious horse and would be the one I feared most in an open race.

Kadrizzi would have a chance in the Bet365 Bunbury Cup. His form is more miss than hit at the moment but he is fairly weighted on his best form in what is always a very competitive contest.

Panko looks to have his perfect conditions, which are 12 furlongs on decent going when he takes his chance in the John Banks Renault Sport Trophy Handicap. He is up in class, however, in what looks an open race which will make life harder.

I’m hoping Tropical Rock can improve for the step up in the trip when she tackles the Spa At Bedford Lodge Hotel EBF Stallions Fillies’ Handicap. She couldn’t land a blow last time in Listed company at Nottingham, but dropped down to handicap company she could be interesting.

I also ride Janabiya in the Rossdales EBF Stallions Maiden Fillies’ Stakes and the seven-furlongs might suit this daughter of Nathaniel. As she is by a King George VI and Queen Elizabeth Stakes winner she is likely to get better with age and a longer trip in time.

Kieran Shoemark:

I saw Kieran Shoemark lost his 3lbs claim in style on Thursday night at Epsom with a treble. He is a very good rider and doesn’t look or ride like a claimer. I think he will do really well without it. He is a nice guy and deserves it.

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