Newmarket July Festival Preview And Betting Tips – Day One
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Newmarket July Festival Preview And Betting Tips – Day One

Newmarket have three days of action as Flat racing Headquarters stages the Moet & Chandon July Festival this week. Saturday's July Cup is the highlight with some top-class sprinters on the turf but there's no shortage of action in the build-up. Thursday's card includes a hat-trick of group-races headlined by the Tattersalls July Stakes (3.00pm) and the Princess Of Wales's Tattersalls Stakes (4.10pm). Expert tipster Enda McElhinney from the Racing Post gives his race-by-race preview and betting tips for day one at Newmarket.


12.10 British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes (6f)

A tough start to the meeting for punters as half of the ten contenders have not yet graced the racecourse. The betting, therefore, will be an essential guide to this opener.

The standard is set by John Gosden's WILLABELL. The War Front filly went close on debut at Yarmouth last month before running sixth in the Group 3 Albany Stakes at Royal Ascot. Take out the easy winner and she was competitive in that field, especially after a tardy break from the stalls. The form is working out well (third won a Group 3 in Ireland easily) and she has to be considered a player here.

Of the others with experience, She's So Nice and Glesga Girl - second at Thirsk and Kempton respectively on debuts - are very likely improvers.

No shortage of angles amongst the newcomers however with some neat pedigrees on offer. Isle Of May cost ?250,000 as a foal and is a second string to the Gosden bow here in the Godolphin blue but preference is for Charlie Appleby's MISS JINGLES. By Exceed And Excel, she is a half-sister to smart two-year-old winners Sound Of Silence and Silent Bullet and makes plenty appeal on paper.

Her trainer continues to be in red-hot form (35 per-cent strike-rate) and his newcomers tend to know their job first time up. She can get William Buick and Godolphin off to a perfect start.

Selection: Miss Jingles

Next Best: Willabell

12.45 Price Promise At bet365 Handicap (6f)

Having put up PASS THE VINO as a potential four-year-old improver ahead of the Silver Wokingham at Royal Ascot last month, he was forced to miss that engagement after the ground seemingly went against him.

Paul Darcy's charge won't have any such worries this time (good to firm at the time of writing) and he is expected to have a leading say over a C&D at which he won during last year's July Festival.

He went close again next time before a runner-up effort at Ascot and another creditable showing over 5f in a valuable York handicap. Ground conditions likely scuppered his hopes in the Sprint Trophy on the Knavesmire in October.

His Newmarket third on return last month looks to be very solid form and the Power gelding should pay his way again this summer in competitive handicaps, the type of which there will be fiercer than this one.

NAHAARR travelled like the best horse for a very long way in the aforementioned Silver Wokingham at Ascot before getting claimed in the dying embers and finishing third.

The winner Chiefofchiefs was far from disgraced next time in a Group 3 sprint at Newcastle and, having gone up a pound, William Haggas' charge is likely to be in the firing line again as he also fits the bill of 'improving four-year-old'.

Selection: Pass The Vino

Next Best: Nahaarr


1.15 Each Way Extra At bet365 Handicap (1m)

He'll be forgiven for thinking he's 2-2 this season and MAYDANNY looks sure to pick up more prizes in the coming months.

Mark Johnston's Dubawi gelding is a half-brother to very smart stablemate Elarqam and he was a decisive winner on his seasonal return at Yarmouth early last month. He went off joint-favourite in the Silver Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot despite going up 10lb in the ratings and led home a group of seven on the far side rail.

They were no match for the near side, but it was a pleasing run against the draw bias and confirmed the theory that he may still be ahead of the handicapper off 90. He can lend further weight to that notion now.

That Royal Ascot race is the one to draw on for this, with ALMUFTI having run fourth on what was his first turf start since this meeting last summer. His mark is unchanged now and he appeals as being unexposed over this trip on turf, while he typically runs well at Newmarket.

Selection: Maydanny

Next Best: Almufti


1.50 Bahrain International Sir Henry Cecil Stakes (1m)

Lord Campari is set to head the betting here after his decisive success in a Newbury novice stakes on his seasonal return last month. That form has been advertised by the second and third winning next-time-out and Roger Varian's charge surely has more to come. He's up in grade though and there are dangers lurking.

MAGICAL MORNING also picked up a novice success at Yarmouth in good style on his return last month and the Muhaarar colt has readily defied his penalty since at Doncaster. John Gosden's charge could have been called the winner some way from home in that Town Moor race and he can continue his progress at this increased level.

AL SUHAIL ended last season with a fine half-length second in the Group 2 Autumn Stakes over a mile here, adding to the feeling he was progressing nicely for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby.

Things didn't go his way in a strong renewal of the 2,000 Guineas on the Rowley Mile last month and he has to bounce back. William Buick returns in the saddle here and they have a good understanding, so he's fancied to get back on track with a strong showing in this lesser grade.

Selection: Magical Morning

Next Best: Al Suhail


2.25 Bahrain Trophy Stakes (1m5f)

DAWN RISING was only fourth on his first start of the season at the Curragh in a 1m2f maiden (beaten less than two-lengths). Just behind him that afternoon was stablemate Serpentine - the Epsom Derby hero of last weekend.

This son of Galileo was duly stepped up in distance himself next time and careered away from his rivals to win a 1m4f Limerick maiden without any fuss. The runner-up was a next-time-out winner and there is likely to be more to come from Aidan O'Brien's charge stepping up in trip/class now.

Some of this eight-runner field already look quite exposed. That's not the case with Miss Yoda but she didn't fare well in last month's Ribblesdale at Ascot when fancied. That was her first attempt at a mile and a half and she seemingly has to rely on better ground getting her back on track - which isn't ruled out.

AL AASY was turned over on his first start of the season at Newmarket at Listed level but that looks strong form now, with Mishriff having won a Group 1 in France and runner-up Volkan Star a next-time-out Listed winner.

William Haggas' charge meanwhile has since won a novice event here with any amount in hand over 1m4f and looks ready for this step up in grade. There was some talk of The Derby after that success last month but this offers a more gradual progression and the Sea The Stars colt should have a leading say.

Selection: Dawn Rising

Next Best: Al Aasy


3.00 Tattersalls July Stakes (6f)

Aidan O'Brien won this last year with Royal Lytham but he'd already had the benefit of a learning curve in the Coventry at Royal Ascot by that stage. Swiss Ace represents Ballydoyle here and he looked smart in a winning debut at Tipperary last month (5f).

We did, however, witness with some of the ace trainer's youngsters last month that stepping up in grade on the back of those easy Irish successes isn't straightforward; the likes of Admiral Nelson (Coventry) and More Beautiful (Queen Mary) having their relative struggles.

TACTICAL won the Windsor Castle last month when getting up late to deny Yazaman seemingly with something in hand. Andrew Balding's charge can progress again over this longer trip and uphold that form but that might not be enough in a field laced with danger (all ten have won already).

QAADER could never quite get on terms with 150-1 winner Nando Parrado at Royal Ascot last month. Jim Crowley had to follow the winner waiting for daylight and just couldn't bridge that gap late on. He did though beat the remainder of the field nicely and the Night Of Thunder colt can emulate last year's winner of this race by putting his Coventry experience to good use in taking this Group 2 prize.

Selection: Qaader

Next Best: Tactical


3.35 bet365 Handicap (6f)

A tough 20-runner handicap here but, nonetheless, one in which DANCIN INTHESTREET makes significant appeal. The Muhaarar filly has twice shaped with strong purpose in 5f contests at Haydock and Royal Ascot this season (third both times).

She didn't really get a fair share of luck in either instance and finished with a real flourish last time in a race won by Art Power for Tim Easterby (since won a Group 3 in Ireland with plenty in hand).

The William Haggas filly was racing from out of the handicap that afternoon and had to really wait for gaps before setting sail. Given an even share of luck now, with Cieren Fallon taking off 3lb, she is very much the sort to give an in-form trainer further success.

For an each-way play in a big field it is worth some thought for OAKENSHIELD representing Kevin Ryan and Andrea Atzeni.

The son of Invincible Spirit put up a pleasing effort to win at Newcastle early last month on his seasonal reappearance/first start after wind surgery. He didn't quite get going over 7f at Ayr from this mark, but may well have further scope back down in trip and is one of the bigger priced runners with something in his favour.

Selection: Dancin Inthestreet

Next Best: Oakenshield


4.10 Princess Of Wales's Tattersalls Stakes (1m4f)

A Group 2 contest to conclude the card on day one of the July Festival and one in which Mark Johnston's Communique will attempt to triumph for the second year running.

He started back with a good showing here last month but then faded tamely in the Hardwicke at Ascot. His front-running style may again leave him vulnerable and he's not the most reliable at the best of times.

The returning Dame Malliot merits some thought while Alounak ran a stormer when second in the Hardwicke last time and can play a part.

OLD PERSIAN is something of a globetrotter but he has three wins from five starts around Newmarket and showed in 2019 with successes in Dubai and Canada that this mile and a half trip suits well.

He didn't run to expectations at Saint-Cloud on his return but that was in Group 1 company and with first-time cheekpieces applied now he may bounce back.

Favourites have a poor record in this, a concern for backers of Enbihaar, who also cedes race fitness today.

Instead, ANTONIA DE VEGA is chanced for Ralph Beckett. She showed up well in Group 1 races last season and should be ripe for this contest having worked hard for her success at Pontefract on return last month.

She's far from exposed over this trip and promises to be suited by a thorough stamina test; something she should get now. She may give owners Waverley Racing another key success after their Lancashire Oaks win last weekend up at Haydock.

Selection: Antonia De Vega

Next Best: Old Persian


V: 1.23.0 All rights reserved. August 2021