Newmarket July Course, Saturday 14th July, 2:15, 6f (July) Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series) (Class 1) (3yo+).
The July Cup was first run in 1876 and the first two renewals were won by Springfield, a colt bred by Queen Victoria at the Hampton Court stud. When the present system of race grading was introduced in 1971 the July Cup was designated as a Group 2 race. It was ungraded to Group 1 status in 1978 and is part of the British Champions Series.
The race is dominated by three year olds and four year olds who have won 19 of the last 25 renewals. Runners who are in the top three in the betting should be carefully considered as nine of the last 12 renewals have been won by fancied horses with five favourites obliging.
The draw has been a reasonable guide recently with nine of the last 12 winners being drawn in single figure stalls. A recent run is also a good indicator as 11 of the last 12 winners ran within 26 days of the race and six of the last 12 winners also won on their previous start.
Course form is a plus as eight of the last 12 winners had previously run at Newmarket. Ten of the last 12 winners had also previously won over the race distance of 6 furlongs, with nine of the last 12 winners having won at least twice over the race distance. Nine of the last 12 winners had also won previously earlier in the season.
Look for horses who ran at Royal Ascot as 15 of the last 20 winners fit this profile.
An Official Rating of 110 or higher has been required to win the race on seven of the last 12 occasions and 11 of the last 12 winners boasted at least one win in Groups 1 to 3.
Eqtidaar was a winner at Royal Ascot and is in the front three in the betting. The three year old Bay Colt has run just five times in his career with all of his runs coming over 6 furlongs. He won on his debut at Nottingham last August in a Class 5 Maiden but all of his subsequent runs have been in pattern races. He won the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot on his last start. He ran strongly throughout the race to lead inside the final furlong and although he drifted left in the final 100 yards he kept on gamely to win by half a length.
He is proven in the ground and over the race distance and his trainer, Sir Michael Stoute is in a fine vein of form sending out eight winners from 19 runners in the last 14 days.
For those looking for some each way value Sands Of Mali was second to Eqtidaar in the Commonwealth Cup and is currently available at over twice the odds.
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