ITV Racing Tips: Rohaan could be the answer in top-quality July Cup
It’s ‘Super Saturday’ in Britain, so-called because there are afternoon race meetings at Newmarket, York, Ascot and Chester, tracks which ordinarily would headline the racing programme on their own.
The clash is not to everyone’s taste but if you enjoy blanket coverage of the sport, here it is with ITV packing it’s schedule with 11 races from three of the racecourses.
The highlight is the Group 1 July Cup, the 6f championship sprint in which Oxted, fresh from a Royal Ascot victory, will attempt to become the first horse to clinch back-to-back runnings for 62 years.
The field is packed with other Royal Ascot and Group 1 winners among a 19-runner field, in which Frankie Dettori partners the US runner Extravagant Kid who he hopes will help him secure a first success in the race.
The last day of Newmarket’s July Festival also comprises the Group 2 Superlative Stakes and the Bunbury Cup.
It means York’s John Smith’s Cup, once a major ante-post betting race, takes second billing but with 22 runners it again provides a test of the grey cells, while only two races will be shown from Ascot where the Group 2 Summer Mile is the feature.
It all unfolds from 13.25pm on ITV and we have previewed the three most significant races of the day in our ITV Racing Tips.
Royal Ascot winner Perotto heads the betting for this highly competitive handicap. The three-year-old carries a 6lb penalty for his Britannia Stakes win so is officially 1lb ‘well in’ and should not be inconvenienced by this return to 7f as he won over the trip at Goodwood in June. Few three-year-olds contest this handicap – Perotto and Fundamental are the only two this time – and history is against themm with older horses having won every edition this century. That could be the case again.
Last year’s winner Motakhayyel has a solid chance of striking again after a good effort at Royal Ascot but the each-way value could lie with Lord Rapscallion. He won’t lack for fitness having already run nine times this year. On his last start he finished fourth in a Royal Ascot handicap, a position he achieved despite suffering interference and being struck over the nose by a rival’s whip.
Northumberland Plate winner Nicholas T reverts to a trip three quarters of a mile shorter than the distance he won over last time, but that won’t be an issue as he has won over 1m2f three times. More problematic is his new rating which is as high as it’s ever been. It will represent another feather in the cap of Jim Goldie, who won this with Euchen Glen, if he can overcome it.
Hunt Cup runner-up, the Sir Michael Stoute-trained Astro King, heads the betting and could have more to offer over this longer trip but in another race where there is no shortage of each-way possibilities Fishable appeals.
The Tim Easterby-trained gelding ran an eye-catching race over course and distance in May, when despite losing lengths at the start he recovered to get into contention only to meet interference in the straight. He won next time and it looks like he’s been kept back for this prize.
There are no end of possibilities in this top quality renewal of the championship sprint. Only the sidelined Dream Of Dreams and Campanelle are missing. Otherwise a field comprising the King’s Stand winner and defending champion Oxted, Commonwealth Cup first-past-the-post Dragon Symbol, Wokingham winner Rohaan and Jersey Stakes winner Creative Force makes this one of the best runnings ever.
That’s even without factoring in Starman, who missed the Diamond Jubilee for which he was favourite because of soft ground, plus Group 1 winners Extravagant Kid, Glen Shiel and Brando. A strong case can be made for any number of these contenders. But sprints are the one area where smaller stables can compete on a reasonably level field and where Roger Teal went last year, Dave Evans can follow this year.
Rohaan has already completed an unlikely transformation, recording the first of his seven wins from a handicap mark of 55. He beat Dragon Symbol at Haydock in May and proved there was no fluke with victory at Royal Ascot next time. Now rated 116, his connections’ decision to supplement him for the race can gain its ultimate reward.
ITV Racing Schedule, Saturday 10th July
13:45 York – 1m handicap
14:05 Newmarket – 7f handicap
14:20 York – Silver Cup
14:40 Newmarket – 1m handicap
15:00 Ascot – Summer Mile
15:15 Newmarket – Superlative Stakes
15:35 Ascot – 5f handicap
15:50 Newmarket – Bunbury Cup
16:05 York – John Smith’s Cup
16:25 Newmarket – July Cup
16:40 York – City Walls Stakes
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.