He is well established as the favourite but there is plenty to like about Golden Horde (3.35) in the July Cup, especially for 10-year trend enthusiasts. He comes from the Clive Cox stable that has punched miles above its weight in winning this top-class sprint twice in the past seven years, and is also a three-year-old, like four of the past five winners.
It appears that the invention of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot has been a help to sprinters of that age, though they have long held a decent record in Newmarket’s big race, back to the days of Habibti, Chief Singer and Green Desert. Golden Horde impressed in beating the US raider Kimari at Ascot, the pair clear, and can build on that first run of the year.
Hello Youmzain deserves respect but benefited from a good ride in the Diamond Jubilee. Sceptical didn’t want this week’s rain. For those in search of each-way value, Namos comes from a German yard that has had two 33-1 winners in Britain, though this is an ambitious target.
1.50 Newmarket Beaten only by the handicap blot Khaloosy in the Britannia, Finest Sound is said to have pleased connections since and can get his day in the sun despite a 7lb hike.
2.05 Ascot James Ferguson looks a trainer to follow, judging by a record of eight wins from 29 in his first full season. His Alnaseem doesn’t have much in hand but could have another race in her after a recent Yarmouth win.
2.25 Newmarket A three-year-old filly being brought along steadily by John Gosden, Indie Angel might be helped by this step down in trip on a slower surface.
2.40 Ascot Celestran was keen last time and now gets blinkers, so it could be a long way home for him. Dubai Souq relished the step up in trip last time and this extra quarter-mile can bring out further improvement.
3.00 Newmarket Aidan O’Brien can land a fourth Superlative with Hudson River, the first foal out of Mecca’s Angel and a taking winner on his debut.
3.15 Ascot Mohaather had a nightmare run through the Queen Anne and it would be no more than justice if he is able to score here, though it is possible to meet trouble in running on this round mile. At the prices, better value may lie with Zaaki, beaten by inches in this a year ago and likely to be sharper for a first run back.
3.50 Ascot With the William Haggas yard on fire, Aplomb is of interest. He is drawn closer to the favoured strip than in the Silver Wokingham and could be suited by this step back to the minimum distance.
4.10 Newmarket First home on the wrong side in the Buckingham Palace, Mutamaasik can turn that form around with Motakhayyel on 5lb better terms. That was the first defeat since his debut. Arigato is worth a second look at the prices, though he may have little in hand after a couple of wins this year. Chris Cook
Nazeef spoils Godolphin party for Dettori
Frankie Dettori’s first Group One-race victory in Godolphin blue since 2012 will have to wait, for another few weeks at least. The former number one at Sheikh Mohammed’s operation set off at 5-6 on Terebellum in the Falmouth Stakes here on Friday evening but could finish only third as Nazeef, a stable companion of Terebellum in the colours of the Sheikh’s elder brother, Hamdan, swept past in the final furlong for a narrow but deserved success.
Dettori was allowed to lead the small field in the early stages, settling a couple of lengths clear at what seemed only a moderate pace. His partner responded when asked for an effort approaching the final furlong but nothing like as well as Nazeef or the five-year-old Billesdon Brook, who took the 1,000 Guineas on the other side of Newmarket Heath in May 2018. They passed the favourite on either side, with Nazeef holding the Classic winner by a neck with the same distance back to Terebellum.
Nazeef has now won six races in a row since finishing third on her debut on this course last June, and has also taken three races – at Listed, Group Two and now Group One level – since racing resumed on 1 June. This seems unlikely to be the limit of her talent and she will be a stern opponent for the male milers if she is given a chance to take them on.
“I didn’t want to get into a war with Frankie too far out,” Jim Crowley, Nazeef’s jockey, said, “beuase I thought he might outstay me if I did. In the end, all she did was stay.
“She was well one top at the line and she can go on any ground and that’s six in a row now. She won here at the back end of last season and I didn’t think I’d be stood here now with her as a Group One winner, but she’s a gorgeous filly with lots of scope.
“I thought she was a bit special when I won on her at Kempton [in early June] but she had to go another level today and she’s done that. Once I got to within a neck of Terebellum, I knew that she’d get her because she’s really tough and she wants to win.”
Ten of the 13 Group One victories on Karl Burke’s record to date have been recorded by fillies or mares, including half a dozen by the exceptional Laurens, who retired to the paddocks last autumn having won at the top level at two, three and four years of age. She was also second behind Billesdon Brook in her 2018 Guineas.
Consistent brilliance like that is difficult to replace, but Burke was happy to talk about Dandalla as having the potential at least to scale similar heights after her narrow defeat of Fev Rover in the Group Two Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes.
“The tacky ground today didn’t help her and we had a small issue about 10 days ago with a slight temperature so we were taking a bit of a chance,” Burke said, “but we’ve got away with it, so onward and upward.
“She’s an exciting filly for next year as well. She’s definitely more precocious [than Laurens] but whether that makes her better in the long run, time will tell. It’s amazing to get another good one so soon after Laurens really. [Dandalla] is more of a two-year-old type than Laurens, who was always going to be a slow-burner, but she’d have a better turn of foot than Laurens.”
Dandalla will now attempt to get off the mark at Group One level in the Prix Morny at Deauville in mid-August. Greg Wood