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The flat season is in full swing and we have another brilliant meeting to look forward to, the Boodles July Festival at Newmarket. The meeting starts on Thursday, 13th July 2023 and finishes on Saturday, 15th July 2023.
The big race of the meeting is, of course, the July Cup, which is held on Saturday. The race is worth £340,260 to the winner. That race features the likes of hot favourite Shaquille, Azure Blue, Little Big Bear and Kinross.
The Pertemps Network July Cup – 4.35, Saturday 15th July 2023
Shaquille 15/8 (Ladbrokes)
Azure Blue 3/1 (Bet365)
Little Big Bear 11/2 (Bet365)
Kinross 6/1 (Coral)
Khaadem 9/1 (BetFred)
Lezoo 16/1 (Coral)
Art Power 20/1 (BetFred)
Cold Case 25/1 (Bet365)
Meditate 25/1 (Coral)
Run To Freedom 25/1 (BetFred)
(Please note all odds are correct at time of article publishing)
Shaquille has won all four starts this season, and I believe he is one of the best 15/8 shots that you will see all year.
The way he won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in June was mightily impressive. Shaquille reared up in the stalls as the race was getting underway, costing him several lengths. He then pulled hard for most of the race, but the way he accelerated past the other horses in the final furlong showed what a classy horse he is. He won comfortably in the end.
As long as Julie Camacho has the horse right for the race – and he doesn’t blow the start again – I really think he could be a penalty kick.
He beat the odds on favourite, Little Big Bear that day, and they reoppose here. If Shaquille isn’t successful, perhaps it will be Little Big Bear who takes his revenge.
Azure Blue, who won races at Newmarket and York in May, is second favourite and cannot be discounted.
Of the outsiders, I fancy Run To Freedom could run into a place. He was another to blow the start at Royal Ascot, in the Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee Stakes, but still managed to finish only six lengths behind the winner that day, and if he starts well here, he could be a player.
The shock 80/1 winner of that race was, of course, Khaadem, who also runs here and is a good priced 10/1 shot to repeat that success.
Bahrain Trophy Stakes – 1.35, Thursday 13th July 2023
The festival opens with the Bahrain Trophy Stakes, a Class 1 Group 3 contest worth a healthy £113,420.00 to the winner.
Tower of London 9/4 (Bet365)
Saint George 5/2 (Coral)
Castle Way 7/2 (Ladbrokes)
There’s not a lot to split the first three in the market; it’s a real pick ’em type of race. I am leaning towards Tower of London in this one.
Charlie Appleby has had a poor time of it in the big races, and while I think his week will get better, I am going against his Castle Way here. Saint George is the favourite with a lot of bookies and has obvious chances, but I marginally prefer Tower of London to come out on top.
Adayar 4/7 (Bet365)
Israr 10/3 (Ladbrokes)
Global Storm 9/1 (Coral)
Grand Alliance 12/1 (Bet365)
The feature race on the Thursday is the Princess of Wales’s Stakes and the big favourite, where only four horses have declared, is Adayar. It’s almost impossible to oppose him. He couldn’t land a glove on Mostahdaf at Royal Ascot, but he got close to Luxembourg who finished second. The truth is, there is simply no opposition of that kind of class in this race. The only one you can see potentially making it difficult, is Israr, but I would expect Adayar to come out on top, with Israr chasing him home.
Via Sistina 2/1 (BetFred)
Remarquee 4/1 (Bet365)
Nashwa 4/1 (Ladbrokes)
Coppice 13/2 (Bet365)
The big race on the second day of the festival is the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes, where Via Sistina is a rightful favourite. However, Coppice won the 29 horse Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot in June, in seriously impressive style and the 13/2 about her is far too big to ignore.
I think she has an excellent chance to win the race, and at 13/2 you can back her each way to cover your back, if she only comes second or third.
Shaquille to win the July Cup at 15/8 with(Ladbrokes)
Tower of London to win the Bahrain Trophy Stakes at 9/4 with(Bet365)
Adayar to beat Israr in a straight forecast in the Princess of Wales’s Stakes
Coppice each way in the Falmouth Stakes at 13/2 with (Bet365)
Adayar and Shaquille in a double at around 3.4/1 (just short of 17/5) with Ladbrokes