Power looks the pick

  • By: Ian Brindle
  • Last Updated: July 11 2014, 15:50 BST

Ian Brindle's horse-by-horse guide to the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday

Slade Power and Due Diligence are due to reoppose on Saturday
Slade Power and Due Diligence are due to reoppose on Saturday

Aljamaaheer

A Group 2 winner over further but reinvented as a sprinter this term and has placed in the Abernant and the Diamond Jubilee.  Far from disgraced in the latter and retains the headgear he wore on that occasion.  Beaten on soft ground on his only previous experience (ironically behind Gregorian) though there is the obvious possibility that testing conditions would bring his stamina into play.

Gregorian

Worthy of his place in this lineup following victory over Garswood in the Criterion Stakes last month.  That was his third success in Group contests and while this is the first time that he has ever raced over six furlongs, his trainer has never been in the habit of making fanciful entries. 

Jack Dexter

Admirable handicapper on his day but has been found wanting when tried at the top table in the past. Soft ground could potentially be a big leveller and it may well prove that his odds are too big given he has posted seven career victories when the going has been soft or heavy.

Moviesta

Started his season in fine style with a decent fifth to Sole Power in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket but ran as if something were amiss at York later in the month. Has won previously on a softer surface though appears a risky betting proposition at present.                

Rex Imperator

Rated some way below these on official ratings and has yet to make the transition out of handicaps.  Won the Stewards’ Cup at Goodwood last term and while he tends to come to hand at this time of the year, it’s not hard to look elsewhere.

Slade Power

Showed his ability to perform on any surface with victory in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and will not be inconvenienced by a return to racing on soft.  Has won on three occasions when soft has obtained in the going description and appears to be developing into a sprinter of note.

Sole Power

Fifth in last year’s renewal but has been in imperious form this term with victories in the Palace House Stakes and King’s Stand Stakes. Considered a doubtful runner by connections on account of the prevailing going but has to be respected if connections allow him to take his chance.

Tropics

Already a Listed winner over C&D and was a credit to connections with five victories during his 2013 campaign. Handicaps look out for him nowadays and with little in the way of form on a softer surface, he is best watched at present.

Undrafted

Arrives at this engagement following a victory in the Jaipur Invitational at Belmont Park  and connections go to the trouble of booking Frankie Dettori for the mount. Has yet to face going of this description Stateside and the market will offer most clues as to what is anticipated.                 

Astaire

Highly progressive last season with victories in the Gimcrack and the Middle Park Stakes but well held in the Greenham behind Kingman. Produced a fair effort in the Duke Of York Stakes when similar going obtained.  Likely to set the fractions and connections will be hoping that his stamina holds out.

Cougar Mountain

Justified strong market confidence when getting off the mark at Naas on his debut. Was reportedly one of Coolmore’s best juveniles last term before a setback halted a progress and connections were not shy about nominating lofty targets for him before he even visited the racecourse.

Due Diligence

Won a six-furlong maiden when trained by Todd Pletcher and was strongly backed ahead of his tilt at the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.  Showed plenty of speed on that occasion and kept on willingly before meeting brief interference from the winner close home.  Reopposes at same terms but clearly very much open to progression.

Fountain Of Youth

Fourth in last season’s Windsor Castle Stakes though well held in this season’s Irish Guineas before a return to sprinting worked the oracle in the Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh.  Continues in cheekpieces but looks third choice of the Coolmore team on jockey bookings.     

Hot Streak

Second to Astaire in last year’s Middle Park Stakes and steps back up in trip having raced exclusively over five furlongs in the interim.  Quite literally sluiced up in the Temple Stakes at Haydock on soft going and heads here off the back of a fair third in the King’s Stand on ground that was probably lively enough.                         

Justice Day

Is in the middle of another typically busy campaign and confirmed his well-being with victory in a conditions event at Haydock last weekend.  A winner on a softer surface but will need a career best to take any sort of hand in this contest.

Noozooh Canarias

Spanish star who finished second in the Prix Jean-Luc Lagardere as a juvenile and proved he had trained on with victory in a Listed event at La Zarzuela.  Made a bold bid under forcing tactics in the 2,000 Guineas and reverts back to sprinting having been speedy enough to win over a four furlong trip in his native land.

Verdict

With Sole Power’s participation in doubt, it could present an obvious opportunity for Slade Power to come out of his shadow and he can confirm Royal Ascot form with Due Diligence and Aljamaaheer in the process. Noozooh Canarias is of more than just novelty value on his return to Britain having tanked along at a rate of knots in the 2,000 Guineas.  Hot Streak and Astaire are classy individuals and both are capable of taking a hand while at longer odds, Gregorian is a fascinating runner from the John Gosden team and it wouldn’t be a complete surprise to see those longer odds being taken.