Our tipster looks ahead to the action
Our tipster looks ahead to the action

Ben Linfoot free horse racing tips for day one of July Festival at Newmarket

Our form expert has two selections for the opening day of Newmarket's July Festival including in the big-field sprint handicap.

The Verdict: Thursday, July 11

1pt win Aomori City in 2.25 Newmarket at 15/2 (General)

1pt e.w. Moswaat in 3.00 Newmarket at 16/1 (bet365 1/5 1,2,3,4,5)

Sky Bet odds | Paddy Power | Betfair Sportsbook

Varian can strike with Moswaat on day one

We ease into a bumper week with ITV showing four races on the first day of the July Festival from Newmarket and it could pay to tread carefully after 29mm of rain fell on the July Course in 90 minutes on Tuesday.

The ground is soft (good to soft in places) at the time of writing and with few showers forecast for the rest of the week it’s going to be drying out on Thursday, but handling a bit of cut could be the order of the day and any fast ground specialists might be scuppered.

In the two Group races for the older horses Ancient Wisdom and Hamish look the likely favourites in the Bahrain Trophy and Princess Of Wales’s Stakes, respectively, and with the ground turning in their favour I don’t really want to take them on given they have standout chances at the weights.

The other two TV races look the ones to focus on and the best betting race is clearly the Bet Boost At bet365 Handicap over six furlongs with 15 three-year-olds lining up in a competitive race.

As usual the market has cornered the obvious form horses with Sergeant Wilko appealing the most out of those in the top half of the betting, his Leicester win perhaps a tad underestimated given the beaten horses have performed well subsequently.

He won’t mind the ground, but with the conditions in mind it’s Roger Varian’s MOSWAAT who looks the way to go at 16/1 and he’s worth an each-way bet.

The Kodiac colt did well at two, winning at Yarmouth on soft ground second time up in a novice that worked out well before he improved on that form when third in the Listed Doncaster Stakes on heavy ground on Town Moor.

He led until the final furlong that day and wasn’t beaten far by two horses now rated 102, so there could be some mileage in his new mark of 86 after being beaten in three handicaps so far this season.

Sent off at 6/1 in a good race at Newmarket’s Guineas meeting, he ran like he needed it and better was clearly expected of him given both his SP and the fact he was entered in the Commonwealth Cup.

He ran better at Windsor after that, not beaten far off 91, while his run in the Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap at Royal Ascot can be upgraded given he travelled well in the unfavoured far-side group, while he wasn’t given a hard time with his chance gone.

All of his runs this season have come on good or faster ground, but he might just appreciate a bit of cut judging by his two-year-old form and with his mark eased he becomes of interest at the prices.

Varian has a good record in July Course handicap sprints, winning such races with the likes of Swiss Star, Flavius Titus, Imperial Yellow, Musicality and Ekhtiyaar, the latter winning this race in 2017.

The Verdict: Back MOSWAAT in the 3.00 Newmarket


Appleby to get off to flying start

It was a quiet June for Charlie Appleby but he always turns up with winners at the July Festival and, as mentioned, his Ancient Wisdom could be tough to beat in the meeting’s opener.

However, it’s his representative in the second race that interests me, AOMORI CITY, who looks the type to improve significantly in the Group 2 Kingdom of Bahrain July Stakes.

The son of Oasis Dream is clearly highly thought of having been sent off at 4/6 on debut at Nottingham on June 13 and he duly obliged at those odds, in a cosy manner, doing just enough to see off Ed Bethell’s Intrusively with 12 lengths back to the third.

It was a professional display with the promise of plenty more to come, James Doyle barely showing him the whip, and he must be showing zip at home subsequently given he was one of Appleby’s two Gimcrack entries this week.

The Royal Ascot horses - Whistlejacket, Electrolyte and Ain’t Nobody - dominate the betting, but none of the trio set an exacting standard and two of the last three winners of this race missed the Royal meeting before winning here against the odds.

It was good ground at Nottingham, so his ability to handle conditions is a guess-up, but judging by his pedigree he should be fine on that score and he’s worth the risk against these rivals at 15/2.

The Verdict: Back AOMORI CITY in the 2.25 Newmarket

Preview posted at 1555 BST on 10/07/24

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