Caravaggio and The Tin Man among 15 in July Cup at Newmarket

Last Updated July 10 2017, 16:41Racing
The Tin Man beats Tasleet at Ascot
The Tin Man beats Tasleet at Ascot

Caravaggio features among six Aidan O'Brien-trained runners in Saturday's Darley July Cup where he could face Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner The Tin Man.

O'Brien has won the Moet & Chandon July Festival feature on three occasions in the past, Stravinsky and Mozart both landing the race as three-year-olds, and Caravaggio has captured the imagination in the same way after storming to victory in last month's Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

He powered home to beat Harry Angel there and the pair could meet again, with Clive Cox's representative the sole possible contender for Godolphin.

The pick of the older horses set to do battle over six furlongs on Saturday is James Fanshawe's The Tin Man, who roared back to his best under regular jockey Tom Queally with victory over Tasleet in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

They will lock horns once more and also face Diamond Jubilee third Limato, so impressive on his way to victory in last year's July Cup.

Fanshawe said of his Royal Ascot winner: "The Tin Man is very well in himself. He did a piece of work on Saturday and, although he has never been a flashy work horse, he seems to have been nice and bright since then.

"I would imagine that the ground will be riding ‘good to firm’ come Saturday and, although most of his family like some cut in the ground, he’s run very well on firm.

"It’s by accident that he’s never run at Newmarket before, it’s just the way that things have turned out, but he handles the Limekilns gallop here in Newmarket and (like the July Course) that has a dip in it.

"The Darley July Cup is a great race and it’s great to have the QIPCO British Champions Series, which it’s part of. It will be interesting to see the three-year-olds taking on the older horses for the first time – I really enjoyed watching that happen in the Eclipse last Saturday and hope that we will have the same result [with an older horse winning] in the July Cup.

"The Moët and Chandon July Festival is a very important week, especially for Newmarket trainers as it’s on home ground, lots of our clients are here and quite a bit of business gets done during the week."

Queally, who won the race in 2009 aboard the Jeremy Noseda-trained Fleeting Spirit, added: "It has the potential, given all the factors and the horses going into the race in the form they are in, to be a vintage renewal and one that could go down as an all-time great July Cup.

"We are happy with our guy and his preparation has been very good. You have to respect all the runners as that's the nature of the game.

"We are looking forward to the race. It adds a different aspect and dynamic to the race and it turns it into a sort of a conundrum whether the three-year-olds are up to it.

"I've only sat him once since Ascot, but he felt in good shape and seems to have come out of the race well and is arguably in the same sort of form he was before Ascot.

"My concern before the race was that although we appeared to have a good draw on the favoured side of the track, we weren't in close proximity to our main dangers and the horses that were likely to go forward.

"I had no concerns with the ability of my horse, or the shape he was in. I was happy going into the race and thankfully it panned out quite well and he won with a little in hand."

He added: "I was impressed with Caravaggio and you would have to be as they pulled an awfully long way clear of the rest of the field and he is clearly well thought of by Aidan and the guys at Ballydoyle. Then there is Limato. You can't - and shouldn't - disparage his course form as he won the race last year.

"Everyone will form an opinion and my opinion is that I couldn't be happier with my horse going into the race and James echoes those sentiments as well. It's a race we are looking forward to."

Adding weight to the O'Brien team are Washington DC, Intelligence Cross and Peace Envoy, while Kevin Ryan runs Brando, David O'Meara saddles Intisaab and Richard Fahey is double-handed with Growl and Mr Lupton.

The biggest absentee at the five-day entry stage was Magical Memory, who instead heads for the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury later this month.

Sky Bet already offer an industry-leading 'non-runner, no bet' on Saturday's big race and make Caravaggio their 11/10 market leader, followed by 2016 hero Limato (9/2) and The Tin Man (5/1).

Place your bets on the July Cup right here.

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