Connections of Eqtidaar pleased with July Cup preparation

Racing
Eqtidaar battles to victory in the Commonwealth Cup
Eqtidaar battles to victory in the Commonwealth Cup

Connections of Commonwealth Cup winner Eqtidaar are pleased with the shape he is in ahead of the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday.

The Sir Michael Stoute-trained son of Invincible Spirit continued his build up towards an outing in the Group One contest when taking part in a solo five-furlong canter on the July Course under former jockey Ted Durcan on Tuesday morning.

James Horton, assistant trainer, said: "He is in good shape and he has come here for an eye-opener on a track he has never seen before. We have kept him in his regular routine and just let him have a feel of the track. You can't be anything but pleased with what he did.

"He has done well and his weight is very good. You could almost say he has thrived since Ascot. He is fresh and well and is moving great. He has every reason to be here on Saturday. He has rarely run a bad race. He won first time up then when he went to Kempton, he came back with a dirty scope.

Jim Crowley celebrates on Eqtidaar
Jim Crowley celebrates on Eqtidaar

"He ran well first time out on ground that was a bit soft at Ascot, but that form has been well franked. He was drawn on the wrong side at Newbury and was 10 lengths off the leaders two furlongs out. He has won his Group One against the three-year-olds and he is now taking on the older sprinters. He has nothing to lose and everything to gain."

Classic-winning rider Durcan feels the Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum-owned colt will have no problems handling the track under race conditions as he bids to give Stoute his first win in the race since 1987.

Durcan added: "It was only a leg stretch, but he is in super order and is fresh and well. Everyone is happy with him. He has always been a very sensible horse. He has got a superb mind on him and he absolutely handled the track."

Eqtidaar is 5/1 with Sky Bet for Saturday's feature.

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Racing Tips

Check out Ben Linfoot's best bets for Saturday's action

Value Bet: A 'Dab hand

Ben Linfoot seeks out the value in the William Hill Ayr Gold Cup and he's taking two against the field, while he has two other bets on the undercard.

Check out Simon Holt's latest horse racing selections

Simon Holt: Get with it

Simon Holt feels Get Knotted will revel in the testing conditions on Saturday - he has three tips for Willam Hill Ayr Gold Cup day.

Check out Oli Bell's multiple for Saturday's horse racing

Oli Bell: Saturday Yankee

Oli Bell's strongest Saturday fancies all run at Ayr and include Tommy Taylor in the the big betting race of the day.