Our columnist has his best bets for the final day of the Newmarket July Festival with Cape Byron fancied to take the feature Darley July Cup.
CAPE BYRON, who absolutely hacked up in the Wokingham Handicap at Royal Ascot in an excellent time, can notch up a famous double by following up in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday.
This is a tremendous contest, featuring Cup veterans Limato and Brando as well as newer sprinting stars such as Advertise who carries an official rating of 119, which is the joint-highest in the line-up with Dream Of Dreams and actually 6lb ahead of Cape Byron.
But it was the manner in which Roger Varian’s star handled his first try at six furlongs in the Wokingham that suggests he could be up to this admittedly sharper test.
He travelled brilliantly, never looked in any trouble and, carrying 6lb more than Blue Point and Dream Of Dreams had done half an hour earlier, clocked only a marginally slower (0.3 of a second) time than the Diamond Jubilee.
Dream Of Dreams put up a career best when just failing to overhaul Blue Point there and seems to be better than ever, having also beaten Glorious Journey (on level terms) by a length at Windsor the time before.
Glorious Journey provides a direct form link to 2016 winner Limato who pipped him a neck in the Criterion Stakes over 7f last time when Henry Candy’s star was conceding 5lb.
Limato is an amazing horse, a personal favourite, who has held his form brilliantly over the years. He won this in 2016 and was second the following year and it would be great if he could get placed again.
Brando, placed in the past two runnings, is another popular performer who is as good as ever judged on his Hamilton win last time.
Two fillies, Fairyland and Pretty Pollyanna will be suited by the drop back in trip but need to pull out career best performances.
Advertise realised the promise of his top two-year-old campaign when landing the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot in first-time blinkers last time.
He is sure to be hard to beat under the red-hot Frankie Dettori but Cape Byron is trusted to get the job done, just.