U S Navy Flag storms to July Cup success

Ryan Moore and U S Navy Flag pose for a photograph
Ryan Moore and U S Navy Flag pose for a photograph

US Navy Flag bounced back to his very best form when dropped down to six furlongs for the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

A dual Group One winner as a two-year-old, US Navy Flag had taken in the English and Irish 2000 Guineas, finishing second in the latter, without gracing the winner's enclosure this season.

But reverted to sprinting, the Aidan O'Brien-trained colt showed his class on his first start against older horses.

Ryan Moore had US Navy Flag (8/1) in front from the start and the son of War Front kept up the gallop to land a convincing success, in the process giving the jockey his first July Cup win.

Brando, who delayed the start as he had to be re-plated, went one place better than 12 months ago ins second, with Fleet Review third for the O'Brien team.

O'Brien said: "He won a Middle Park very impressively last year, then we ran him in the Dewhurst and he was able to do that making the running, so we gave him the mile option this year.

"He had tough races in the Classics and had a very tough race in the Curragh. We thought it might leave his mark.

"He went to Ascot and Ryan said to come back in distance with him. We've seen what's happened. He's a very good horse, to be able to do it that as a three-year-old.

"The plan with him was to come here and if it went well we would give him a rest and train him for the Everest in Australia.

"In all fairness to the horse, he deserves a break. He's had a tough time."

Moore said: "He loves Newmarket and ran a mighty race in the Irish Guineas. He's just a very fast horse and loves a fight - he found plenty when the second came to him.

"I was never worried about the trip, he just needs to have fast ground."

Kevin Ryan was proud of Brando's effort in defeat.

He said: "We knew we had him in great shape and we avoided Ascot, not that we didn't want to go, we just felt he was so good at Newmarket we trained him for this race and it nearly came off.

"It is a little bit gut wrenching it hasn't, but I'm proud of him.

"He will go to the Maurice de Gheest now."

Fourth home was the David Elsworth-trained Sir Dancealot.

Elsworth said: "He ran well. He is in the same street as them, he just came up a bit short today. He needs a good gallop. It was a bit tough, the opposition, but he ran well.

"There is the race at Goodwood, the Lennox, but he is not bad over six and you can play around. You have a flirtation with these sort of races, but you can always drop him down a cog and win with him.

"Maybe he is just short of the best, but he is not bad."

U S Navy Flag (right) wins the July Cup
U S Navy Flag (right) wins the July Cup

Blue Point was sent off the 5/2 favourite, but could never get in a blow and had to settle for seventh.

His trainer Charlie Appleby said: "William (Buick) said he just over-raced a bit for the first two furlongs.

"He feels like he is a five-furlong horse, although he said at the five pole he would not be winning and the winner had got us all beat at halfway.

"The other thing he added is he is a horse that just seems to turn up at Ascot. I don't disagree with him, as he does put up his best performances there.

"I will drop him back to five again and we will go for the Flying Five (at the Curragh), then look at finishing the season off at Ascot in the Champions Sprint."

Related links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Racing

Jockey Oisin Murphy
1

Murphy fails Sunday breath test

Jockeys' title race leader Oisin Murphy was stood down from riding at Salisbury on Sunday after failing a breath test.

Le Brivido wins the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot
2

Tuesday's Royal Ascot runners

The big guns have been declared for the St James's Palace Stakes and King's Stand Stakes, while Aidan O'Brien relies on Le Brivido in the Queen Anne.

Check out the latest race-by-race selections
3

Monday's racing preview

John Quinn's smart start to the season can continue at Catterick on Monday, according to Nick Robson.

Check out our latest racing Nap4

Daily Nap: King Kozier?

Matt Brocklebank is hoping to get the week off to a winning start on Monday and he heads to Nottingham for the Sporting Life Daily Nap.

We celebrate the best bets that have come in over weekend5

Weekend Winners: Bacon jokes

Value Bet tipster Ben Linfoot warmed up for Royal Ascot with a juicy 10/1 winner on Saturday while there were big wins at the weekend for a couple of Sky Bet customers.

Most Read Racing

Jockey Oisin Murphy
1

Murphy fails Sunday breath test

Jockeys' title race leader Oisin Murphy was stood down from riding at Salisbury on Sunday after failing a breath test.

Le Brivido wins the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot
2

Tuesday's Royal Ascot runners

The big guns have been declared for the St James's Palace Stakes and King's Stand Stakes, while Aidan O'Brien relies on Le Brivido in the Queen Anne.

Check out the latest race-by-race selections
3

Monday's racing preview

John Quinn's smart start to the season can continue at Catterick on Monday, according to Nick Robson.

Check out our latest racing Nap4

Daily Nap: King Kozier?

Matt Brocklebank is hoping to get the week off to a winning start on Monday and he heads to Nottingham for the Sporting Life Daily Nap.

We celebrate the best bets that have come in over weekend5

Weekend Winners: Bacon jokes

Value Bet tipster Ben Linfoot warmed up for Royal Ascot with a juicy 10/1 winner on Saturday while there were big wins at the weekend for a couple of Sky Bet customers.

Next Race Off

01:39 Santa Anita
8
(8)
Boru
J: Edwin Maldonado
7
(7)
Forecheck
J: Rafael Bejarano
10
(10)
Zorich
J: Drayden Dyke Van
9
(9)
Tequila Blanco
J: Abel Cedillo
1
(1)
Ohtani
J: Tiago Pereira
2
(2)
Mongolian Hero
J: Mario Gutierrez
6
(6)
Seven Oxen
J: Eswan Flores
4
(4)
King Charlie
J: Jorge Velez
3
(3)
Indy Jones
J: Brice Blanc
11
(11)
Fort Dodge
J: Evin Roman
5
(5)
Fortnite Dance
J: Heriberto Figueroa

Racing Tips

Check out our latest racing Nap

Daily Nap: King Kozier?

Matt Brocklebank is hoping to get the week off to a winning start on Monday and he heads to Nottingham for the Sporting Life Daily Nap.

Check out the latest race-by-race selections

Monday's racing preview

John Quinn's smart start to the season can continue at Catterick on Monday, according to Nick Robson.

A view of Uttoxeter racecourse

Our best bets

Check out Sporting Life's best bets across racing, football and more.