Due Diligence Imperative For July Cup
Punters who collected when Slade Power won the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot three weeks ago may be looking to play up their winnings when Edward Lynam’s star sprinter aims to follow-up in the Group 1 July Cup (3.50).
Group 1 Form
Saturday’s big sprint at Newmarket has again attracted a top-class field, which is headed in the betting by the aforementioned, Slade Power, who has been backed into 11/4 to go two places better than when beaten over 2l by Lethal Force in this race 12 months ago. There is every chance Lynam’s 5yo can bridge that gap this time around, as he is an improved performer who has now won three of his last four races, and won’t be inconvenienced by any rain.
Slade Power will have to be at his best, however, as those breathing down his neck at Ascot will be back for more, including Aidan O’Brien’s 3yo, Due Diligence (4/1), who was hampered close home in second, despite being drawn away from the main action on the near side – Aljamaaheer (7/1) was only a head back in third.
Considering that was only Due Diligence’s sixth career outing, he still has improvement to come
, while O’Brien has won this race three times, including with a couple of 3yo’s.
Roger Varian’s Aljamaaheer meanwhile, took well to first-time blinkers when third at Ascot and has now been placed three times in Group 1 events. If the rain stays away, then he could be one for each-way backers.
Similar comments apply to Edward Lynam’s other crack sprinter, Sole Power (8/1), who joined his stablemate Slade Power in taking a Group 1 Royal Ascot, courtesy of the King’s Stand Stakes (5f, good to firm). The concern is that each of his career wins came over 5f, and this 7yo seemed held fair and square when beaten almost 3l into fifth in this race 12 months ago.
Another who may prefer 5f is Kevin Ryan’s 3yo, Hot Streak (10/1), who won a Group 2 at Haydock in May (5f, soft), before finishing strongly to be beaten just over 1l behind Sole Power at Ascot. He gives the impression 6f would suit, but hasn’t found extra when tried over it the last three times.
With the Japanese and French winning this race since 2000, those arriving from foreign shores cannot be dismissed, especially when the money arrives, just as it has for the Spanish 3yo, Noozhoh Canarias (11/2). This colt made a big impression on his British debut in the 2,000 Guineas, showing blistering speed until being headed around the 7f mark, suggesting this trip could suit.
America are also represented via Wesley Ward’s 4yo, Undrafted (16/1), who has to be considered with his trainer having enjoyed such a successful Royal Ascot. This gelding has a lot to prove on his British debut, but arrives in form having won a Grade 3 when last seen at Belmont Park in June (6f, fast).
17 of the 18 winners made the top three of a Group race, although 10 had yet to land a Group 1. The exception that made his Group debut here, Sakhee’s Secret, won a Listed event previously.
17 were 3-5yo’s – older horses won just once from around 50 runners.
16 made the top six last time.
15 won over 6f.
14 came via the Royal meeting, including five of the six winning 3yo’s.
14 were drawn low to middle.
Aidan O’Brien trained three winners, with Hughie Morrison two wins.
It’s hard to go against Slade Power, but Due Diligence didn’t have things fall his way at Ascot and is capable of making the progress required to get in front this time.