Intelligence Test To Be Passed In July Stakes
Sticking with Coolmore and Godolphin is the intelligent move on the opening day of Newmarket’s July meeting and it begins with Intelligence Cross in the July Stakes.
Improvement to come
It is somewhat fitting that Intelligence Cross was bred by the Good Vibes Syndicate because good vibes are exactly what we got about the son of War Front at a Ballydoyle press morning prior to the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby. Days later, the horse subsequently opened his account at the Curragh and now steps up again for the July Stakes. I think we should expect even more improvement from that outing.
Another good renewal
Unfortunately we haven’t seen Shalaa this season but he won the race last year for John Gosden and Rab Havlin and that duo combine again with Royal Ascot winner Ardad, the 5/2 joint favourite and a colt that wasn’t hindered by soft conditions at Royal Ascot and won on quicker ground first time out. Mehmas, the other 5/2 shot for this, only found Caravaggio too good at Royal Ascot so there is plenty to like in the form book.
Intelligence Cross would have to improve on what we’ve seen so far but the ground at the Curragh last time wasn’t what it is going to be at Newmarket on Thursday and Intelligence Cross wants it quick. This hasn’t been a race farmed by O’Brien – Ivan Denisovich in 2005 his only previous winner –
but at 6/1 Intelligence Cross is a good prospect to bridge that gap.
Appleby ventures into the big time
It’s been a good couple of weeks for Charlie Appleby and he’ll be hoping that run can continue for the foreseeable future with some big engagements coming up. With William Buick now on his extended holiday, James McDonald will come in for the ride on Venturous on Thursday and it will hopefully prove a lucrative spare.
Course and distance winner
Venturous won his maiden here at Newmarket last August and followed it up by winning at Doncaster before being outclassed in Group One company on his final start of the season. Kept to handicap company so far this season, Venturous has failed to make an impression just yet but there is definitely a race in him off his mark of 97.
There has been gradual improvement with each run this season and while he’ll have to make a good step forward here, the form of his trainer is a big plus now also and…
at 14/1, he looks to be a good each way alternative
…to the top weight, and favourite, Taneen (5/1), who was quite impressive at Leicester last time.
Intelligence Cross (6/1) – 2.40 Newmarket
Venturous (14/1) – 3.45 Newmarket
*Prices correct at time of publication.