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CROWNTHORPE has been running well without getting his head in front recently, but is a course and distance winner in 2019 on slow ground from a 4lbs higher mark in a competitive handicap. He ran a very good race at Newcastle on the Tapeta surface last time to finish second to Hartswood.
He has to be a very good value each-way play in this competitive race that opens the action on the Knavesmire. William Haggas’ Ajyaall is the danger as he is a lightly-raced contender for this smart outfit.
This has to be a golden opportunity for this son of Sea the Stars to get back on the winning trail. HUKUM wears a tongue tie for the first time and Shadwell Estate’s retained jockey Jim Crowley travels up north to ride him.
He ran a very good race in the Hardwick Stakes at Royal Ascot behind two very smart performers. Fujaira Prince is interesting, and the Roger Varian team are in good form. His lack of a recent run just sways me to Hukum.
ROYAL FLEET is beautifully bred as his dam won a Group 3 and his brother won a Group 3 at Deauville beating Group 1 winner Glen Shiel in the process. He has been brought along slowly and won at Yarmouth on fast ground hasn’t got many miles on the clock.
DHABAB was not helped by the draw when sixth in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot and is definitely worth another chance over this extra furlong in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes. He won nicely at Leicester on debut and this expensive ‘Breeze Up’ sale purchase gets the services of Frankie Dettori for the first time too. Michael Bell’s Great Max Is dangerous after a very good run when third to the Aidan O’Brien-trained Port Lonsdale at the Royal meeting.
Dragon Symbol was unlucky at Royal Ascot when beating Campanelle and losing the race in the stewards room. He is versatile regarding ground conditions, so won’t mind if it rains. Rohann won the Wokingham Handicap at the Royal meeting in good style as he was not qualified to run in the Group One Commonwealth Cup because he is a gelding. The beauty of the July Cup is that geldings are allowed to run and it would be a fantastic story if he won it.
However, I’m siding with STARMAN, who missed his intended engagement at Royal Ascot due to the soft ground. He beat Kings Lynn on fast ground last season at Doncaster, is lightly-raced and connections have high hopes for him. He gets the nod over last year’s winner Oxted, who seemed happy to be reunited with Cieran Fallon last time when winning the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting.
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