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The July Cup is the standout race on third and final day of the July Festival at Newmarket.
A bumper field of 19 sprinters are set to go to post at 16:25 BST but who are Paddy’s pundits and tipsters backing to come out on top in the Group 1?
Timeform: “DRAGON SYMBOL, although demoted in the Commonwealth Cup, underlined his capabilities at this level, and there have been no signs of a chink in his armour yet, so he gets the marginal vote. Last season’s winner, Oxted, is another obvious danger, while both Starman and Rohaan have similar profiles to the selection in that they arrive firmly on the up, so they warrant a favourable mention, too.”
Mick Fitzgerald: “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.”
Jason Weaver: “OXTED did us a favour at the Royal meeting, and this looks as if it will be run at another breakneck gallop and that should suit his come from behind tactics perfectly. He’s drawn up in the high numbers and should get a little bit of cover early on. He can then be unleashed at the furlong marker.”
Matt Chapman: “A terrific renewal. STARMAN looked a star on seasonal debut at York when smashing up Nahaarr and Oxted. Tom Marquand takes over for Ed Walker and I don’t take it as too much of a bad sign Oisin Murphy has ditched the colt for Dragon Symbol as he has a connection to the latter having bought the horse.”
Ruby Walsh: “I’m split between CREATIVE FORCE and ROHAAN. Rohaan won the Wokingham off a rating of 112. He loves to come late and when he got there in Haydock he held off Dragon Symbol. As for Creative Force, I love the way he travelled in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot. That was seven furlongs and he’s coming back to six at Newmarket. It’s a very good race with a big field full of good sprinters.”
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- Matt Chapman’s 11 lively punts for ITV Racing for a bumper Saturday
- Jason Weaver’s sweet selection for Saturday’s ITV races
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