July Cup tips and runner-by-runner guide to Newmarket 4.25 on Saturday

14 are set to run in one of the world's biggest sprint races.

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It looks set to be a red-hot renewal of the July Cup with Commonwealth Cup winner Perfect Power set to face Platinum Jubilee Stakes scorer Naval Crown on Saturday.

The second-placed horses in both Royal Ascot renewals – Flaming Rib and Creative Force – are also declared among the 14 runners for the prestigious Newmarket 4.25, which is widely considered one of the best sprint races in the world.

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There is an international flavour to the Group 1 contest with Australian speedball Artorius and Japanese hopeful King Hermes also set to take their chance.

You’ll find our handy runner-by-runner guide to the field plus July Cup betting tips from Paddy Power experts below.

July Cup runners

Artorius

Trainer: Anthony & Sam Freedman Jockey: Jamie Spencer Age: 4 Weight: 9st 8lbs Draw: 12

Smart performer in Australia, successful in Group 1 3-y-o sprint in February 2021. Plenty of good runs since, and rattled home to finish a narrow third in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot 3 weeks ago. This track is unlikely to suit his style.

Blackrod

Trainer: Michael Dods Jockey: Connor Beasley Age: 4 Weight: 9st 8lbs Draw: 4

Progressive handicapper who returned with taking win in 19-runner event on the Rowley course in April but disappointed in the Wokingham since. Up against it in this company.

Creative Force

Trainer: Charlie Appleby Jockey: William Buick Age: 4 Weight: 9st 8lbs Draw: 9

Very smart operator who won the Champion Sprint Stakes at Ascot last year and almost added another Group 1 when narrowly denied by stablemate Naval Crown in the Platinum Jubilee at Royal Ascot 3 weeks ago.

Emaraaty Ana

Trainer: Kevin Ryan Jockey: Tom Eaves Age: 6 Weight: 9st 8lbs Draw: 11

Won the Haydock Sprint Cup in September but has failed to fire this year. Set for another struggle.

Naval Crown

Trainer: Charlie Appleby Jockey: James Doyle Age: 4 Weight: 9st 8lbs Draw: 13

Very smart colt. Career best when winning 24-runner Platinum Jubilee Stakes (33/1) at Royal Ascot (6f, good to firm) 21 days ago by neck from Creative Force. Has good chance on form.

Alcohol Free

Trainer: Andrew Balding Jockey: Rob Hornby Age: 4 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 14

Very smart filly who won three races at the top level last year but doesn’t look quite the same filly this time round, comfortably held by Naval Crown in the Platinum Jubilee last time.

Double Or Bubble

Trainer: Chris Wall Jockey: Jack Mitchell Age: 5 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 5

Likeable mare who goes well here (albeit on the Rowley course) but found the Platinum Jubilee a bit too hot at Royal Ascot. Likely to be outclassed again.

Happy Romance

Trainer: Richard Hannon Jockey: Sean Levey Age: 4 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 1

Smart filly who produced yet another likeable display when only 1½ lengths seventh in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Would need everything to drop perfectly to land this, though.

Romantic Proposal

Trainer: Edward Lynam Jockey: C. D. Hayes Age: 6 Weight: 9st 5lbs Draw: 7

Smart mare who cruised through the race when making a winning return in a listed event at Naas 75 days ago. This demands more, but her strong-travelling style should aid her cause.

Cadamosto

Trainer: Aidan O’Brien Jockey: Seamie Heffernan Age: 3 Weight: 9st 2lbs Draw: 10

Lightly-raced colt who took a marked step forward in first-time blinkers when an excellent fourth behind Perfect Power in the Commonwealth Cup last time. Has a bit to find even if the headgear works again.

Flaming Rib

Trainer: Hugo Palmer Jockey: Ben Curtis Age: 3 Weight: 9st 2lbs Draw: 2

Smart colt. Latest win at Chester in May. Creditable 1¼ lengths second of 20 to Perfect Power in Commonwealth Cup (14/1) at Royal Ascot (6f, good to firm) 22 days ago. Not discounted.

King Hermes

Trainer: Yoshito Yahagi Jockey: Ryusei Sakai Age: 3 Weight: 9st 2lbs Draw: 6

Smart colt. 2½ lengths sixth of 18 to Danon Scorpion in NHK Mile Cup at Tokyo (8f, good to firm, 174/10) 62 days ago. Something of an unknown quantity, but he’s probably not up to this level.

Perfect Power

Trainer: Richard Fahey Jockey: Christophe Soumillon Age: 3 Weight: 9st 2lbs Draw: 8

Classy performer who has been getting better throughout his short career and gained a deserved breakthrough at the top level when taking the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. Takes on his elders now, but he’s the one to beat.

Twilight Jet

Trainer: M. D. O’Callaghan Jockey: L. F. Roche Age: 3 Weight: 9st 2lbs Draw: 3

Smart colt who landed Group 3 Cornwallis on Rowley course (5f) in October in what was a busy 2-y-o season. Decisive winner in Group 3 company at Naas on return but failed to beat a rival in the Commonwealth Cp last time.

July Cup tips

Matt Chapman: CREATIVE FORCE never quite had the pace to get involved in last year’s July Cup, finishing a staying on fifth behind Starman and Dragon Symbol. It will be hard to kick him out the frame at the very least this time around for Charlie Appleby and William Buick. Since that defeat Creative Force has scored in the Qipco British Champions Sprint and a fine second last time to re-opposing Naval Crown in the Platinum Jubilee with Artorius back in third. Has strong claims.

Rory Delargy: This looks sub-standard even by recent standards, and the principals from the Platinum Jubilee are the ones to concentrate on. ARTORIUS got his eye in at Ascot, where he was given too much to do, and I think he can reverse the form with the pair who beat him with slightly modified tactics.

Timeform: PERFECT POWER was impressive in the Commonwealth Cup last time and, while this is an even more competitive Group 1 against his elders, he makes the most appeal with the potential for even better. Stablemates Naval Crown and Creative Force, who were split by a neck when filling the first two places in the Platinum Jubilee Stakes, are likely to be on the premises again and Artorius could get involved if they go too quick.

Ruby Walsh: Perfect Power was brilliant in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot but I’ll go with ROMANTIC PROPOSAL for Eddie Lynam. He had a great run at Naas in April, beating Geocentric and Mooneista. Romantic Proposal also has form over 6f after winning at the Curragh last June.

Jason Weaver: Remarkably, NAVAL CROWN was only having his second try at the 6f distance when winning in Group One Jubilee Stakes at the Royal meeting. He was one of nine runners who stayed towards the stand rail and the closest on his side was back in 14th at the finishing line! The older brigade may prove too strong this year.

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