July Cup: Swerve fancied pair for in-form outsider at Newmarket


Four of the five British Classics may be far behind us as we hit mid-summer, but with more than half of 2015’s Group 1 races still to run, there’s plenty of top-class equine action to come before the Flat rolls itself up for the year.  

Newmarket hosts the Group 1 July Cup this weekend, with Charlie Hills’ Muhaarar and Chris Waller’s Australian raider Beau Brazen currently heading the market as 9/4 co-favourites, and after the pair’s recent turns at Royal Ascot, it’s not hard to figure out why.

Muhaarar won the Group 1 Commonwealth Cup in Berkshire, over the same 6f distance and good-to-firm ground the three-year-old is likely to encounter in Suffolk, while Beau Brazen found Wesley Ward’s Undrafted a bit too useful when going down by half a length in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

The fancied pair are due the upmost respect at Newmarket, but they don’t half take a chunk out of the market; William Haggas’ Muthmir is next best in the betting all the way back at 10/1.

At a meaty price, Jim Goldie’s 33/1 outsider Jack Dexter could be the one to put the cat amongst the pigeons, after the six-year-old’s solid-but-unspectacular 2015 so far.

The son of Orientor hasn’t managed to add to the eight wins he picked up between April 2012 and November 2013, yet has only finished outside the first four once in his past seven races, all of which contained fields of 10 runners or more.

That top-four failure came last time out at Royal Ascot, when Jack Dexter finished better than any on good-to-firm ground in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes over 5f, and would surely have reeled in third-placed Muthmir with a few more yards in the race.

Only three July Cup winners have been as young as the two market leaders over the past decade, so having a few quid each way on a big-price saver is vital. Jack Dexter could be that horse.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Iain Houten

Iain has been contributing pieces to various websites on an array of subjects, including sports, politics and art, for over four years. Despite blue being his favourite colour, the teams he supports all wear red.