Held on the final day of Newmarket’s three-day July Festival, the July Cup is one of the sprinting highlights of the British flat season.
This year’s renewal is no letdown in the calibre of field assembled, with 18 of the speediest homegrown runners set to line up.
Picking the winner from the fairly large field is not the easiest task, but the King of Stats is on hand to highlight which runners have the most in common with the majority of the former winners of this Group 1 showpiece.
Here is the conclusion he has come to:
There has only been one winner since 1968 aged six or older
Ageing sprinters clearly don’t have a great July Cup record and this doesn’t do much to promote the chances of five-time Group 1-winning nine-year-old Sole Power.
Six-year-old Mongolian Saturday is also scratched off the shortlist.
12 of the last 14 victors had already won previously over 6f
Distance-winning form is clearly important, with Sole Power one of five entrants to have never previously secured success over the July Cup trip.
The other four that it seems sensible to discount are Cotai Glory, Profitable, Waady and Arod, who is having his first start over 6f at Newmarket.
11 of the last 14 winners had run between 1-3 times previously in the same season
This rules out another trio of potential winners on the basis they have been over-run in the earlier part of the season. Jungle Cat and Washington DC have already raced five times in 2016 and Goken has been seen on four occasions.
12 of the last 14 winners were last seen running at Royal Ascot
The King’s Stand Stakes or Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the Royal meeting are logical warm-ups for the July Cup and nine of the last 14 victors contested either of these races last time out.
However, Don’t Touch beat Danzeno at Salisbury on their last starts, Eastern Impact ran at York, Limato was a beaten favourite in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury and Air Force Blue raced in Ireland.
All of the last eight winners on fast ground have been drawn in stall seven or lower
The current description of the Newmarket ground is good-to-firm and with minimal rain forecast in the next 24 hours, it is fair to assume this won’t change.
This is bad news for Suedois in stall nine of 18 and Magical Memory alongside him in stall 10.
This leaves two possible July Cup winners – Twilight Son from stall two and Quiet Reflection, who will break from stall nine.
Both were victorious in Group 1 contests at Royal Ascot on their most recent start, with the former successful in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes and the latter taking the Commonwealth Cup.
The issues for Twilight Son here is that he arguably prefers a bit of cut in the ground and he doesn’t have Ryan Moore in the saddle this time. Martin Harley takes the ride instead.
On the flip side, this quicker ground should suit Quiet Reflection more than the tackier ground she experienced at Ascot and females have a good record in this of late. The fairer sex have won two of the last seven renewals in which they have been represented, despite accounting for fewer than eight per cent of the runners.
Therefore, the three-year-old filly gets the nod and has the added bonus of receiving weight from the entire field.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.