Despite the rainfall today the Newmarket going remains good-to-firm and that could have a huge affect on the TNT July Stakes.
It’s one of the races of the July meeting with Royal Ascot banker Frederick Engels taking on Coventry Stakes runner-up Roman Soldier, and the two cannot be split in the betting with both available at 2/1.
The question on everyone’s minds is whether or not Frederick Engels is good enough to master Roman Soldier, and on the basis of the trends, there’s very little separating the two.
David Brown, trainer of Frederick Engels, believes his horse will improve for the switch to 6f but knows his market rival is the main danger, and with Coventry Stakes runners faring marginally better than Windsor Castle winners, the trends would suggest backing Roman Soldier.
Punters should not be looking outside of the first four in the betting for the winner as nine of the last 10 winners all came from the top of the market, leaving the two joint favourites, Church Music and Bannock as the four to concentrate on.
Church Music (11/2) is making just his second start following a strong performance at York in which he justified the gamble, and considering the last two runners of this race had won their sole start in maiden company, he has to be respected.
But the pick of the horses looks to be Bannock at a big each-way price considering he matches all of the trends in the race bar winning over the 6f distance.
Trainer Mark Johnston believes the six furlongs won’t be a problem and Johnston himself eluded to the point that maybe Bannock should have run in the Coventry at Royal Ascot.
Bannock instead ran in the Norfolk Stakes and finished sixth, but at the same time reversed the form of the Piper Hiedsieck Champagne National Stakes in which he finished second behind Pyman’s Theory, and the two-year-old certainly has the ability to upset today’s horse racing odds.
The in-form Silvestre de Sousa who has five winners from 16 runs over the last two days is on board and the late rain will suit the 8/1 chance.