It’s the July Festival this week and it feels so good to be at home! It’s a mini-break for us and it’s nice to have three days here having been up and down the country like a yo-yo recently.
I’m ready for another big weekend and I’m looking forward to getting the leg up on some fantastic horses.
The July Cup is the feature race of the meeting and it’s one I’ll be going all out to win having never tasted victory in it before.
But before that I’ve got some good chances on the opening day.
Mehmas has rock solid claims in the July Stakes having finished second in the Coventry at Royal Ascot. On paper it looks like a two-horse race between my horse and John Gosden’s Ardad.
They’re the two standout contenders. In Mehmas I’ll be riding a ready-made two-year-old, he did nothing wrong in the Coventry and I expect him to run another big race.
Six furlongs is his ideal trip and he’ll be bang in there although Ardad’s Windsor Castle form looks strong and he’ll be the one to beat.
Second Step looks solid in the Princess of Wales’s but to me The Grey Gatsby is the one to fear. He’s a very good horse and this is a level down compared to what he’s been used to facing in the past.
He might be a little bit older but in my opinion he’s the best horse in the race.
Later on, I’ll be onboard another Wesley Ward juvenile in Oh So Terrible. Every time Wesley turns up you’ve got to respect him and you just know his two-year-olds will have been very well taught, be ready to travel and ready to go. This will be another exciting test.
Asidious Alexander is my runner in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes and she gave me a good feeling when winning on debut. She won really well and although I don’t think she beat much that day she’s in with a chance on this step up.
The fillies in this race are much of a muchness and we’re going to give it a good go.
Hyperfocus is owned by a few friends of mine so there’s that added dimension to this year’s Superlative Stakes.
Churchill and Cunco set the benchmark in this contest following their performances in the Chesham and they both look strong.
But I wouldn’t rule anything out in terms of my chances.
And so we come to the July Cup. This is a proper renewal! It’s going to be tough but it’s a wide-open contest.
Any one of six horses can win it and I’m hoping it’ll be Magical Memory!
As I said, I’ve never won the July Cup so I’ll be trying extra hard to take the spoils. It’ll be close again between Magical Memory and Twilight Son but the good ground is a positive and I’m hopeful of a reversal.
And finally, I’m going to take my chances with Golden Steps in the Bunbury Cup.
It’s fair to say he’s got a mind of his own! You never know which Golden Steps will turn up but if it’s the one I know and love then he’ll do well, especially stepped up to seven furlongs.
He never runs two races the same and his form is up and down like the stock market but fingers crossed I’ll get a tune out of him on Saturday.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.