Newmarket July Meeting and York too

There’s a feast in store for racing fans on Thursday. Three Group 2s, two Groups 3s and a pair of Listed contests, all on ITV4. It’s the Newmarket July Meeting, but not as we know it, plus York’s first one of the year.

There’s a feast in store for racing fans on Thursday. Three Group 2s, two Groups 3s and a pair of Listed contests, all on ITV4. It’s the Newmarket July Meeting, but not as we know it, plus York’s first one of the year.

York’s Musidora and Dante Stakes would normally have taken place in May as Oaks and Derby trials. But this is no normal year.

Musidora Stakes (2.40) 1m 2½f. John Gosden has won five of the last nine runnings of this race. With Franconia a non-runner, he now relies on Ricetta. She’s unbeaten in two starts, both at Newmarket. Rose Of Kildare makes a quick return, having finished third at Epsom on Saturday. UAE 1000 Guineas winner Dubai Love finished third off top weight in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot. Roger Charlton’s Pocket Square won a Group 3 on heavy ground at Deauville in October. She won’t mind the rain and gets the vote.

Dante Stakes (3.15) 1m 2½f. Sir Michael Stoute’s Highest Ground looked smart when winning over this trip at Haydock last time. He’s won both his starts and can make it three from three here. Aidan O’Brien’s Cormorant beat Russian Emperor when winning the Derrinstown Derby Trial last month and looks the main danger.   

NEWMARKET JULY MEETING – FIRST DAY

Sir Henry Cecil Stakes (1.50) 1m. Lord Campari is the likely favourite. He looked good when winning over this trip at Newbury on June 13. The second and third both won next time out. Charlie Hills’ Tilsit bolted up by 19 lengths at Newcastle and looks capable of making this step up in grade. Ropey Guest has yet to win but has been in the frame in six Group races. He’ll be knocking at the door again here.

Bahrain Trophy (2.25) 1m 5f. Dawn Rising and Al Aasy both broke their maidens by double-figure margins last time. Neither race looked strong, although the second in Dawn Rising’s race won next time out. Queen’s Vase third Al Dabaran sets the standard and can win this.

July Stakes (3.00), 6f. This is the world’s oldest two-year-old race, first run in 1786 at the Newmarket July Meeting. Royal Ascot form is on show here. Qaader had both Lauded and Chorizo behind him when second in the Coventry Stakes. The Queen’s Tactical beat Yazaman when landing a gamble in the Windsor Castle Stakes. Aidan O’Brien’s Swiss Ace won a Tipperary maiden but the runner-up was well beaten next time out. Qaader look the one to be on.

Princess of Wales’s Stakes (4.10) 1m 4f. This has long been the first day feature of the Newmarket July Meeting. John Gosden’s Enbihaar won three Group 2s at between 1m 4f and 1m 6f last year before finishing third in the Prix de Royallieu on Arc weekend. However, Hardwicke Stakes second Alounak gets the vote to go one better here. 

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