Ten Sovereigns could provide O’Brien with fifth July Cup victory

Speak In Colours another Irish contender at Newmarket while Wisdom Mind goes to Pontefract

Aidan O’Brien has four runners in the July Cup at Newmarket. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Aidan O’Brien has four runners in the July Cup at Newmarket. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

A record-equalling fifth Darley July Cup is in Aidan O’Brien’s sights and Ten Sovereigns is set to lead his challenge on Saturday’s highlight at Newmarket.

Two decades after Stravinsky opened his account in the Group One midsummer sprint feature, O’Brien is again targeting July Cup glory with four of the 15 confirmations left in the race at Monday’s forfeit stage.

The fillies Fairyland and So Perfect are joined in the Ballydoyle quartet by All The King’s Men although bookmakers are unanimous that Ten Sovereigns is O’Brien’s No 1 contender.

Victory for any of them, however, would see O’Brien emulate his Ballydoyle predecessor, Vincent O’Brien, on five July Cup wins.

The legendary “MV” won the race four times in the 1970s and also in 1990 with Royal Academy.

Seamie Heffernan on Fairyland wins at the Curragh. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho
Seamie Heffernan on Fairyland wins at the Curragh. Photograph: Lorraine O’Sullivan/Inpho

Ten Sovereigns is a general 8-1 shot after failing to justify favouritism in last month’s Commonwealth Cup and will have to reverse form with his Royal Ascot conqueror Advertise who is an early 3-1 favourite.

The latter is likely to have the services of the red-hot Frankie Dettori but the July Cup remains a glaring omission on the veteran Italian rider’s cross-channel Group One CV.

However, on the back of seven top-flight wins in less than six weeks, Dettori could hardly be in better form to try to put that statistic right.

The Diamond Jubilee runner-up Dream Of Dreams is next best in the betting while the Wokingham winner Cape Byron is set to try to bridge the gap between handicaps and Group One level in a race that sees a clash of the generations.

“It’s a big jump from a Wokingham to a July Cup. But he is rated 113 so he’s not going to be out of place in the line-up,” said Cape Byron’s trainer Roger Varian.

“He is streetwise and has been around now and is pretty uncomplicated. He goes on any ground bar very soft. There is a bit of rain around this week.

“It doesn’t look at this stage that it will get very soft but it would concern me if the ground got very soft,” he added.

The July Cup did not feature among Joseph O’Brien’s array of big race winners as a jockey but Speak In Colours could try to win it for him as a trainer.

Speak In Colours, a winner at the Curragh over Irish Derby weekend, had run a fine race a week prior to that when fourth to Blue Point in the Diamond Jubilee at Ascot.

Joseph O’Brien, Aidan’s son, will be in early cross-channel action on Tuesday when sending Wisdom Mind for the Listed Pipalong Stakes at Pontefract.

Gary Halpin’s mount was runner-up at Musselburgh on her previous trip to Britain last month and was subsequently out of the money in the Curragh’s Celebration Stakes.

Running into a classic winner at the Yorkshire track might not have been in O’Brien’s calculations but Wisdom Mind will have to overcome last year’s 1,000 Guineas heroine Billesdon Brook in the 12-runner field.

Later on Tuesday evening Joseph O’Brien has three runners at Roscommon’s jumps fixture and Treasure Chest is likely to be fancied to score in a handicap chase.

The JP McManus-owned runner got home by a half a length on his last start at Clonmel but ultimately did well to win at all having had a less than straightforward passage.

Getaway Some Day belied 50-1 odds on her Punchestown debut to finish runner-up and if relaxing a little more can prove hard to beat in the Roscommon bumper.

In other news, a step back to 1¼ miles later in the season is on the cards for the Aga Khan’s high class four-year-old Hazapour.

Last season’s Derrinstown Stud Derby Trial winner failed to fire over a mile in Royal Ascot’s Queen Anne Stakes last month having won a Leopardstown Group Three at the trip prior to that.

“When he won a Group race over a mile I thought that might be his trip but he was a length clear at the mile-and-a-quarter stage in Derby (2018) and he won his Derby trial over a mile-and-a-quarter. So I think we might go back to 10 furlongs with him,” trainer Dermot Weld said.

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