Niall Cronin: Brazen Beau will be best in Darley
Expect Aussie sprinter to go one better than at Royal Ascot in Darley July Cup
The July Cup promises to be a fascinating renewal with the runaway Commonwealth Cup winner Muhaarar taking on the top Australian sprinter Brazen Beau, who was second to Undrafted at Royal Ascot in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
Bookmakers are struggling to split the two three-year-olds at the head of the betting but this is a high class field with the Eddie Lynam-trained pair of Sole Power and Anthem Alexander also taking their place and both will undoubtedly prove to be fascinating runners.
For few races is Sole Power ever rated a 16/1 shot but such is the depth of this year's July Cup the eight-year-old, who is yet to win over the trip of six furlongs, is rated such an outsider.
You would feel that some day Sole Power will manage to get his head in front over the extra furlong than the five that made his career such a massive one and punters will surely be tempted about the 16/1 on offer, with Richard Hughes knowing exactly what it takes to win on him, but this is a race that looks made for Brazen Beau.
James Doyle is aboard the Chris Waller-trained colt who will now carry the blue colours of Godolphin. After a pleasing run at Royal Ascot when the race possibly didn't go according to plan, he should be able to account for Muhaarar who could hardly have been more impressive at Royal Ascot but this will pose another step-up, with Brazen Beau having that run under his belt and also facing the more battle-hardened older horses.
As well as having Due Dilligence in the July Cup with Ryan Moore taking the ride, Aidan O'Brien also sends over a couple of other runners on the card as Air Vice Marshall takes his chance in the Group Two Superlative Stakes and the well named Ballydoyle looks to open her account in the Rossdales EBF Stallion Maiden for fillies over seven furlongs.
O'Brien looks to have found an ideal opportunity for Ballydoyle to open her account while Air Vice Marshall also looks set to be a likely favourite for his step-up, although he takes on a field of eight rivals who have all graced the winners' enclosure and between the field they have already won 12 races between them.
There's a mixed card at Tipperary tomorrow with the listed Tipperary Stakes over five furlongs the Flat feature but champion jockey Pat Smullen is making the most of his opportunity at Newmarket and has got himself five rides on the seven-race card, including Western Reserve for Lady Cecil in the opener, who has solid claims.