2018 Newmarket July Cup Odds and Betting Preview

The upcoming three-day meeting begins this Thursday, as the Cambridgeshire venue hosts several important races that will offer lots of clues for Group races further in the season, but one of the biggest highlights is undoubtedly the July Cup, raced over six furlongs on Saturday, scheduled to commence at 14:15 BST.

Course and History

For those readers of ours who are not aware, Newmarket has two racecourses within the area. Widely recognised as the headquarters of British Horseracing, Newmarket mainly uses the Rowley Mile course for the majority of the season. However, in July, the aptly named ‘July Course’ is used for this meeting and other race days within the calendar month.

The July Cup was first raced back in 1876 and after the current race grading system was introduced in 1971, the Sprint race was given Group 2 status. Seven years later, it was upgraded to its current Group 1 rank. Bringing things up-to-date, this race was installed as part of the Global Sprint Challenge in 2008 and with a prize fund of £500,000, it will attract some of the leading sprint horses from some of the top yards around the globe.

Betting Advice

The most important thing to consider before placing a wager on the July Cup is to wait until the final declarations are announced for the race on Thursday. Plenty of bookmakers are willing to take ante-post bets and gobble up all the money if your selection does not run on the day – don’t give them the opportunity, even if it does detract from the early odds of your pick.

This race is also bound by weight-for-age allowances, with three-year-old sprinters receiving a six-pound allowance over the four-year-olds and upward horses.

Last year’s winner Harry Angel misses out this time around after his disappointing effort in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last month. This race is likely to be a highly competitive affair, but hopefully we can point our readers in the right direction for a winning bet.

Can Blue Point the Way?

US Navy Flag

Following a career-best effort in the Kings Stand at Royal Ascot by taking down the likes of Battash and Lady Aurelia amongst others, Godolphin’s Blue Point is likely to take his chance in the July Cup. Currently trading at the best industry price of 10/3 with William Hill and Coral, the Charlie Appleby-trained sprinter is the ante-post market leader.

One note of caution apportioned to Blue Point would be that all of the four-year-old’s best form has been at the Berkshire track. If Blue Point puts his best foot forward on Saturday, then he is the horse the rest have to beat.

Flag to Fly High for O’Brien?

No Group 1 race anywhere in the world is safe from the Ballydoyle stable, with US Navy Flag likely to be Aidan O’Brien’s big hope for the July Cup. 10Bet and 188Bet offer the top price of 5/1 on O’Brien’s three-year-old who has the benefit of carrying six pounds less than his older rivals.

US Navy Flag was a top-class two-year-old who has been tried plenty over a mile. The drop back to six furlongs could be a masterstroke by his trainer to bring out further improvement. The ante-post betting is suggesting that US Navy Flag is on the drift with certain bookmakers, so a watching brief is advised until after the final declarations are made.

Stoute Star to Repeat?

Eqtidaar

Eqtidaar fulfilled his obvious promise at Royal Ascot by taking the Commonwealth Cup last month and is another three-year-old who is potentially capable of better going forwards. At 6/1 with Black Type, Eqtidaar looks to have solid place credentials.

The three-year old hit the front much too early at Royal Ascot and the expected faster pace in this race could suit Sir Michael Stoute’s sprint star even better, if the Ascot race has not left its mark.

Others to Consider

Dreamfield lost his unbeaten tag following a narrow defeat at the Royal meeting and the highly talented three-year-old trained by John Gosden is worthy of consideration at 9/1 with Coral and Boylesports. He has plenty of weight to find with Blue Point, but is definitely improving fast, and can run well again.

Top-class Australian sprinter, Redkirk Warrior ran below par in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot but is dangerous to write-off just yet. His run was too bad to be true, as the unusually consistent performer was defeated with over two furlongs to race. Regular jockey Regan Bayliss is back on top, and the generally available 10/1 chance cannot be dismissed.

A big-priced offering is to consider Invincible Army at a generally available 25/1. James Tate’s three-year-old beat Eqtidaar earlier in the season but has to put a poor effort at the Royal meeting behind. Provided he bounces back, the current odds may prove huge.

Conclusion

An obviously open renewal of the July Cup with several horses holding strong claims: Blue Point won with such authority at Royal Ascot, he has to be given the opportunity again to back-up his superb most recent performance. He has to prove his consistency away from the track, but that is factored into his price somewhat.

An each-way consideration has to be given towards Eqtidaar at the prices. Stoute’s inmate has proven his worth at this level already and looks to be certain to be involved at the finish.

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