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2019 July Cup ante-post tips – Two outsiders who could make an impact in Newmarket’s summer highlight

Jonathan Vine 3 Jul 2019
US Navy Flag (right, far) powers home to win the July Cup in 2018.

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this Group One at Newmarket and highlights two outsiders who could run well beyond their odds.

Newmarket's July Meeting is the next major Festival on the flat racing horizon and that three-day extravaganza is headlined by the July Cup. This historic sprint has been won by many of the most famous sprinters the sport has ever seen and a quality field looks set to assemble in this year’s renewal.

Advertise advertised his credentials by winning the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot and Dream Of Dreams ran the mighty Blue Point close in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. Cape Byron proved himself to be a cut above handicap level when cruising to Wokingham glory on the final afternoon, with the likes of Inns Of Court and Invincible Army looming on the shoulders of the market principals.

While It’s easy for punters to focus on those at the head of the betting, when it comes to the July Cup, it’s well worth a glance towards the middle-to-bottom end of the betting to find your bets. Favourites have won just four of the past ten renewals. 8/1, 16/1 and 50/1 shots filled the places 12 months ago and the average odds of placers over the past decade exceeds the 20/1 mark.

Given those fascinating statistics, and the fact that I’m keen to take on those at the head of the market, a couple of each-way ante-post punts look the way forward in this year’s July Cup and there are two runners I feel have been particularly overpriced.

2019 July Cup Ante-Post Tips


It's easy to see why Advertise heads the Newmarket betting, after his return to top form in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot. The beaten favourite that day was TEN SOVEREIGNS, who failed to live up to the hype with a rather limp display. The betting suggests the bookies have lost faith in Aidan O'Brien's colt, which is rather unfair on the back of just one understandably poor outing and he looks the most dangerously overpriced contender in this year's July Cup.

Following a decent run in the 2000 Guineas - where Ryan Moore's mount was forced to make his own pace down the slower portion of the track before fading to finish fifth in the final furlong -Aidan O'Brien dropped Ten Sovereigns back to six furlongs at Ascot. Moore's mount never really seemed to be travelling well as he stepped foot on ground softer than good for the first time, failing to pick up the leading trio before crossing the line three lengths behind Advertise in fourth.

Very few horses managed to pick up from off the pace during the opening few days of this year's Royal Ascot, so I don't think Ten Sovereign's performance was as poor as many viewers first thought. Aidan O'Brien's charge will have good memories of Newmarket, having won the Middle Park Stakes here last season and the prospect of fast ground will be much more suitable. O'Brien landed this race with US Navy Flag - who was also dropping back in distance after starting his campaign over a mile - 12 months ago and I fancy Ten Sovereigns could follow in his footsteps.

Consistency is hard to come by in the sprinting ranks, especially when you delve into the murky world of handicaps. Along with Mabs Cross and Battaash, MAJOR JUMBO has been one of the most reliable sprinters for punters to back over the past 18 months and I see no reason why Kevin Ryan’s charge can’t catch a place in this year’s July Cup, at the very least.

Major Jumbo finished outside the places just once in nine handicap starts last term, and that came on treacherously heavy ground in the Ayr Gold Cup. Ryan’s sprinter was beaten by less than half-a-length in the Wokingham and the Listed Queensferry Stakes, before claiming a thoroughly-deserved victory on his final outing of the year at York.

This season, Major Jumbo has been stepped up into much more esteemed company and he hasn’t looking out of place, twice placing second to Invincible Army and losing out to the imperious Mabs Cross by a couple of lengths in the Palace House Stakes. Ryan sent his five-year-old to France on his last outing and Major Jumbo performed well again, finishing third behind the hugely impressive Inns Of Court in a Group Two at Chantilly.

A large-field, frenetic affair will suit Major Jumbo much more than that five-horse throw-down and Ryan’s charge won on his only previous visit to Newmarket. He might come up a little short when it truly matters, but I think Major Jumbo has every chance of contending in what looks another wide-open renewal.


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2019 July Cup ante-post tips – Two outsiders who could make an impact in Newmarket’s summer highlight

Our expert takes a look through the ante-post betting for this Group One at Newmarket and highlights two outsiders who could run well beyond their odds on Saturday 13th July.

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