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2018 July Festival meeting tips - Race-by-race selections on day one of Newmarket's summer highlight

Day one of the Newmarket July Meeting gets underway on Thursday.

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for day one of the July Festival meeting at Newmarket.

Thursday’s fixture list of horse racing action is dominated by the start of the 2018 July Festival meeting at Newmarket, and a seven-race card on the July Course at Flat HQ features the Group Two pairing of the July Stakes and Racing Club Stakes on a quality racecard.

1:50 - Bahrain Trophy Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (3yo) 1m5f ITV3
2:25 - Arqana July Stakes (Group 2) (Colts & Geldings) Cl1 (2yo) 6f ITV3
3:00 - bet365 Handicap Cl2 (3yo 0-105) 6f ITV3
3:35 - Princess Of Wales's Arqana Racing Club Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m4f ITV3
4:10 - British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo) 6f RUK
4:45 - Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (3yo) 1m RUK
5:20 - Saeed Suhail Saeed Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 5f RUK

Ed Chamberlain and the ITV Racing team will be on hand to offer their expert analysis and insights into the afternoon’s action with four races shown live, and Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for all seven of the day’s contests on the July Course.

1:50 - Bahrain Trophy Stakes (Group 3) Cl1 (3yo) 1m5f ITV3


WELLS FARHH GO (10/1, Ladbrokes) hasn’t been seen to best effect in a pair of Group Two contests this term, but Tim Easterby’s charge is given another chance to repair his tarnished reputation.

The Farhh colt had looked a smart sort last term, winning both outings at York, which included the Group Three Acomb Stakes; but he has yet to build on those successes this term, finishing well-beaten both times, including behind Old Persian last time out in the King Edward VII Stakes.

This ought to prove a shade more suitable dropping into a Group Three contest, and he is bred to appreciate a stiff test such as this, so he could be worth sticking with to bounce back to form.

LEGENDS OF WAR (7/2, Ladbrokes) suffered a slight setback following his impressive debut success at Yarmouth back in May; but if the Scat Daddy colt is over his ailments then he can quickly make up for lost time with another success.

He caught the eye tanking through that Yarmouth race where he showed an excellent turn of foot to score by four lengths over some other potentially useful sorts which included a next-time winner; John Gosden’t charge can put that experience to good use, and a repeat of that effort should put him firmly in the mix.

He looked a colt of potential in that debut success, and while his setback cost him a crack at the Coventry Stakes, he could well gain some compensation here.

3:00 - bet365 Handicap Cl2 (3yo 0-105) 6f ITV3


A very competitive contest featuring several promising and progressive types could go the way of BURIDAN (10/1, Paddy Power) who is quickly turned out under a penalty having won at Haydock five days ago when beating Ginbar by three lengths.

Richard Hannon’s Choisir colt was a winner on debut at Windsor, and his subsequent run at Chester can be overlooked given the softer ground; he shaped well back from a break when finding only one too good at Windsor in June, and he has since struck on the Rowley Mile here as well as posting that Haydock success.

He won comfortably last time, just needing pushed out under hands and heels, and there could be plenty more to come from him. While this is a stronger contest, and he has a 6lbs penalty to contend with, he remains far from exposed and no surprise to see a big run in pursuit of a hat-trick of wins.

3:35 - Princess Of Wales's Arqana Racing Club Stakes (Group 2) Cl1 (3yo+) 1m4f ITV3


MIRAGE DANCER (11/4, Paddy Power) met all sorts of trouble in running when contesting the Wolferton Stakes on his latest outing, but forgiven that run Sir Michael Stoute’s charge can bounce back.

The Frankel colt ran better than the bare form suggests in later starts that term in the face of some stiff company, and he showed improved form to chase home the reopposing Barsanti at Ascot in May when the pair clashed in the Buckhounds Stakes.

There was better to come when he won at Goodwood, running out a ready winner to claim the Tapster Stakes, and he was checked more than once in his run last time where he had travelled well into the race before being denied the gaps to deliver a challenge.

Despite his traffic problems, he was only three lengths adrift at the line in fifth, and with a bit more luck in running it isn’t hard to see him getting involved in this contest with the potential still for better back up in trip.

4:10 - British Stallion Studs EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes (Plus 10 Race) Cl2 (2yo) 6f RUK


HANDMAIDEN (11/4, BetVictor) is bred in the purple, and the Invincible Spirit filly showed plenty of ability on her debut when bumping into one over course and distance, going down by three lengths behind Quorto.

John Gosden’s charge still looked raw, but she displayed good speed and travelled well to the front of the field entering the final two furlongs; but she had no answer to the eventual winner who looked a high-class performer in his own right.

Open to improvement on the back of that first run then she ought to go well, and in an intriguing contest where she takes on her own sex, she could prove hard to beat if progressing as expected following that first run.

4:45 - Edmondson Hall Solicitors Sir Henry Cecil Stakes (Listed Race) Cl1 (3yo) 1m RUK


EMARAATY’s (4/1, Coral) burgeoning reputation took a big dent when disappointing at Ascot behind Expert Eye, but John Gosden’s Dubawi colt had looked progressive prior to that outing with a win at Newcastle followed up by a good second to Society Power at Goodwood where he was beaten only a neck.

All may not have been well with John Gosden’s charge given the way he folded quickly in that race, and he was beaten too far out in the contest to simply put it down to a poor run. 

But he can bounce back here if over those exertions, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he were to leave that latest effort behind. His earlier run at Goodwood represents solid form, and if back at that level then he can go close.

5:20 - Saeed Suhail Saeed Handicap Cl2 (3yo+ 0-100) 5f RUK


SHAHEEN (7/2, Coral) has proven himself a progressive young sprinter, winning two of his last three starts with successes at Pontefract and Doncaster, and John Quinn’s charge can run well again.

The Society Rock gelding showed an excellent turn of foot to score readily on Town Moor latest, beating Consequences by just over one length, and although he is 5lbs higher in the weights for this latest outing, he suggested last time that there was more in the locker to come.

While this is a tougher contest, especially given the additional weight burden he has to carry here he can nevertheless post another big effort; he ought to remain competitive, and he should go close if finding another jolt of improvement.

2018 JULY FESTIVAL MEETING TIPS - RACE-BY-RACE SELECTIONS


1:50 - WELLS FARHH GO (10/1, Ladbrokes)

2:25 - LEGENDS OF WAR (7/2, Ladbrokes)

3:00 - BURIDAN (10/1, Paddy Power)

3:35 - MIRAGE DANCER (11/4, Paddy Power)

4:10 - HANDMAIDEN (11/4, BetVictor)

4:45 - EMARAATY’s (4/1, Coral)

5:20 - SHAHEEN (7/2, Coral)

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2018 July Festival meeting tips - Race-by-race selections on day one of Newmarket's summer highlight

Brian Healy gives his race-by-race selections for day one of the July Festival meeting at Newmarket.

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