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Nic Ladds 8th Jul 2009 - 15:26

Newmarket July Festival

The Newmarket July Festival is well underway and over the next two days we have a whole feast of racing to come on Thursday and Friday.

Thursday sees the TNT July Stakes and Princess of Wales' Stakes which are both ultra-competitive Group 2 races as the highlights of the day, with the first four races from 1.30 being broadcast live on Channel 4.

On Friday, one of the most exciting races of the week is the Ladbrokes Bunbury Cup which sees 20 of the hottest handicappers around line up for a 7 furlong charge with the market spearheaded by Jeremy Noseda's 4/1 chance Captain Brilliance, who has won two of his three starts at HQ.

Following this sees the biggest race of the festival, the Group 1 Darley July Cup which attracts some of the best sprinters in the world and is almost a follow up to the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot.

If we look at some statistics for the July Cup we can see that nine out of the last 10 winners ran at Royal Ascot last time out, while eight out of the last 10 were aged either three-years-old or five-years-old.

The 11/8 favourite Scenic Blast is well fancied to put in a big show after he won the Kings Stand at Ascot last time out finishing ahead of Fleeting Spirit who lines up at 8/1 this time.

An interesting stat to note however is that no horse since 1985 has won the King's Stand then gone on to win the July Cup which could put doubts over Scenic Blast which will be music to the ears of those looking to take on the short priced favourite.

Steven Arnold his Australian trainer would not have entered him in the race however unless he really fancied his chances and after his cracking display at Ascot last time he will come here with every chance.

Second favourite Paco Boy who can be backed at 4/1 proved a lot of his doubters wrong last time when taking the Queen Anne Stakes at Ascot and his trainer Richard Hannon thinks the world of him and will be bullish about his stable star's chances.

14/1 chance Main Aim also ran in that race and finished fourth behind Paco Boy but will do very well to reverse form with Hannon's charge.

The Golden Jubilee is a reasonable indicator of how horses may run in this race as a host of horses that placed in it have come on to win here.

Art Connoisseur defied big odds last time to get up and win the Golden Jubilee and at 13/2 he comes here with a huge chance. At three-years-old he is the right age to put in a big run and an excellent looking each way price he looks a great bet.

In that race he had the beating of favourite JJ The Jet Plane who had looked very impressive before that race and he did finish a respectable fourth, and Kings Apostle who looks a little out of his depth in this company and cane backed at odds of 20/1.

His shrewd trainer Mike de Kock would not be entering him for this tough race if he thought something was amiss and expect him to put in a good account of himself at odds of 8/1.

Don't forget William Hill will be offering their Best Odds Guaranteed promise on all these races and every other race that day and night, where if you take the price when making your selection and that horse goes off bigger, you will be paid out at the greater price.

Art Connoisseur - 13/2

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