Between York and Newmarket’s July course, we’ve got two outstanding venues for the pick of this week’s racing action.

From Thursday through to Wednesday, Newmarket stages seven Group contests, including Friday’s Group 1 Falmouth Stakes and Saturday’s July Cup, while York kicks off on Thursday with the Group 3 Musidora and Group 2 Dante Stakes.

There’ll also be half an eye on Ascot come Saturday, where the Group 2 Summer Mile takes place, a contest that has been won by the favourite in all of the last seven renewals!

Frankie clue in the Musidora

With three runners for trainer John Gosden in the Group 3 Musidora Stakes, it’s interesting to note that stable jockey Frankie Dettori has opted to ride Ricetta (3/1) instead of progressive Frankel filly Franconia (11/8) and Godolphin-owned Lake Lucerne (20/1).

Dettori partnered Franconia on her last start, an impressive win in the Listed Abingdon Fillies’ Stakes, but he must have seen something in Ricetta to desert her. Ricetta is two wins from two starts, the first of which came with Frankie in the saddle at Newmarket at the start of June, but her performances haven’t been as impressive.

Either way, Frankie will be hoping he’s made the right choice in a race where there are plenty of others from outside the Gosden table in with chances. Baarij, Albaflora (both 16/1) and Pocket Square (9/2) are all last-start winners, while Dubai Love (6/1) was third at Royal Ascot and Rose Of Kildare (14/1) finished ninth in the Group 1 1000 Guineas.

Stoute out to equal Dante record

Progressing middle distances horses is the name of the game when it comes to legendary trainer Sir Michael Stoute. He fields unbeaten Frankel colt Highest Ground (10/11) in the Dante Stakes, who at one stage was considered a good chance for the Derby.

Not one to rush his horses, Sir Michael’s charge won a hot novice stakes race at Haydock two weeks ago, his only start of the season, and he’s a very interesting contender and is looking to remain unbeaten.

2000 Guineas fifth Juan Elcano is set to make his third appearance of the season, while Al Madhar is the only other horse in the field boasting an unbeaten record. He beat Encipher on his last start and will be hoping to reconfirm that form with the beaten horse lining up for another crack.

July Meeting could lead to Royal winner

Thursday’s most anticipated race of the day will be the Group 2 July Stakes. This time Royal Ascot winner Tactical (10/3) faces renewed opposition from the all-powerful Ballydoyle operation in the shape of Swiss Ace (9/2), while Jim Crowley, who snared seven Royal Ascot winners, could yet be in for another big-race win aboard Qaader (11/4).

Friday’s action is headlined by the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes, one of the premier meetings of the season for fillies and mares.

Terebellum, narrowly beaten in the Queen Anne Stakes, is the headline act at 5/4 and again looks another nice ride for star jockey Dettori. It’s 12 years since the Italian last won the race and if there’s a man to stop him again then it could be Crowley. The in-form rider partners Nazreef (3/1), who is going for a remarkable six wins in a row.

Sizzling July Cup and Summer Mile in store

Saturday’s top-level contest is the Group 1 July Cup, one the world’s premier sprint races, and a race that the aforementioned Dettori is yet to get his hands on. Almost 50 years old now and having won every single other Group 1 prize in Britain, the Italian will be desperate to get the final piece of the puzzle this weekend.

All of his hopes rest on the hooves of Irish raider Sceptical, a 9/2-shot. He burst onto the scene with a scintillating performance at Naas two starts back, causing Frankie to reach for his phone and get booked for the ride at Ascot where he ran third in the Diamond Jubilee. That was a solid effort on ground that would have been soft enough for him and he’ll have his supporters once again.

Golden Horde heads the betting for the race at 9/4 after his blistering success in the Commonwealth Cup, while his trainer, Clive Cox, has hit a purple patch of form.

Over in Berkshire, Mohaather is the 11/4 market leader for the Summer Mile on his return to Ascot. The Marcus Tregoning-trained four-year-old was just seventh in the Queen Anne Stakes and will be hoping to capitalise on the drop in class.

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