One of the most valued sprints in racing, Saturday’s July Cup meeting at Haymarket has its usual share of favourites already lined up to take winning honours.
However, with a sample of favourites also comes a selection of underdog entrants just waiting to cause an upset against their more favoured opposition.
With eight Grade 1 runners in the mix, the following picks aren’t being tipped by the bookies as likely winners but have some factors going in their favour as they prepare for one of this year’s biggest flat showdowns.
At six years of age, the elder of Edward Lynam’s two entered horses has experience going in its favour, tied with several others as the most experienced thoroughbred in the running.
Ridden by Johnny Murtagh, a two-time winner of the July Cup, Sole Power may not have youth going in its favour this weekend, but there’s a certain wisdom that only time can bring a jockey of that calibre.
Currently being priced at around 9-1 by most bookmakers, the Irish-bred horse represents good value given the stable he comes from and the July Cup’s relationship with Irish trainers in recent years.
Having won three of his last seven races—including a very impressive last outing at Royal Ascot—Sole Power doesn’t look like a bad bet heading into this weekend’s meet.
Gale Force Ten
The lowest-priced of our suggestions, Gale Force Ten’s price has come crumbling down in the last day or so, with punters apparently wising up to the value held by the youngster.
Aidan O’Brien won his first July Cup in 2010 with Starspangledbanner and has a very good line of success in this particular race.
That being said, it seems as though it may be a question of whether or not jockey Ryan Moore comes to the fore, having had a disappointing few days in his last outings.
Just three years of age, Gale Force Ten has placed in four of its last five races, winning three of those, including one from a field of 21 at Royal Ascot several weeks ago.
The last time O’Brien travelled to Haymarket with this horse, he saw it beaten by a triumphant Reckless Abandon, but with that particular sprinter out of this one thanks to a throat gland, Gale Force Ten may seize the opportunity and is currently sitting at 7-1 with some.
A massive wild card in this race, Zanetto’s odds aren’t for the faint of heart, that’s for sure.
Trained by Andrew Balding, brother of Channel 4 presenter, Clare, the three-year-old colt has a lot to prove in his Haymarket return and is the long outsider at 40-1.
That being said, such odds might be slightly undeserved given his record of six places in his last eight races, three of which were victories.
Of course, coming in 15th at Royal Ascot last month wasn’t in the plans, but a good to firm going promises to run in Balding’s favour.
Liam Keniry has never run with Zanetto before, but he will seek to get to grips quickly in the pursuit of a major, major upset.