July Cup 2013: Breaking Down Top Performers from Saturday's Race

Ben SnowballContributor IJuly 14, 2013

NEWMARKET, ENGLAND - JULY 13:  Adam Kirby riding Lethal Force (L) win The Darley July Cup at Newmarket racecourse on July 13, 2013 in Newmarket, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images)
Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images

Lethal Force proved his sprinting credentials beyond a doubt by leading from start to finish in Saturday’s July Cup, smashing the course record in the process.

However, it wasn’t just the Alan Craddock-owned colt who made an impression. Fellow Irish horses Society Rock and Slade Power also boosted their reputations.

Are the three of them destined for great things? Let’s take a closer look.


Lethal Force, First Place

We can’t start with anyone else. The gray colt exploded out the Newmarket gate and galloped away from the field with ease. Jockey Adam Kirkby steered Lethal Force towards the inside rail and had the race under control from the first furlong.

As everyone else—including 4-1 favourite Shea Shea—fell away, Lethal Force maintained his speed and carried through the line for victory to add another title to his Diamond Jubilee Stakes crown.

The colt has 11 top-three finishes in 14 starts, and if he can continue in this fashion, more wins will follow. Kirkby has guided Lethal Force impressively, but it remains to be seen how the horse will respond to being penned in and whether he can launch a late attack. Currently we only know he’s an impressive front-runner.

If the duo prove they can come from the mid-pack to win, then we are looking at a very exciting future indeed.


Society Rock, Second Place

Society Rock must be sick of the sight of Lethal Force. The pair were reunited on the racecourse just weeks after the latter had claimed the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at the former’s expense.  

It was a valiant attempt from the six-year-old to try and stick with Lethal Force but also a futile one. Losing to a horse of that calibre is not shameful, and the Simon Gibson-owned bay did well to hold off attacks from Slade Power and Shea Shea.

But if regular jockey Kieren Fallon can’t negotiate past the sprint sensation in their next showdown, then Society Rock will have to settle for being a good horse and nothing more.


Slade Power, Third Place

Slade Power ran a superb tactical race to claim third. The four-year-old sat behind Lethal Force, sticking with the pace before finding something extra on the line to pip Shea Shea.

The 16-1 outsider has returned to form since finishing well adrift at Royal Ascot, and a win two weeks ago in the Woodies D.I.Y. Sapphire Stakes at Curragh highlighted his potential.

Five wins from 11 starts is a solid return considering the competition that the bay colt has been up against. Slade Power is only going to improve, although it’s unlikely the bookies will be quite as kind with their prices in his next race.