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Lethal Force carries Cox Cup hopes after Reckless Abandon ruled out

A late setback has thwarted plans to run Reckless Abandon in the July Cup leaving Trainer Clive Cox to be represented by Lethal Force. Reckless Abandon has a swollen gland and has been taken out along with Soul and Reply at the final declaration stage.

Cox had been optimistic that the three-year-old could improve for being stepped up to six furlongs and his work since Ascot had been encouraging. His Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner Lethal Force is reported to be in fine form for the £500,000 Group One event.

All of the other leading contenders stood their ground including market leader Shea Shea and Ascot winners Gale Force Ten and Sole Power. Aidan O’Brien has confirmed that Jersey Stakes winner Gale Force Ten will wear blinkers and be ridden by Ryan Moore.

Gale Force Ten has been one of the best backed horses in the ante-post market and the headgear is presumably being fitted in an effort to sharpen him up as he drops back in trip. Sole Power is drawn in stall 11 with his stable companion Slade Power in stall 2.

Diamond Jubilee runner-up Society Rock has been drawn in stall 1 under regular rider Kieren Fallon. James Fanshawe’s six-year-old will be running in the race for the third time having finished seventh in 2010 and third to Mayson 12 months ago.

Kevin Ryan’s Hamza has also been well supported at an each-way price and comes here on the back of a success in a Conditions race at Beverley. The gelding beat the strongly fancied Heeraat that day after making all of the running here in a very competitive handicap.

Mickael Barzalona has come in for the ride on Australian raider Shamexpress who finished only ninth in the King’s Stand Stakes. Richard Hughes had originally been expected to take the ride but was then confirmed for Reckless Abandon.

Connections feel that Shamexpress had missed vital work ahead of Ascot and will be sharper on Saturday. They also believe that the extra furlong will be in his favour and he worked nicely in midweek.