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Newmarket July Meeting Day 1 Preview

The ever-popular July meeting at Newmarket opens on Thursday with three Group races. Many horses are reappearing at the meeting with top class form at Royal Ascot and it will be fascinating to see how it stands up.

The opening race at 1.40 sees three of the first five home in the Queen’s Vase back in action as Feel Like Dancing, Boite and Ray Ward contest the Bahrain Trophy.

At 2.10 Aidan O’Brien’s Sir John Hawkins bids to give the Coventry Stakes form of War Command a boost. He was left trailing by his stable companion that day who is now a strong favourite for next years 2000 Guineas.

Opposition comes from some highly regarded unbeaten colts including Richard Fahey’s Canyari and Saeed bin Suroor’s Figure Of Speech. The Princess of Wales’s Stakes at 2.40 looks wide open despite a turnout of only seven runners.

Grandeur and Wild Coco are having their seasonal debuts whilst Universal has been on the go all season for Mark Johnston. He performed with credit at Ascot and will be hoping to make his fitness count.

The 3.15 race is as competitive a handicap as there has been all season with Tarikhi and Space Ship both having finished second at the Royal meeting. Goodwood Mirage looks a useful colt in the making but punters may side with Matrooh, trained by William Haggas.

The trainer may have initially been disappointed when his colt was well beaten by Remote and Baltic Knight at Doncaster but both have since revealed themselves to be Group class horses. If Matrooh is more effective over this longer trip he is going to take some stopping.

There are some nice fillies entered for the maiden race at 3.50 including Grevilia and Qawaasem, both of whom showed promise on their debuts. Ascot form is represent by Richard Hannon’s Oriel who was well backed in the Queen Mary but got upset beforehand and did not show her true form. The filly is likely to be favourite on her earlier form behind Rizeena and Richard Hughes takes the ride.

The same trainer/jockey combination team up with Montiridge in the 4.25, beaten a head in the Jersey Stakes last time out. That form entitles him to be odds-on here with the main danger likely to come from John Gosden’s Ashdan.

The meeting concludes at 5.00 with a tricky looking handicap over five furlongs. Frankie Dettori rides Avon Breeze who got up in the last stride to win at Carlisle whilst Doctor Parkes, Last Sovereign and Rebecca Romero all enjoyed recent success.