The feature race of the middle day of the July Meeting from Newmarket is the Group 1 Falmouth Stakes and champion jockey Richard Hughes shares his thoughts on his book of rides with BetVictor below; 1000 Guineas winner Sky Lantern is the 10/11 favourite for the Falmouth Stakes, but the jockey is slightly concerned about the prospect of a tactical race with such a small field going to post.
1.40 7f Fillies’ Handicap Indignant
We were considering running this filly last weekend but I’m glad we have saved her for this valuable handicap and I am sure the uphill finish will suit her; this is a very hot race but my filly has a touch of class, will love the ground and is in very good form. Her second to Annecdote on her penultimate start at Newbury reads very well in light of that filly’s success in the Sandringham at Royal Ascot and, although she has finished second on her last three starts, I am expecting a big run.
2.10 Gp 2 Duchess Of Cambridge Stakes Fig Roll
My filly is allowed 3lbs for the three-and-a-half-lengths she was beaten at Royal Ascot in the Queen Mary by likely favourite Rizeena, and has since won a listed race over today’s course and distance when I partnered her for the first time since her debut. Irish challenger Bye Bye Birdie seemed to improve in her first-time visor, and stepping back up to 6f, when winning a Group 3 at the Curragh last time and this looks a very hot race. Whilst my filly will do her very best I would be surprised if she were good enough in this company.
2.40 Gp 1 Falmouth Stakes Sky Lantern
Only four runners and that is the slight concern given my classic-winning filly likes to pass horses and she is not guaranteed to get the fast pace which would suit; by my reckoning Elusive Kate will have the advantage of being able to dictate her own pace and I can’t lay out of my ground too much as it is likely to be a tactical affair. My filly has been in 14, 15 and 17-runner fields in her three starts so far this season and, whilst she is the best horse in the race, I am concerned that this 4-runner race will not be run to suit.
3.15 6f Handicap Ninjago
We don’t think he stayed in the Jersey Stakes over 7f last time and you can put a line through the form of his Newbury run on his penultimate start; I thought he was outstanding at Ascot on his reappearance off an 8lb lower mark and, back in handicap company and down in trip, I am expecting a very good run. This is a £100,000 race and a very competitive sprint handicap as you would expect for the money but you dismiss my colt at your peril despite shouldering 9st 7lbs. He has top-weight as he is the best horse in the race.
3.50 7f 2-y-o Maiden Edge
I am worried about the ground being too fast as I felt he was the best horse in the race when he hung across the course at York last time; the step up to 7f will suit, but this is generally a hot and most informative maiden with some beautifully bred juveniles making their racecourse debuts. We saddle two in the race but the fact that I ride Edge over Expert is evidence that I think my colt just has the “edge” over the latter.
5.35 1 mile Handicap Lord Ofthe Shadows
You’d better speak to the horse rather than me about his chances, but one thing I would say one of these days everything will click for him and he will win a big one. I thought he ran, arguably, a career best when third at Salisbury last time in a race where it paid to race prominently. My horse was the only one to make ground from the rear on that occasion and, although everything has to go his way, one of these days it will. He is currently on a losing run of 17 but is the type to win a race when least expected.