Preview And Tip For Saturday’s July Cup: The North To Take July Cup With Sands Of Mali

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Sands Of Mali – 8-1 with William Hill and Betfred. 2.15pm Newmarket Saturday 14th July.

Newmarket’s Group 1 July Cup has already gone the way of northern trainer Richard Fahey on one occasion courtesy of Mayson’s victory back in 2012 and the master of Musley Bank can claim the Darley-sponsored sprint for a second time on Saturday with the high-class three-year-old Sands Of Mali. 

The son of Panis proved a decent juvenile, winning the Group 2 Gymcrack Stakes at York’s Ebor meeting, but has gone up another level this season with victories at Chantilly and Haydock on his first two starts. But it was at Royal Ascot last month where the mount of Paul Hanagan really impressed despite going down by half a length to Eqtidaar in the Commonwealth Cup.

Racing with the stands’ side group in the six furlong Group 1 contest, the 15-2 chance, after losing his place over 2f out, came with a storming run inside the final furlong and would have caught the enterprisingly-ridden winning in another 100 yards. At the 8-1 available with several bookmakers including William Hill and Betfred Sands Of Mali looks decent value to get revenge on that rival who is as short as 5-1 with Sky Bet.

Nineteen horses stood their ground at Monday’s forfeit stage although they do not include top speedster Harry Angel who has not yet recovered from the cut leg he sustained when a beaten favourite in Royal Ascot’s Diamond Jubilee Stakes. The betting is headed by Blue Point ( 10-3 Ladbrokes and Coral ) who took the scalp of champion sprinter Battaash in the King’s Stand Stakes at the royal meeting but the Godolphin colt has been beaten on both his starts at headquarters and with a win record of just 6 from 13 is worth taking on in an open contest.

Second favourite at 5-1 ( Coral ) is the Aidan O’Brien-trained U S Navy Flag who drops back in trip after running in several of the top mile races but form figures this season reading 4529 hardly inspires confidence. At 10-1 ( Sky Bet and Paddy Power ) a bigger danger could turn out to be Dreamfield who is open to plenty more improvement.

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