The world’s sprinting elite will clash in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket this afternoon.

The sprinting elite from England, Ireland, USA, Australia, South Africa and Bahrain will meet in the six furlong Group One contest at the HQ. Amongst the runners are three of this year’s Royal Ascot winners – Lethal Force (Golden Jubilee), Sole Power (Kings Stand) and Gale Force Ten (Jersey).  The South African favourite Shea Shea finished second to Sole Power at the Royal meeting and contrary to the market  Crockford believes that he will finish behind him again today. Society Rock had too much to do when trying to catch Lethal Force in the Golden Jubilee but looks poised to reverse that form. The six year old is in the form of his life and probably has the most to worry from the the Irish partnership of Sole Power and Johnny Murtagh. At almost double figure odds the Kings Stand winner appears to be excellent each way value in what is a strong renewal of the Darley July Cup. Michael Bell’s choice to drop Sovereign Debt down in trip is also noteworthy. In what will be a close race Society Rock and Sole Power will just have the edge over the field.

The Bunbury Cup (3.15) run in memory of one of great dictators of the turf (Sir Charles Bunbury) could see a big race double being landed by Belgian Bill who pulled clear of his opposition to land the Royal Hunt Cup. The top weight will have to deal with a stiff challenge from some seasoned campaigners and progressive types. Crockford prefers the chances of the Victoria Cup winner Excellent Guest.

The 54th running of the John Smith’s Cup at York looks a tight affair where Stencive is worthy of support. However, more each way value is likely to come from Danchai for William Haggas. The grey has ran three good races this season including in his last outing at Sandown.  At (3.30) in the listed race punters will see the reappearance of an old favourite – Borderlescott. Connections have chosen to bring the eleven year old out of retirement to face his rivals. The party may just be spoiled by another former high class performer Hoof It who has his debut race for the year.

At Ascot the Group Two Summer Mile should go the way of Aljamaaheer in a race that could be more competitive than the market suggests.

Crockford’s Dead Cert – Majestic Myles (Chester 3.25)

He has won the last two renewals of this race and looks poised to land the hat-trick today. This five year old clearly loves the specialist test set by the course and comes here in good form facing a weak field. Fahey’s horse is a Dead Cert for the Plate.

Crockford’s Whisper – King Torus e/w  (Ascot 4.50)

This horse may have lost his way this and last season, but he is certainly now down in grade. The whisper is that he retains the potential shown when winning group and listed contests as a two year old. If that is true this Superlative Stakes winner will brush these rivals aside at a massive price.

Fred Archer
Archer selects Nine Realms

Archer’s Selection – Nine Realms (York 1.45)

The fact he is highly regarded and has been fancied to land races such as the Lincoln would not have been missed by Archer. Archer certainly would have been up on this mount.

Crockford’s gambles across the meetings today:

Newmarket –  Jammy Guest and Law Enforcement e/w (2.05), Noble Metal e/w (2.40), Excellent Guest e/w (3.15), Society Rock and Sole Power e/w (3.50) and Pether’s Moon (5.35)

Ascot – Barnet Fair e/w and Move In Time e/w (1.55), Aljamaaher (2.30), Another Cocktail (4.15) and King Torus e/w (4.50)

York – Nine Realms (1.45), Songcraft (2.20), Danchai e/w (2.55), Hoof It and Borderlescott e/w (3.30)

Chester – Majestic Myles (3.25) and Heavy Metal e/w (4.00)


(Featured Photograph – Society Rock at Ascot by Stuart Rice)


Society Rock