Crockford warns that punters need to take Due Diligence in making their selections for the Group One July Cup

With the rain softened ground and horses coming back in trip punters will need to take Due Diligence in making their selections in what on paper looks a competitive July Cup.

The Irish raider Slade Power has been impressive on both starts this season and is certain to relish the conditions. However, with what is likely to now be a short-price, the Lynam favourite may not present the best value on the day. Aidan O’Brien’s Due Diligence finished second behind Slade Power at Royal Ascot and looks posed to improve again on that run.  The ex-US trained horse has plenty of toe and another stamina to see out the trip on this softer ground.

The softened surface should present no problems to Hot Streak either, who was so impressive on similar ground last season and this year at Haydock.

Jockey Christophe Soumillion reported after the Guineas, that during the race, he felt Noozhoh Canarias was the fasted miler he had ever ridden. He didn’t last home that day and now looks an interesting proposition dropped back to six furlongs. Another runner to catch Crockford’s eye is the Wesley Ward’s Undrafted. Successful again this year at Royal Ascot the US trainer has to be respected. The advice though is to take Due Diligence as a selection against this field.

Earlier in the card at Newmarket, the historic Bunbury Cup (3.15) throws up two interesting runners in the form of AW Champion Ertijaal and the highly regarded AbseilAbseil travelled well at Ascot but did not deliver on his reputation that day and may be worth another chance. Ertijaal is interesting with his last start being in the 2000 Guineas.

At York, the globe-trotting Farraaj should pick up the 55th renewal of the John Smith’s Cup.

CROCKFORD’S DEAD CERT – KINGSGATE NATIVE (YORK 3.30)

This multiple Group One winner would not have been out of place at Newmarket in the July Cup, but connections have chosen this listed race instead. With the brilliant Ryan Moore booked expect another York victory for Robert Cowell’s sprinter.

CROCKFORD’S WHISPER – ERTIJAAL E/W (NEWMARKET 3.15)

Ertijaal is a very interesting entry in this competitive renewal of the Bunbury Cup. Winner of the three-year-old Champions race at Lingfield on Good Friday he was not disgraced when outclassed in the 2000 Guineas. This is first outing since and he is weighted for a bold show.

ARCHER’S SELECTION – FARRAAJ (YORK 2.55)

Archer could not help but be impressed by the run away win at Epsom last time out. With Group form in the book the great jockey would have been up on this main chance in the valuable John Smith’s Cup.

Crockford’s Gambles on July Cup 2014 Day:

Newmarket – Championship e/w (2.05), Gleneagles (2.40),  Ertijaal e/w and Abseil e/w (3.15), Due Diligence and Hot Streak e/w (July Cup 3.50)

York – Bronze Angel e/w (1.40), Shwaiman e/w (2.20), Farraaj and Queensberry Rules e/w (2.55) and Kingsgate Native (3.30)

Ascot – Bogart e/w and Zero Money e/w (1.55), Long John e/w (2.30), Felwah (3.40) and Battersea e/w (4.15)

Chester – Pushkin Museum (2.50), Glory Awaits (3.25) and Hitchens e/w (4.00)

Tipperary – Simenon (4.45)

 

(Featured Photograph – Aidan O’Brien trainer of Due Diligence by Stuart Rice)

 

Aidan O'Brien