Racing: Pips can redeem pride: Richard Edmondson on trends which can pinpoint today's Newmarket winners

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THE CREDENTIALS for success in today's July Stakes are easily found in the race-card for Royal Ascot's opening day. Turn to the page marked Coventry Stakes and keep reading until the name Richard Hannon is reached.

Twice in the last three seasons, the Marlborough trainer has moved horses on from the Coventry to success here - with Rock City in 1989 and Showbrook last year - and he attempts to repeat the pattern this afternoon with Pips Pride. 'That's the race to go for before you come here,' Hannon said yesterday.

While Rock City won at Ascot, Pips Pride, like Showbrook, comes into the Group Three race seeking retribution for defeat, having finished behind Petardia and So Factual in Berkshire.

That run has not diminished PIPS PRIDE (nap 4.10) in the mind of his trainer. 'He's come out of the Coventry fine,' Hannon said. 'Ideally I would want a bit more rain for him but he is a pretty good horse I can tell you.'

Although Hannon took the other Group race on the card, the Falmouth Stakes, last year with Only Yours, the man who has an established record here is Michael Stoute, victorious with Royal Heroine and Sonic Lady (twice).

Stoute's representative this year is Katakana, a filly who impressed so greatly in taking a Newbury maiden last year that she was subsequently installed as favourite for the 1,000 Guineas. Katakana (3.40) did not take her third winter well, though, not even returning to the racecourse until after the Classic had been run, and it may have taken until now for her full powers to be regained.

Stoute had been toying with the idea of stepping up Katakana to the 10 furlongs of Ireland's Pretty Polly Stakes, but decided to keep his filly for today's mile race and his judgement should be respected.

Current form is something that disturbs Barry Hills as his Lambourn stable is conspicuously out of sorts. 'You couldn't back one of mine at the moment,' he said yesterday.

The sequence has to be broken some time, however, and in Scandalmonger (next best 3.10), Hills has a colt who possesses every credential apart from being the inhabitant of a flourishing yard.

The first televised race should go to United Kingdom (2.35), who was taking on an experienced customer and subsequent winner in Dress Sense on his Newmarket debut, while a horse from the same race, Mohammed Moubarak's Al Karnak (6.40), can take advantage of guidance never felt before on a British racecourse at Redcar's evening meeting.

The colt is to be ridden by the American jockey Julie Krone, who makes her debut on these shores and who should also be in the winners' enclosure later with Cockerham Ranger (9.10).