Racing: Vision has victory in sight

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The Independent Online
THERE WILL be a temptation to circle the wagons at Newmarket this afternoon when 18 fast horses come stampeding over the horizon in the July Cup.

It is not the most outstanding renewal of the six-furlong sprint championship because there is no outstanding horse in the field. You can get 7-1 and better your choice this morning. Yet it is an intriguing race nevertheless and one which will be greatly dominated by the draw.

Those allocated a low-numbered position are struggling even before the stalls open. Luca Cumani, the trainer of Arkadian Hero in berth No 1, recognises the problem. "We need Michael Tabor [the colt's owner] to get in his helicopter and fly up and down the far rail to dry out the ground," he said.

Tabor may have to clock up a considerable amount of air time as the three Aidan O'Brien-trained runners in which he also has an interest also appear to have been drawn out of it. Stravinsky did not need that as he struggles to regain the form which made him a one-time favourite for the 2,000 Guineas. Lavery drops down in distance after finding the mile of the French 2,000 Guineas a trip too far, while Bianconi has the appearance of the Ballydoyle third string.

Wannabe Grand, too, comes back in distance after a Classic foray. She was half a length behind Wince here in the 1,000 Guineas and must now be considered from stall 12.

Bold Edge is not so well off and may have had his day in the Cork & Orrery Stakes at Royal Ascot. Certainly there are plenty of others who believe so as six horses which finished behind Richard Hannon's runner that day reoppose. Of those, one of the more plausible is Henry Cecil's Bold Fact, a course-and-distance winner. He was 17th at the Royal meeting, an effort attributable to the shoe and bits of hoof he left behind on the Berkshire turf. A wider look at the colt's form gives him possibilities.

For the winner, though, we must go for a horse from the Cork & Orrery which looks on the upgrade. Vision Of Night (next best 3.05) is not the most strapping of beasts but there were signs of more to come at Ascot, where he was the first three-year-old home in third place. Jockeyship will be a significant factor today and John Dunlop's colt will not fail on that score. He will have the assistance of Olivier Peslier threading him through flagging opponents in the closing stages.

Kieren Fallon has already confirmed this week that he too is no detriment to a horse's chance. The champion jockey can collect another considerable prize with GRANGEVILLE (nap 3.40) in the Bunbury Cup.

Ian Balding's colt was the only runner to make a race of it with Teofilio in a fast-run contest at Sandown last time. That winner went on to defy a penalty here three weeks ago.

El Mobasherr (2.05) was made favourite to win his debut in these surroundings back in April but that ignored both the fact that Ramruma was in the field and that he would run like a headless chicken. With experience now established he can justify the high home reputation which has always accompanied him to the racecourse.

There are good words from the gallops also about Water Echo (2.35). She was spotted working decently with the subsequent maiden winner Hypnotize recently and can immediately start justifying her regal breeding. The offspring of Mr Prospector and Magic Of Life should make a winning debut.

RICHARD EDMONDSON

Nap: Grangeville

(Newmarket 3.40)

NB: Vision Of Night

(Newmarket 3.05)

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