Sir John Hawkins can turn up heat at July Festival - Racing - Sport - The Independent

Sir John Hawkins can turn up heat at July Festival

 

For anyone who has wondered quite how the British Turf continues to seduce investment from the Gulf, perhaps a day at the July Festival at Newmarket might prove every bit as instructive as one spent among the pomp and pageantry of Ascot or Epsom. At a time of year when their homelands seem most arid, the sheikhs find themselves driven through avenues of trees between green paddocks to a racecourse full of shade and flowers. And if the quality of the sport is mixed, with plenty of maidens and handicaps as ballast to the elite contests, then there will be a corresponding air of relaxation over the next three afternoons – not least granted the benign weather forecast.

The opening race is typical of the fare, a lack of proven stars redressed by the possibility that one could be about to emerge. Who knows? Perhaps Dare To Achieve (1.40) could even announce himself as a possible Ladbrokes St Leger colt as he steps up from a Pontefract maiden to Group Three company. After all, this son of Galileo has always been well regarded by his shrewd trainer, William Haggas. And while it did take him three attempts to get off the mark, he looked very promising in his sole start at two and then bumped into a subsequent Royal Ascot winner, Remote, when second over just 10 furlongs on his reappearance at Newbury. He duly outclassed some inferior rivals when stepped up in trip at Pontefract and, with that solid grounding, looks ready to improve past a handful who strictly achieved more when filling minor roles in the Queen's Vase at Ascot.

A similar contrast presents itself in the Portland Place Properties July Stakes, between a colt whose third in the Coventry Stakes at Ascot sets the form standard, and a number who have shown abundant promise in maidens. The Richard Hannon pair both look tempting, on account of the sheer depth of his juvenile resources, but Sir John Hawkins (2.10) was exposed to a molten gallop in the Coventry – one that enabled his stablemate, War Command, to open right up in the final stages – and has the pedigree to keep improving. (He is by Henrythenavigator out of that remarkable mare Peeping Fawn.)

The Princess Of Wales's Boylesports Stakes often brings together horses that have either lost their way or been found out in the top grade, and again raises plenty of questions. Universal (2.40) proved very game when stepped up in grade back in the spring, and has since run extremely well in the Hardwicke Stakes. It would be unwise to grant him a soft lead on a track that suits front-runners.

The handicap that concludes Channel 4's coverage is always one of the most competitive of the summer, and again brings together several improvers. Greeleys Love (3.15) hardly qualifies as an obvious one, but he will be a corresponding price and has more than once given the impression he has more ability than this rating. Having met traffic when raised in trip at Ascot, he is worth one last chance at very big odds.

Only four runners have been declared for the first of the meeting's two Group One races, the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes tomorrow – but they do include Sky Lantern, brilliant winner of the Coronation Stakes, and last year's one-two, Giofra and Elusive Kate. The other runner, Purr Along, will be the clear outsider but has the distinction of becoming Frankie Dettori's first mount in the silks of Sheikh Joaan since signing the retainer that he hopes will unlock the door back to the big time.

Turf account

Chris McGrath's Nap

Baldemar (8.55 Epsom) Loves this idiosyncratic track, a winner here three times already, and looked unlucky not to exploit a handy mark when second at Thirsk last time.

Next best

Chunky Diamond (4.50 Doncaster) Having tumbled down the handicap, bounced back to form at Haydock last week and is plainly ahead of the game without a penalty.

One to watch

Velox (Luca Cumani) is progressing quickly, held up in his run before closing well for second on his handicap debut at Haydock the other day.

Where the money's going

The Kevin Ryan-trained Hamza, winner of his last two starts, is 12-1 from 20-1 with Ladbrokes for the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday.

Life and Style
tech
News
Paper trail: the wedding photograph found in the rubble after 9/11 – it took Elizabeth Keefe 13 years to find the people in it
newsWho are the people in this photo? It took Elizabeth Stringer Keefe 13 years to find out
Arts and Entertainment
Evil eye: Douglas Adams in 'mad genius' pose
booksNew biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape
music
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
FootballFull debuts don't come much more stylish than those on show here
News
i100
Life and Style
Kim Kardashian drawn backlash over her sexy swimsuit selfie, called 'disgusting' and 'nasty'
fashionCritics say magazine only pays attention to fashion trends among rich, white women
Arts and Entertainment
TVShows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Arts and Entertainment
Hit the roof: hot-tub cinema east London
architectureFrom pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
Travel
travel
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Administrator - Graduate

£18000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: ***EXCELLENT OPPORTUNITY FO...

Project Officer (HMP Brixton Mentoring Project)

£24,000 per annum pro rata (21 hours per week): Belong: Work as part of a cutt...

Secondary teachers needed in Harleston

Competitive & Flexible: Randstad Education Cambridge: The JobRandstad Educatio...

Exam Invigilators needed

£45 - £50 per day: Randstad Education Chester: Randstad Education are currentl...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week