The Cheka can spring July Cup shock with mudbath to neutralise opponents



While acknowledging the superior claims to sympathy of other communities, few are more thoroughly fed up with the weather than those who like a bet. High summer is when punters hope to make hay, with the form working out reliably on consistent going. Instead one of the busiest Saturdays of the whole calendar stretches before them like a no man's land of mud and foxholes.

Yesterday Golden Lilac started odds-on for a Group One race at Newmarket, and staggered home ninth of 10. Few, accordingly, will approach the climax of the meeting with any confidence – and should perhaps brace themselves for a shock result in the Darley July Cup.

A tentative interest is duly proposed in The Cheka (3.20). He was below form at Royal Ascot last time, for no reason that came to light, but can be considered one of the least exposed sprinters in the field even at the age of six. Only dropped to this trip for the first time in the spring, he has quickly surpassed even the form he had previously shown in multiple podium finishes in Group company. His trainer replaces the usual cheekpieces with a visor today, which might just sharpen him up, and he is one of few in the race proven in testing ground.

Bated Breath and Strong Suit are much more talented, but the trainers of both have deep misgivings about conditions. Society Rock does go in the ground, and ran very well in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes for the third year running. But he ran flat in this contest, a couple of seasons ago – whether because he is simply more effective at Ascot, or because he prefers a longer interval between races. Either way, respective odds of 33-1 and 4-1 take scant account of the fact that The Cheka finished a neck in front of Society Rock at York in May.

The juveniles who contest the other Group race on the card, the 32Red Superlative Stakes, have scarcely any experience of soft going between them. Moreover, they arrive largely on the upgrade, so it can only be of limited pertinence that Olympic Glory (2.10) brings the best form to date.

A sturdier case can be made for Belgian Bill (2.40) at 14-1 in the Bunbury Cup. He is definitely on a feasible mark and is excused a couple of inconspicuous runs at Ascot, entitled to need the first after a break and then given only a couple of days to recover. He handles soft ground and his form over longer distances means that he will see this out thoroughly.

Both Godolphin stables are in top order now and Alkimos (3.00) should be competitive for the most valuable prize on the John Smith's card at York, having returned to form at Ascot last time. He has few miles on the clock, and will be suited by a strong gallop at this shorter trip. High Jinx (2.25) meets several other improvers, but must not be abandoned until finding his own ceiling now.

The eclipse of Golden Lilac did not prevent the French making off with the Etihad Airways Falmouth Stakes. Giofra wore down Elusive Kate by half a length, while Siyouma also flew the tricolour in third. This was a remarkable comeback by the runner-up, who has not been seen since the Breeders' Cup and was thought unsuited by the mud. But the winning trainer, Alain de Royer-Dupré, reckons that Giofra will be better still at 10 furlongs, and may send her to the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood before thinking about a crack at the Arc.

The Irish Thoroughbred Marketing Cherry Hinton Stakes showcased the next generation of fillies – and a special young talent in Andrew Oliver, who exported the prize to Ulster through Sendmylovetorose. He picked out this filly for just £5,000 as a yearling and she is unbeaten in three starts. She has earned the right to a crack at a Group One, albeit the fact remains that she was lucky to hold on by a neck from Maureen, who flew home after suffering dreadful luck in running.

Main Sequence, whose defeat by Camelot at Epsom was the first of his career, lines up for the Grand Prix de Paris this evening. Unfortunately, rain has reached Longchamp, as well, and trainer David Lanigan admits himself concerned by conditions. Imperial Monarch, the Ballydoyle raider, won in heavy ground at Sandown in the spring and, having finished well after circling the field in the Prix du Jockey-Club, is likely to relish the extra distance, too.

His stablemate, Treasure Beach, has travelled far and wide since his defeat in the Grand Prix de Paris last year and attempts to conquer another foreign field later tonight, in the Man O' War Stakes at Belmont, New York.

Turf Account

Chris McGrath's Nap: Jocasta Dawn

(6.55 Salisbury)

Next Best: Belgian Bill

(2.40 Newmarket)

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Rita Ora will replace Kylie Minogue as a judge on The Voice 2015
Life and Style
Life and Style
Alan Turing, who was convicted of gross indecency in 1952, was granted a royal pardon last year
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black and Ed Stoppard as her manager Brian Epstein
tvCilla Episode 2 review: Grit under the glamour in part two of biopic series starring Sheridan Smith
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Tennis player Andy Murray's mum Judy has been paired with Anton du Beke for Strictly Come Dancing. 'I'm absolutely delighted,' she said.
tvJudy Murray 'struggling' to let Anton Du Beke take control on Strictly
Life and Style
Vote with your wallet: the app can help shoppers feel more informed about items on sale
lifeNew app reveals political leanings of food companies
Arts and Entertainment
The cover of Dark Side of the Moon
musicCan 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition? See for yourself
New Zealand fly-half Aaron Cruden pictured in The Zookeeper's Son on a late-night drinking session
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
voicesMaybe the new app will make it more normal to reach out to strangers
Arts and Entertainment
Salmond told a Scottish television chat show in 2001that he would also sit in front of a mirror and say things like,
tvCelebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
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

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

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English teachers required in Lowestoft

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified English tea...

Business Development Director - Interior Design

£80000 - £100000 per annum + competitive + bonus + benefits: Sauce Recruitment...

Sales Director, Media Sponsorship

£60000 - £65000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: A globally successful media and ...

Head of Affiliate Sales for Emerging Markets

competitive + benefits: Sauce Recruitment: Are you looking for your next role ...

Day In a Page

Secret politics of the weekly shop

The politics of the weekly shop

New app reveals political leanings of food companies
Beam me up, Scottie!

Beam me up, Scottie!

Celebrity Trekkies from Alex Salmond to Barack Obama
Beware Wet Paint: The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition

Beware Wet Paint

The ICA's latest ambitious exhibition
Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Pink Floyd have produced some of rock's greatest ever album covers

Can 'The Endless River' carry on the tradition?
Sanctuary for the suicidal

Sanctuary for the suicidal

One mother's story of how London charity Maytree helped her son with his depression
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits