The July Festival

Bated Breath was denied by just under a length last year from scooping the July Cup at Newmarket but is favourite to add his first Group One success in the same race this time around.

Only Dream Ahead finished in front of him in the feature race of the three-day July Meeting in 2011 in what was a tight finish to the six furlong contest.

Roger Charlton’s runner has made a positive start to his campaign this season. He started by winning the Group Two Temple Stakes at Haydock where he held off the challenge of Sole Power over the five furlong sprint on that occasion. A month later he nearly landed the biggest win of his career in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, finishing second behind Little Bridge. That form gives him every right to be favourite going into this year’s July Cup.

Society Rock is also expected to go well after finishing just two lengths behind Australian superstar Black Caviar in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot despite missing the break. The five-year old was looking to win the race once again after scoring at 25/1 back in 2011.

The meeting at Newmarket begins with the Group Two July Stakes on Thursday where Sir Prancealot is expected to go off favourite to make up for his fourth place finish in the Coventry Stakes. A lot of attention has followed this horse after his impressive performance at Sandown earlier in the season. Connections will be hoping he make up for his failure at Royal Ascot by winning this two-year old contest.

On Friday it is the turn of the fillies and mares in the Falmouth Stakes. Golden Lilac caused an upset at Longchamp in May when turning over Cirrus Des Aigles in the Prix D’Ispahan. The French runner could go off odds-on this time around with her main rivals including Aidan O’Brien’s Maybe and Chachamaidee.

The going on the opening day of the meeting is expected to be good to soft but more rain is forecasted for later in the week.

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