The Weekend Wager: Check Out Our Best Bets At Newmarket And Ascot On July Cup Day

Find horse racing tips for the weekend here...
Find horse racing tips for the weekend here...

A glorious weekend of sport will reach a crescendo on Sunday night with the Euro 2020 final between Italy and England at Wembley, but we focus our attentions on Saturday's sport and in particular the equine action at Newmarket and Ascot. With the July Cup at the former, and the Summer Mile at the latter, this weekend's racing should provide a multitude of thrills and spills, and we pick out our best bets in the second edition of The Weekend Wager!

15:00 Ascot - Summer Mile

There's an abundance of talent lining up in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot on Saturday afternoon, and the likes of the ultra-consistent Sir Busker, Tilsit and Century Dream all hold notable claims of landing the prize. However. the value could lie elsewhere and the Andrew Balding-trained Happy Power could be a shade over-priced at 10/1, at the time of writing, and he is the selection.

The grey is a multiple 7f winner, with one of those coming in the Group 2 Challenge Stakes, but it's been over a mile he has struggled in recent times. Behind the world class talent Palace Pier in the bet365 Mile at Sandown and in the Lockinge Stakes over a mile in the early part of the season, HAPPY POWER was last seen over six furlongs in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, where he was a creditable fourth.

However, the step back up in trip should see him in a better light, and if David Probert is able to hold on to his mount for as long as possible then he could unleash a fine turn of foot to claim the victory, as there's certainly no rival in the same league as the aforementioned Palace Pier, and Happy Power has proven he can do the business at Group 2 level before.

15:00 Ascot - Summer Mile
Happy Power silk

Happy Power


15:15 Newmarket - Superlative Stakes

Charlie Appleby has an excellent recent record in the Superlative Stakes, as the Godolphin handler has won three of the last five runnings of the two-year-old contest, and he will saddle another exciting juvenile in this year's event at Newmarket.

NATIVE TRAIL produced a blistering debut performance winning a Sandown maiden by fourth lengths in June, and he shaped like he could be another exciting colt off the Godolphin production. Appleby has had a magnificent season winning both the Cazoo Derby at Epsom and the Irish Derby, and in Native Trail he has an exciting son of Oasis Dream that showed a fine turn of foot to land that Sandown prize with aplomb, and he could be primed for the top.

Saturday's test is sure to be a whole lot tougher, with Coventry Stakes sixth Dhabab and Chesham third placed finisher Great Max just a brace of prominent figures in the betting that have a little more racecourse experience than Native Trail, and they will prove to be dangers. But, Native Trail oozes potential and the colt, who is a 50/1 shot for the 2000 Guineas next year, can continue his unbeaten start to his career and land the Superlative in style.

15:15 Newmarket - Superlative Stakes
Native Trail silk

Native Trail

15:35 Ascot - Betfred Heritage Handicap

A bumper field will line up at Ascot for the 5f Betfred Heritage Handicap at 15:35 on Saturday and the Royal Ascot winner Significantly will be looking to emulate that Palace Of Holyroodhouse Handicap victory on a return to the Berkshire venue.

Mondammej has been knocking on the door all season, and has to be a lively challenger, while the likes of the last-time-out winner Hurricane Ivor and the veteran Danzeno have to be considered in a devilishly difficult betting heat for punters to work out.

One experienced campaigner that can run a huge race is the Clive Cox-trained seven-year-old TIS MARVELLOUS, who won this race back in 2019 and lines up in the 2021 renewal off a 2lb lower mark. Two of his last three wins have come over course and distance, and his last outing has had its form boosted with Came From The Dark starring last weekend in the Group 3 Coral Charge at Sandown. Not seen for 85 days, Tis Marvellous was taken out of his Royal Ascot assignment, but he can show his talents at his favourite track, and at double-figured odds, he marks excellent value.

15:35 Ascot - Betfred Heritage Handicap
Tis Marvellous silk

Tis Marvellous


16:25 Newmarket - July Cup

On a spectacular day's racing across the UK, we reach a peak at 16:25 as the Group 1 July Cup lights up Newmarket, and it's a race that has assembled a sensational line-up. But, it could be one of those where it's worth keeping things simple and opting for the proven class act in the race.

Roger Teal's OXTED heads into this event as the reigning champion, as he was a sparkling winner of the 2020 July Cup, and it's hard to not see him going close to retain his crown. A real star sprinter for connections, Oxted warmed up for this with an explosive display in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, as he dealt with the drop back to five furlongs in style, and went on to land that Group 1 event in brilliant fashion.

However, it's six furlongs that has really brought the best out of him, so a return three-quarters-of-a-mile on Saturday will see him deliver once again on the big stage. The likes of Duke Of York hero Starman and Commonwealth Cup first-past-the-post Dragon Symbol (demoted in the stewards' room for interference) will prove to be notable contenders, but they both lack the class of Oxted, who can unleash his blistering turn of pace in the closing stages to emulate the mighty Abernant, who was the last horse to win back-to-back renewals of the July Cup.

16:25 Newmarket - July Cup
Oxted silk


Today's Horse Racing Tips
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