Horse Racing Betting Tips: Brando’s not just an extra on July Cup set

Bill Esdaile
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Newmarket Races
Brando has won three of his four starts at Newmarket (Source: Getty)

WITH ante post favourite and last year’s winner Harry Angel ruled out through injury, the betting on tomorrow’s Darley July Cup (2.15pm) is fairly open.

King’s Stand winner Blue Point looks a slightly weak favourite for the prestigious Group One sprint at 10/3, while the next five in the betting fill the gaps between 5/1 and 9/1.

Blue Point’s performance in the King’s Stand over five furlongs at Royal Ascot was enough to consolidate his position at the very top of the sprint division, and he may well be just as prolific over six, but I’m slightly worried that his best form has come at Ascot.

Backing BRANDO at a mighty 14/1 with Coral looks the way to go, considering his Newmarket form reads 1131.

He slipped under the radar at 28/1 to finish third in this race last year and even though he’s half the price 12 months on, he still looks a great each-way bet.

Now a six-year-old, he got the job done well when landing the Group Three Abernant Stakes at Newmarket’s Craven meeting on his seasonal reappearance, before finishing second to Harry Angel at York.

He could only manage fourth on his most recent run, the Group Three Greenlands Stakes at the Curragh, but he was slowly away that day and met trouble in the closing stages.

Tom Eaves will probably look to play him late again, but he’ll get a nice tow into the race and has the turn of foot to flash home late and go close.

Limato is the other one that may have been a little overlooked in the betting.

He won this race two years ago and was runner up last year. Since then he has been campaigned over seven furlongs and a mile with limited success.

The return to sprinting could see him bounce back into the winners’ enclosure, but he’s not quite the price of Brando at just 10/1.

In the preceding Bunbury Cup (1.40pm), I’m keen on the chances of George Scott’s GILGAMESH at 9/2 with Ladbrokes.

There is no doubt that this son of Foxwedge is a seven furlong specialist, so it was a really fine effort to finish seventh, beaten by just over two lengths, in the Wokingham last month over six furlongs.

He suffered a slightly interrupted passage and proved that there is mileage in his handicap mark of 100.

You get the feeling this race has been Scott’s plan all season and he should be very hard to keep out of the frame.

It’s obviously a very competitive race. Makzeem and Mukalal both have solid claims, while Cardsharp could go well at a monster price.

BEAT THE BANK was desperately unlucky in the Group One Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, but compensation awaits in Ascot’s Group Two Summer Mile Stakes (1.20pm).

Andrew Balding’s four-year-old was continually blocked in his run and ran on to be beaten just 1¾ lengths in sixth.

The ground was a slight worry that day, as he had previously shown his best form on softer conditions, but he handled it fine and I don’t expect it to be a problem tomorrow.

In fact, I actually think the round mile will suit him better than the straight mile did last month and he looks a good bet at 4/1 with Coral.


Beat The Bank 1.20pm Ascot

Gilgamesh 1.40pm Newmarket

Brando e/w 2.15pm Newmarket

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