Sole’s Power might just stretch to six furlongs in the July Cup

Bill Esdaile
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NEWMARKET stages the Darley July Cup (3.50pm), part of the QIPCO British Champions Series, tomorrow and not since London 2012 has a more internationally flavoured field assembled on these shores for a sporting event. The English contingent are joined by runners from Ireland, South Africa, Australia, USA and United Arab Emirates.

Lethal Force flies the flag for the home team after his emphatic win in the Diamond Jubilee at Royal Ascot last month. There is still plenty of debate over whether or not he stole the race from the front that day, but in my opinion there is no getting away from the fact that Clive Cox’s colt is a genuine Group One performer.

My opposition to him, and to fellow market leaders Shea Shea and Society Rock, is based purely on price as a strong case can be made for all three. Shea Shea will strip far fitter than he did when just denied in the Kings Stand at Ascot, while the cards are more likely to fall better for the ultra-consistent Society Rock.

Yet, all three are priced between 7/2 and 5/1 and I’m not convinced any one of them has a better chance than the other two in the trio to warrant financial support. Ballydoyle representative Gale Force Ten is another who warrants plenty of respect, but I’m not quite sure he’s a genuine Group One performer yet.

The same certainly cannot be said for Irish raider SOLE POWER who won for the second time at the highest level at Royal Ascot last month. Edward Lynam’s six-year-old will be attempting six furlongs for a sixth time, having been unsuccessful at the distance on all previous attempts, but looks over-priced at 10/1 with Coral

Not only will he get his ideal lightning fast conditions and strong pace, but he’s also partnered by Johnny Murtagh and the pair have a unique bond.

Murtagh could well be celebrating a quickfire double as he is a fascinating booking for Mark Johnston’s ES QUE LOVE in the 32Red Bunbury Cup (3.15pm). This four-year-old is burdened with top weight, but he isn’t badly handicapped and can be competitive off this mark.

Prince Of Johanne managed to reel him in at Sandown last weekend and the drop back to seven furlongs is a definite plus here. You couldn’t ask for a better jockey and as long as his draw in stall 19 isn’t a hindrance I think he can go close at 14/1.

Over at York, David Simcock’s MONTASER is a strong fancy to give Dr Marwan Koukash back-to-back John Smith’s Silver Cups (2.20pm), following Mount Athos’ impressive display 12 months ago.

The Rail Link gelding has won all four starts when the word firm has appeared in the going description, so connections must be loving this heat wave.

The big betting race at the northern track is the John Smith’s Cup (2.55pm) and I’m going to side with the progressive CLON BRULEE. David Barron won this race in 2009 with Sirvino and this has been the target all season for this son of Modigliani.

A slight concern is that he may just want a little dig in the ground, although he did win the Zetland Gold Cup on good-to-firm last time.

■ Pointers…
MONTASER 2.20pm York(tomorrow)
CLON BRULEE e/w 2.55pm York (tomorrow)
ES QUE LOVE e/w 3.15pm Newmarket (tomorrow)
SOLE POWER e/w 3.50pm Newmarket (tomorrow)