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“Hopefully she will get her just rewards”

7 Jul 2016

Brave Anna and Seamie Heffernan winning The Albany Stakes from Bletchley
Royal Ascot 17.6.16
Pic Dan Abraham-racingfotos.com

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It’s the peak of summer and things are pretty busy. Thankfully I have a driver again this summer, though, which enables me to have a little break in between racing. I’m also flying to Newbury later today with Andrea (Atzeni), who I find hugely entertaining. You have to keep going!

On Friday Bletchley is the obvious standout ride for me in the Duchess of Cambridge Stakes. She’s a worthy favourite and I don’t think the quicker ground will be too much of a problem. She seems to have come out of Ascot (beaten a short head in the Albany), is a tough, little filly and hopefully she will get her just rewards.

Qatar have another filly in the race, Soul Silver, and she could run into a place after her successful debut. La Rioja also runs at York and I wouldn’t be surprised if she took another massive step forward back down into Group 3 for fillies. Martin Harley takes over on her and it was a tough call as she’s a very good filly and her Ascot performance in the Diamond Jubilee was a step in the right direction.

Suzi’s Connoisseur just missed out by one on getting in the Bunbury Cup but I think that he has a real chance in the consolation race. He ran well for a long way on his reappearance at Windsor, looks great and I’m confident that he can run a big race. He’s due a big one!

On Saturday I’m back to Newmarket and am really looking forward to riding in the Darley July Cup, which looks like being one of the hottest recent renewals and one of the strongest Group 1 races of the year! I had a choice of about five in the race but only one is owned by Qatar Racing and therefore I’m on Arod.  It’s not going to be easy dropping back to six furlongs in a race as competitive as this. Sometimes milers can drop back sprinting as they do tend to have more class than some sprinters.

There are about six horses in the race that are worthy winners and I would be very surprised if a big-priced runner was successful. I’ll be doing my best, though, and watched the last seven July Cups in the car this morning. You need to be prominent throughout, which will suit Arod’s style of racing, together with the ground drying out every second.

I think Limato is the one to beat, though, and that Harry Bentley is going to win his first domestic Group 1. Magical Memory will be suited by the drying ground as well, but I just feel Limato is a class, class act. I’ve seen him work, I’ve ridden him work and I can’t see him being out of the first three.

South Seas goes in the Superlative Stakes but he wouldn’t want the ground too fast. If it’s genuinely good ground then I’d be happy to run but he probably won’t if it’s much firmer. He was impressive at Windsor when making a successful debut and has a big future ahead of him.

Horse to Follow: STROLL PATROL

She’s a full sister to Hors de Combat and runs at Chester on Saturday. She’s never been as good and is more switched off now. Her recent work has been very good.