Blink and you’ll miss ’em! Picking a July Cup Winner

The Darley July Cup at Newmarket is one of the premier six-furlong sprinting contests in the world, where the fastest equine performers come to show how good they are.

Sensational speedsters such as Lethal Force, Oasis Dream and Cadeuax Genereux have previously struck gold in the Group 1 contest in Suffolk.

This year, the likes of Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner Slade Power, Aidan O’Brien’s Due Diligence and Spanish star Noozhoh Canarias will contend to be the champion of the prestigious race.

But what key attributes do you need to win the Darley July Cup? Let us tell you.

Good balance
Newmarket’s July course, as picturesque and as beautiful as it is, can be a bit of a difficult surface to ride if you’re a jockey. The undulations of the course, including the bumps, mean that for any sprinter wishing to win this historic race, they need to be very well balanced in order to keep their speed and momentum going. If the horse isn’t, despite how talented they may be, it’s good night Vienna! The uphill finish towards the end can be very testing for tired horses. It sorts the great sprinters from the good speedsters.

A composed jockey
The Darley July Cup is over before you have time to think straight. With Lethal Force breaking the track record last year in a time of one minute, 9.11 seconds, the time really does fly and it pays to have a rider on board that is patient and composed to push the horse on at the right moment. Split seconds make a huge difference and while other riders may get nervous and go too early, it is important that the rider on your horse is able to judge the pace well and go for the finish line at the right time.

Good draw and break
The start of the Darley July Cup can be make or break for some horse’s chances – just like Lethal Force last year. In the first furlong Clive Cox’s star was the fastest horse out of the gate and was never met with a challenge. The draw of the race does also have an advantage to those that run on the stands’ side, despite the course being in a straight line.

Quick turn of foot
Newmarket’s July course, in particular, is one that can suit front runners. If you can get out of the gate well, you’re in with a good chance of finishing prominently at the end. However, it is all well and good doing the business at the start, all good sprinters should be able to get second wind close to home that will all but secure victory.

Does the horse you will support have the above attributes? If so, you could be on to a winner!