Cape Byron makes big time bow

Thu 11 Jul 2019

Wokingham winner Cape Byron, Spanish City and slightly unlucky Wolferton fifth Mountain Angel head our Saturday team, with the former one of the market leaders for the feature July Cup at Newmarket.

When Cape Byron was coming home 7th of 15 in the seven-furlong Challenge Cup handicap last October it would have been pretty inconceivable that he would be lining up in a July Cup as third favourite nine months later! The now five-year-old has taken his form to the next level this season in winning the Victoria Cup off 103 and the Wokingham off 107 on his first go at six furlongs, beating 50 rivals in the process over the two races. Both of his previous tries in stakes races were over nine furlongs so this is very much a new test for the Sheikh Mohammed Obaid-owned gelding, but he will go to the July Cup in great form and almost completely unexposed at the trip.

Merry Fox Stud's Spanish City returns for a second crack at the Bunbury Cup a year on from an agonising 1/2L second to the re-opposing Burnt Sugar. Similar ground awaits for the six-year-old on Saturday, but he does have a 5lb higher mark to overcome if he's to record the big handicap win he threatened to pull off throughout last season. He's shaped well on two runs over six furlongs recently and is now reunited with Andrea Atzeni, the last rider to win on him in June last year. 

Mountain Angel will be our solitary York raider on Saturday but the five-year-old travels to the Knavesmire as favourite for the prestigious John Smith's Diamond Jubilee Cup on the back of three career best efforts in 2019. A first attempt at Listed level in the Wolferton at Royal Ascot resulted in a 5th place finish which was commendable considering both the strength of the race and the position he found himself in with the race unfolding in front of him. His performance there suggested he could be competitive at stakes level in the near future and he heads north with a solid chance off an unchanged mark of 106, albeit a drop of rain wouldn't go amiss. 

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