July Cup Betting Preview: Bated Breath a short odds fancy for Newmarket
Bated Breath is favourite for Saturday's July Cup at Newmarket after 21 entries remained following Monday's five-day declaration stage. Roger Charlton's 5-year-old is bidding for a first Group One success when he goes to post for the six furlong contest and he is currently 5/2 favourite with Ladbrokes, although Richard Hannon's Strong Suit has been supplemented for the race and three-time July Cup winner Aidan O'Brien is triple-handed.
It is Bated Breath who heads the betting though as he bids to avenge his defeat in this race last year, where he lost to Dream Ahead. It has been a familiar tale of near misses at the very top for the son of Dansili as he is winless in Group One company, finishing 5th, 2nd, 9th, 2nd, 8th and 2nd in his last six efforts. His most recent runner-up appearance came when he was beaten by Little Bridge in the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot and connections will be hoping for better this weekend, with Bated Breath's stablemate Genki (33/1), sixth in this race last year, likely to join him.
Paul Messara's Ortensia (12/1) had started favourite for the King's Stand at Ascot but the Australian mare was a huge disappointment when coming home in ninth and much more is expected this time. Messara put the flop down to his 7-year-old not enjoying Ascot and he is hoping for firmer ground on Saturday, with recent Coral-Eclipse winning jockey William Buick likely to take the ride.
The biggest threat to Bated Breath this weekend could come from the stables of Richard Hannon, whose Strong Suit has been supplemented for the race. The 4-year-old, who won a Group Two at Newmarket in October, was a huge disappointment when 10th of 11, behind Frankel, on his reappearance in the Queen Anne Stakes but the Rahy Colt is expected to improve for the run and for a drop back to six furlongs, with Ladbrokes pricing him 8/1.
Hannon also has recent Criterion Stakes winner Libranno entered and the 4-year-old is a 14/1 chance in the latest betting after winning over this course and distance in the July Stakes two years ago. 33/1 shot Elnawin completes the Hannon trio.
Aidan O'Brien has three entries as well at this stage and his leading chance would appear to be Irish 2,000 Guineas winner Power after Excelebration was scratched from the line-up. Power won the Coventry Stakes over this trip last year and is a 10/1 chance, while his stablemates Reply (33/1) and After (33/1) could also appear.
Elsewhere, James Fanshawe's Society Rock is an 8/1 chance with Ladbrokes, although the 5-year-old has struggled at Newmarket in the past, not least in this race in 2010, while David Marnane's Wokingham hero Dandy Boy is a 14/1 chance.
Also at 14/1 with Ladbrokes is Mick Easterby's Hoof It, who could be worthy of each-way attention if he can rediscover last year's form. The 5-year-old was a three-time handicap winner and finished third to Dream Ahead and Bated Breath in the Sprint Cup at Haydock last season but has struggled to hit those heights during an interrupted 2012 campaign. The Monsieur Bond gelding scoped badly on his first start of 2012 and shaped as if needing the run in the Criterion Stakes last time, with a big race not beyond him if he is fully fit this weekend.
Latest July Cup Betting
5/2 Bated Breath
8/1 Strong Suit
8/1 Society Rock
14/1 Hoof It
14/1 Dandy Boy
16/1 Krypton Factor
Odds supplied by Ladbrokes.com, with best odds guaranteed on all UK and Irish horse racing.
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