July Cup Odds: Shea Shea heads the betting for Newmarket feature

The Group One July Cup is the feature race of Newmarket's July Festival Meeting and Saturday's renewal looks set to live up to its billing of being one of the top European sprints around (Channel 4, 3.50pm). The £500,000 feature has attracted 12 entries after Reckless Abandon wasn't included amongst the final declarations for this six furlong sprint and it is Mike De Kock's Shea Shea who heads the betting.

The South African raider heads to Newmarket as a best price 4/1 favourite with Paddy Power and the claims of the National Emblem gelding are tough to ignore. Shea Shea enjoyed an excellent campaign in Meydan during the spring as he landed the Group One Al Quoz Sprint at the Dubai Carnival. The 6-year-old returned from a short break with a runner-up finish to the reopposing Sole Power in the five furlong King's Stand at Royal Ascot and he could well get back to winning ways this weekend.

Shea Shea didn't enjoy the easiest of paths during the race at the Royal meeting but it should have blown away any cobwebs and he should be all the better for the run. It bodes well that eight of the previous July Cup winners to have taken part in the King's Stand were beaten at Ascot before bouncing back over the extra furlong. That could well be the case on Saturday as Shea Shea has won over this trip before and the South African speedster can take heart from the fact that six of the last 20 July Cup winners made all.

Mike De Kock will be hoping his entry can land him his first ever British Group One win and he will certainly be confident of reversing the King's Stand form with Sole Power. Ed Lynam's Royal Ascot hero edged home last month to record yet another victory over five furlongs. The concern for Lynam will be the fact that Sole Power has never won over six furlongs or beyond, while it is 28 years since a horse doubled up by winning the King's Stand and the July Cup during the same season.

Sole Power is an 8/1 chance for the July Festival Meeting at this stage and he is joined by stablemate Slade Power (10/1). The 4-year-old is another speedy sort who won over five furlongs in a Curragh Group Three last time, although he has plenty to find with several in this field after being beaten in the Diamond Jubilee last time.

Nine of the last 28 winners of the July Cup had contested the Diamond Jubilee and Owington was the last to win both races in 2004. Clive Cox's Lethal Force (4/1) will bid to emulate Owington this weekend after landing the spoils at Ascot last time out and he has enjoyed the drop back to six furlongs this term. The 4-year-old was runner-up to Society Rock in the Duke Of York Stakes on the Knavesmire but reversed the form at Ascot and the pair will meet again on Saturday.

The only worry for Lethal Force this weekend will be the fact that the undulating Newmarket course might not suit him and Society Rock will hope to take advantage. Last year's Haydock Sprint Cup winner conceded weight to Lethal Force when winning at York but had no answer when enjoying little luck at Royal Ascot last time. James Fanshawe's 6-year-old is 9/2 in the latest betting with Paddy Power as he bids to reverse the Diamond Jubilee form and improve on his third place finish from last year's July Cup.

Meanwhile, another entry who is worthy of attention is the ultra-consistent Gale Force Ten for Aidan O'Brien, who has won three July Cups in the past. The Ballydoyle trainer has his 3-year-old engaged this weekend and it is interesting to note that he follows the same path as O'Brien's 2001 winner of this race, Mozart. They both finished runners up in their respective renewals of the Irish 2,000 Guineas before winning the Jersey Stakes prior to the July Cup and Gale Force Ten is 13/2 to go all the way and land this Newmarket feature, although the preference is for the out-and-out pace of Shea Shea at this stage.

Tip: Shea Shea @ 4/1 with PaddyPower -

Article odds supplied by PaddyPower.com.

2013 July Cup Odds

Posted: Friday, 12th July 2013
Author: Chris James

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