July Stakes: Thursday 14.25 ITV3
Despite missing the break and being hampered early on, Rajasinghe ran out a deserved winner of what looked a decent renewal of the Coventry Stakes, and with the form of the best two-year-old race at the Royal meeting working out so well subsequently (Zaman, Connery, Haddaf and US Navy Flag all won since and Murillo third in the Railway Stakes) there can be no arguments that he’s a worthy favourite in the ante-post lists for this Group 2 prize. However, this contest at HQ appears equally as deep and with the likelihood of him being at least the same price, if not bigger on the day, it makes sense to look elsewhere for the value at this stage.
Although only winning a maiden last time out, INVINCIBLE ARMY (best price 14-1) did it in such a fashion that it’s easy to see him being capable of bridging the gap to pattern company in one fell swoop, and he appears grossly overpriced on the evidence of that scintillating display three weeks ago. Sent off a well-backed favourite off the back of a promising effort first time out (runner-up to Masar who went on to finish third in the Chesham), James Tate’s inmate travelled really strongly through the early part of the contest and then when asked to quicken with two furlongs to run, he opened up in the style of a very smart colt on the run uphill to the line. Not only impressing by the way he carried his head low and honestly once in full flow, he posted the fastest furlong-per-furlong time on the seven-race card and also a final three-furlong sectional of 34.8 to rival the concluding older sprint handicap over 5f (always a good sign). For those of us keeping an eye on how the form is panning out, it was encouraging to see the fourth-placed horse, Rockies Spirit, bolt up on his next start at Thirsk last week and results like that only further bolster the confidence that the son of Invincible Spirit must be pretty smart. Being one of only two horses at the five-day stage to have run over the stiff nature of the July course, he clearly will hold some sort of advantage over his rivals and with the likelihood of fast ground due to another favourable weather forecast, it’s easy to see this highly-promising colt a single-figure price on the day itself.