Harry Bentley celebrates winning the July Cup on Limato
PICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
By Stuart Riley 4:39PM 9 JUL 2016
Report: Newmarket, Saturday
Darley July Cup (British Champions Series and Global Sprint Challenge) (Group 1) 6f, 3yo+
LIMATO produced a blistering display to blast his way to July Cup glory and give jockey Harry Bentley a first Group 1 in Britain and trainer Henry Candy a second top level sprint of the season.
It was a total performance from a horse who had previously looked stuck between sprinting and a mile. His best form was at seven furlongs, with Muhaarar proving too much for him in last year’s Commonwealth Cup while he had finished a decent, but ultimately held, fourth in the Lockinge.
But Candy always maintained fast ground was key to his chances and, with the going in his favour for the first time this summer and a rapid early pace playing to his proven stamina for further, Limato took full advantage of the drop back in trip.
He was last off the bridle and fired himself two lengths clear when asked by Bentley. Limato wandered right once on his own, but he maintained enough forwards momentum to justify 9-2 favouritism and see off Diamond Jubilee fifth Suedois, a 25-1 chance, with Quiet Reflection, the horse Candy pinpointed during the week as the most likely winner, third at 7-1.
Explaining Limato’s final furlong veer, Bentley said: “I got a good position and he took me there too well. I had to come when I did and I had in the back of my mind that he stays further than six and I got away with it. He knew where he’d come out of the paddock and he’s a clever sod. To do that in a Group 1 and still win like that shows how good he is.”
A delighted Candy added: “He’s exciting isn’t he? That was amazing. The first thing Harry said when he got back was ‘I can’t wait to ride him again’. He’s in the Sussex Stakes and I wouldn’t rule that out totally. I thought he ran a cracking race in the Lockinge and I thought he stayed that day.”
More to follow . . .