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July Cup Runners & Riders  

The 2024 July Cup takes place on Saturday, 13th July, with the field gradually whittled down until the off. The runners and riders for the race will be out two days before the race and you can find GG’s July Cup tips on our dedicated page to get ahead of the game.

Here are this year’s declarations for the race:

2024 July Cup Runners

My Pension Expert July Cup Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)

Who are the Top Three Favourites to Win this Year’s July Cup?

A winning favourite in 2023 will have punters clamouring for those towards the top of the market to do the business again this season. Among the 2024 July Cup runners and riders, these are the standouts according to the market, with all three expected to play a strong part in this sprinting Group 1.

Inisherin

Not on many people’s radar at the start of 2024, Inisherin has proved a revelation this term for trainer Kevin Ryan. He begun this season with a comfortable win on the all-weather, but that was over 1m. He even ran in the 2000 Guineas at that trip, showing up strongly until push came to shove in the closing stages.

However, he still finished sixth in what looked a strong edition of that Classic, and since being dropped to 6f, he has been exceptional. A win in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes on soft was strong form, but any doubters who wondered whether a quicker surface would hinder him were swiftly proven wrong when he hacked up in Royal Ascot’s Group 1 Commonwealth Cup on good-to-firm.

Though he will be taking on older rivals for the first time in this race, the three-year-old crop have this race for the taking given it is a weak division. Inisherin looks to be at the vanguard of what could prove a strong younger bunch.

Vandeek

A contender for the July Cup who missed Royal Ascot is Vandeek. A son of the speedy Havana Grey, who was a precocious juvenile, Vandeek filled those shoes perfectly by going unbeaten at two, including two Group 1 victories, first on the continent at Deauville and then back on home shores in the Middle Park Stakes.

Overall, his form was excellent, but he was put in his place by Inisherin when he returned at Haydock. He was carrying a penalty for his two-year-old successes that day, but it was only an extra burden of 3lb. Ultimately, he was beaten four lengths and never got close to the winner.

However, the ground may not have suited for his first run after 238 days off. A quicker surface should be what he excels on and he will also have blown any fitness cobwebs away come the start of the July Cup. He is likely to be well supported in opposition to the favourite.

English Oak

English Oak arrives from a very different form background to the pair above, emerging from handicaps to potentially be a Group race force. Ed Walker’s charge is also a year older, not making his debut as a three-year-old until last May.

By the time last season ended, he had finished runner-up in a competitive Ascot handicap over this distance, but has improved substantially this term. A second at Newmarket on his return preceded two east handicap victories, the latter in a 26-runner affair at the royal meeting which he turned into a procession.

He is clearly improving at a rate of knots and is now rated 108, patently a Group class rating. His winning has been done over 7f this year, so he will have to adapt to what will undoubtedly be a faster climate, but he could yet do so.

July Cup Horse Entries & Selections

The July Cup is not the first Group 1 6f sprint race which allows three-year-olds to compete, although it is usually the first which sees the generations clash, as the Commonwealth Cup, a top level race exclusive for three-year-olds, was introduced to Royal Ascot in 2023.

Only a maximum of 20 can take their chance in the race, and the chances are we will see a field close to that in 2024. The 2023 renewal saw only eight take to the July course though, so it is unlikely any runners will have to be balloted out.

Which Trainers Have Historically Had the Most Success in the July Cup?

Three trainers have won the July Cup on the most occasions to date. All have claimed five renewals, the first to reach that mark being Charles Morton when Golden Sun won in 1914, the second being Vincent O’Brien with Royal Academy in 1990, and the most recent to join them being namesake Aidan O’Brien after Ten Sovereigns’ 2019 success.

The Ballydoyle maestro will surely take the record for himself before long, though the jockeys’ outright leader will not be passed for some time. Lester Piggott managed an outstanding ten victories in this contest and no currently active rider has accrued more than two wins in the July Cup. Expect Piggott to reign supreme long into this race’s future.

Runners & Riders Past Winners

YearHorseTrainerJockeyOdds
2014Slade PowerEdward LynamWayne Lordan7/4F
2015MuhaararCharles HillsPaul Hanagan2/1J
2016LimatoHenry CandyHarry Bentley9/2F
2017Harry AngelClive CoxAdam Kirby9/2
2018U S Navy FlagAidan O’BrienRyan Moore8/1
2019Ten SovereignsAidan O’BrienRyan Moore9/2
2020OxtedRoger TealCieren Fallon12/1
2021StarmanEd WalkerTom Marquand9/2
2022Alcohol FreeAndrew BaldingRob Hornby14/1
2023ShaquilleJulie CamachoRossa Ryan5/2J