There look sound reasons for believing HARRY ANGEL (Newmarket, 4.35) can beat the mighty Caravaggio in today’s tremendous renewal of the Darley July Cup. Regular patrons will recall I was sweet on Clive Cox’s exciting sprinter in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot and a furlong from home all appeared to be going swimmingly, even if the foreboding presence of Caravaggio was beginning to loom large in the wing mirrors of the selection.
Harry Angel didn’t have enough in the tank to withstand the late thrust of his Ballydoyle nemesis that day and I wonder, in hindsight, if rider Adam Kirby regrets becoming embroiled in a protracted speed war at the head of affairs with Intelligence Cross who was surely only present to act as a spoiler. Given the gallop Harry Angel went early on, it was to his eternal credit the son of Dark Angel managed to maintain his speed to the line and he could gain a measure of compensation today.
ROYAL BIRTH (Ascot, 2.10) landed this event 12 months ago and arrives in good heart courtesy of a fine run on the all-weather at Chelmsford. He was hampered at a crucial stage that day but clearly enjoyed the return to handicap company and there is a good chance this race will set up nicely for him.
VICTORY BOND (York, 3.05) represents a stable which have enjoyed plenty of success in this event in the last decade and this prestigious handicap has been a target since finishing an eye-catching third to Here Comes When in a strongly-run mile handicap. The return to 10 furlongs should suit and the prospect of a strong pace could assist a horse which can be keen in his races.