Redkirk Warrior Ready for Group 1 Darley July Cup
Australian sprint star Redkirk Warrior delighted his connections when working on Newmarket’s Adnams July Course early on Monday morning ahead of his run in the Group 1 Darley July Cup back at the Suffolk track on Saturday.
The seven-year-old gelding, among 19 entries left in the July Cup at today’s five-day declaration stage, galloped on his own over five furlongs – a furlong shy of the distance he will cover over the same course at the weekend in the £500,000 feature, which forms part of the QIPCO British Champions Series.
Regan Bayliss, regular rider of Redkirk Warrior, was reunited with the gelding, having arrived in England on Saturday. The 21-year-old has 314 career victories to his name but has never ridden in Europe.
Redkirk Warrior, a general 10-1 for the July Cup, had been partnered by Frankie Dettori when failing to make an impact in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
“It was good to have a look at the track as we’ve got nothing like that in Australia. It’s good to have a ride on it before Saturday and the horse is in really good order,” Bayliss said.
“We’re not here to break any records [this morning]. It was a bit of a maintenance gallop to keep on top of things. He’s in tip-top order and the gallop went very well. He stretched out nicely and I could not be happier with him.”
He added: “At the start of his preparation he beat Merchant Navy [who won the Diamond Jubilee Stakes last month], so he’s got very good form against very good horses. It was a disappointing run at Ascot, which left us scratching our heads a little bit, but he looks terrific in his coat and he’s very well and working great.
“When he is on-song he’s one of the best sprinters we’ve got in Australia, if not the world.”
In the absence of Harry Angel, who won the July Cup last year, the home defence will be led by Blue Point, who won the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, plus Eqtidaar, who landed the Commonwealth Cup at the meeting. The former is 3-1 favourite with most firms,
Eqtidaar, a best-priced 13-2, will gallop on the July course early tomorrow.
Others still in the mix include Limato, winner of the July Cup two years ago and runner-up 12 months ago, plus Sands Of Mali, runner-up in the Commonwealth Cup, and Dreamfield. The Wokingham runner-up.
Aidan O’Brien still has nine engaged, including US Navy Flag, winner of the Middle Park Stakes and Dewhurst on Newmarket’s Rowley Mile course last year. He is the shortest-priced of his entries, being quoted at 5-1.