Spot Plays for Newmarket July Festival July 7

Profile Picture: Vance Hanson

July 6th, 2022

The first two days of the July Festival at Newmarket this week have come up high in quality but short on numbers as far as the Group stakes are concerned. Five such events will be run Thursday and Friday, with fields of six, eight, six, six, and five scheduled to face the starter.

The best opportunity to find a price is arguably on Thursday's program. Here are a couple horses of interest.

Race 2: Bahrain Trophy (G3) (8:50 a.m. ET)

This is a nominal prep for the St Leger (G1) in the sense that half the field are ineligible to compete in the Doncaster classic, being geldings. One of them, #2 Deauville Legend (8-1), comes off a strong second-place effort in the King George V H. at Royal Ascot, and looks ready to step up in class. He settled nicely in the King George V, found room in between rivals in deep stretch, and missed by a head to the promising Secret State.

By Sea the Stars, Deauville Legend is a full brother to the Group 3-winning filly Sea La Rosa, who finished second in last weekend's Lancashire Oaks (G2).

Race 3: July (G2) (9:25 a.m. ET)

A pair of colts who made some hay at Royal Ascot, Little Big Bear and Persian Force, will take some beating in this six-furlong event for juveniles, but #5 Mysterious Night (6-1) offers some appeal for Godolphin and Charlie Appleby.

A Dark Angel full brother to Just a Game (G1) and Diana (G1) winner Althiqa, Mysterious Night looks powerfully built and steps up in class off a 1 1/2-length maiden win at Newbury. He had made his debut over the same course in mid-May, missing by a nose.

Although he perhaps lacks the turn of foot the favorites do, Mysterious Night is hardly the finished article and has a right to get better.