17 July 2017

For Saturday’s Group 1 July Cup at Newmarket, all eyes were on Golden Jubilee winner Caravaggio to extend his unbeaten record to seven, leaving his Ascot runner-up HARRY ANGEL (IRE) somewhat underestimated. Clive Cox’s three-year-old displayed brilliant pace at the Royal meeting, where he was riled up by pacemaker Intelligence Cross, but was still only beaten three parts of a length. It was also perhaps his toughest test to date, having previously been an easy winner of the Sandy Lane Stakes and Mill Reef Stakes.

Sent off five to one against Caravaggio’s short-priced favouritism, HARRY ANGEL (IRE) relaxed under Adam Kirby and left Intelligence Cross alone in front, continuing his impressive travelling speed to take over approaching the final furlong and was not for catching, as his nine rivals did their best to keep up with him. The winning margin was a length and a quarter, as last year’s winner Limato (IRE) ran on to take second, with a further half a length back to Kevin Ryan’s admirable servant Brando in third. A jubilant Clive Cox said afterwards; “HARRY ANGEL (IRE) has always been a special horse. Although he was beaten at Ascot and Adam was quite disappointed, the look in the horse's eye when he came off the track - it was almost like 'OK guys, I'm getting this'.”

Irish-bred sprinters have emerged superior in their field in recent years, with HARRY ANGEL (IRE) joining the July Cup honour roll of Lethal Force (IRE), Limato (IRE) and Slade Power (IRE). The Godolphin-owned colt also became the second Group winner in the space of a week bred by Paul and Marie McCartan of Ballyphilip Stud, with Battaash (IRE) winning the Group 3 Coral Charge in record time at the Eclipse meeting. The pair are both by Yeomanstown Stud sire Dark Angel (IRE), who now counts three top-level winners and 22 individual Group winners to his name. HARRY ANGEL (IRE) is out of the MacCartan’s homebred Cadeaux Generaux mare Beatrix Potter (IRE); a half-sister to dual Group 1 winner Xtension (IRE), from the family of National Stakes runner-up Wathab (IRE).

Providing some reconciliation for Carravaggio’s fourth in the day’s feature was a Group 2 victory for Aidan O’Brien and Coolmore in the earlier Superlative Stakes, taken in game fashion by GUSTAV KLIMT (IRE). A comfortable winner of his maiden at the Curragh last time out, he was sent off the favourite of an 11 horse field and raced in mid-division for much of the way, switching to the far side to make impressive headway under Ryan Moore and ran on well in the closing stages to score by a head. Irish breeders and sires filled the first three places home, as Nebo (IRE), a son of Kodiac, stayed on for second and Great Prospector (IRE), by Elzaam, finishing third.

O’Brien later said; “We always thought GUSTAV KLIMT (IRE) was going to be a National Stakes - Dewhurst type and we may think about the Futurity Stakes with him before that. He's got plenty of speed but you'd hope he'd get a mile.” The winning son of Galileo (IRE) is a full-brother to ill-fated Group 1 performer Mars (IRE), Group 3 winner Wonderfully (IRE) and Listed winner Cuff (IRE), with other siblings including Gran Criterium heroine Nayarra (IRE). They are out of the Listed-winning Danehill mare Massara, who is a full-sister to speedy sire Kodiac and a half-sister to top sire and Group 1 winner Invincible Spirit (IRE). The second dam is Rafha, winning of the Prix de Diane and May Hill Stakes.

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