John Gosden pitches his potentially smart Legend Of War against Coventry Stakes runner-up Advertise on Thursday in the Group 2 Arqana July Stakes at Newmarket (2.25) and the apir could well serve up a thrilled on the opening day of the three-day July Festival that reaches its climax on Saturday with the Group 1 Darley July Cup.
Advertise, trained at Manton by Martyn Meade, has already shown himself to be a quality colt in finding only the very highly regarded Calyx, the current ante-post favourite for next year’s Qipco 2000 Guineas, too good for him at Royal Ascot three weeks ago. He very much sets the stand for this key six furlong juvenile contest but this is by no means a one-horse race, with Aidan O’Brien’s Van Beethoven, fourth in the Windsor Castle Stakes at Royal Ascot before landing a Group 2 in Ireland last time out, a definite danger along with the totally unexposed Legends Of War.
Legends Of War has raced only once before, showing a ready turn of foot to score with plenty in hand at Yarmouth in May, and is reportedly held in high regard by connections.
Very nice performance from Legends Of War, who looks a colt to follow for John Gosden following this debut success at Yarmouth
— ODDSbible Racing (@ODDSbibleRacing) May 23, 2018
“He got a temperature and a cough and his blood was wrong which meant he missed the Coventry, so thank goodness we didn’t run him,” admitted Gosden. “He comes here fresh, he’s in good form. We’ll be looking to run a nice race. He’s got a good turn of foot, so we’ll be looking to put it to best use.”
Advertise, the mount of Frankie Dettori, is 6/4 favourite with Unibet, while Legends Of War is a 9/4 shot with Paddy Power. Van Beethoven was easy to back on Wednesday night drifting out to 6/1 with William Hill, Konchek, beaten just two lengths when a close sixth in the Group 2 Norfolk Stakes last time out is 12/1 with Bet365, and it’s 16/1 bar the four.
For in-depth Race Of The Day analysis of the July Stakes click here.
Written by Paul Alster
Paul Alster has been part of the British and international racing media for more than three decades working as a race commentator, TV/radio presenter, journalist, betting correspondent, SP returner, and form analyst. He’s always sought out overpriced runners in handicap races, a quest that excites him as much now as it did at the start of his career.