Royal Ascot - At The Races

Eqtidaar in the mix for July Cup honours at Newmarket

    Ascot heroics came as no surprise
  • Monday 25 June 2018
  • News

Commonwealth Cup hero Eqtidaar could take on his elders for the first time in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

Sir Michael Stoute’s colt had been beaten on each of his three starts since making a successful racecourse debut at Nottingham last summer, but showed his true colours to claim Royal Ascot glory on Friday.

While connections are in no rush to make concrete plans, the July Cup appears the most obvious next port of call.

Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum, said: “I think anybody who says they are confident going into a Group One race at Ascot is probably a liar, but he’d worked very well the week before and we hoped he would run a good race.

“He looked one of the better maiden winners last year, I thought. He disappointed in the Sirenia Stakes at Kempton on his next start, but he ran very well to finish second at Ascot (Pavilion Stakes) on his first run back and it was a mess of a race he ran in at Newbury.

“I don’t like making excuses for horses, but he had them and it didn’t surprise me to see him go and win.”

Gold added: “He seems to have come out of the race fine.

“We haven’t made any definite plans for him and I won’t even ask Sir Michael until later in the week.

“We’ll see what he and Sheikh Hamdan want to do, but obviously the July Cup is a possible.”