July Festival day three selections: Wild Thunder (12/1), Pretty Pollyanna (14/1)

7f  (July) bet365 Superlative Stakes (Group 2)  (Class 1) (2yo)

There are plenty of live chances in this race but it’s WILD THUNDER who I’m siding with at the prices. He’s only raced once and trainer Richard Hannon is always keen to stress any horse of his that wins on debut is pretty smart. Improvement seems assured and the step up to 7f and fast ground should be ideal too, so he ticks virtually every box for a 12/1 shot.

1pt win Wild Thunder @12/1, 14:55 Newmarket, Saturday

6f  (July) Darley July Cup Stakes (Group 1) (British Champions Series)  (Class 1) (3yo+)

I’m not sure this is the best July Cup we’ve seen in recent years but it’s a good betting race. The older horses are hardly a good bunch so old stalwarts Brando and Limato look vulnerable, while improving handicapper Cape Byron does look a little over-bet up among the favourites. I’ve always liked course form at Newmarket and Dream Of Dreams has run some of his worst races there, so while his Diamond Jubilee second is probably the best form in this race, I’m not totally convinced about him. Advertise sets a good standard and confirmed himself the best three-year-old sprinter around when cosily winning the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, but he is stepping into open company and his form lines don’t cross over with much in the race, which raises doubts. I’ll note that it was a filly that placed second behind him at Royal Ascot and the fairer sex might have the upper hand in the Classic generation. PRETTY POLLYANNA was one of the best juvenile fillies last season and has plenty of course form, with her 7l thrashing of Angel’s Hideaway at this meeting last year standing out. I suspect tactics are what did her in last year’s Cheveley Park behind Fairyland and So Perfect, as she was as strong as any of them at the finish and had allowed the winner a lead. With stamina assured and a good run in the Irish Guineas to confirm she’s trained on, 14/1 is a tasty each-way price as several firms offer four places. She’s narrowly preferred over Fairyland who has been well supported into half that price.

1pt each-way Pretty Pollyanna @14/1, 16:40 Newmarket, Saturday (1-4, 1/5 Paddy Power)

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