Author: Alan Kelly
Published: 14:12 22/06/2014
Royal Ascot may be over for another year but there is still plenty of great Flat racing to look forward to over the next few month's and the action continues unabated next weekend with Newcastle's John's Smith Northumberland Plate on Saturday as well as an early evening running of the Dubai Duty Free Irish Derby at the Curragh. A week later it is the turn of Sandown to host the big race of the day courtesy of the Coral-Eclipse Stakes, closely followed 7 day's later by the Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket's major July Festival.
From an ante-post betting perspective its the 6f sprint, won 12 month's ago by Lethal Force, that appeals most, and it is the Aidan O'Brien-trained Due Diligence who is confidently expected to overturn Royal Ascot form with Diamond Jubilee winner Slade Power in a race where few can be seriously considered. Beaten a length and a half ( hampered close home ) by Wayne Lordan's mount the lightly-raced Due Diligence was having his first serious challenge since joining his current stable from a juvenile career in the US and is surely open to any amount of further improvement.
His jockey at the royal meeting, Ryan Moore, ( Joseph O'Brien unable to do the weight ) can consider himself unlucky as his mount was isolated away from the majority of the field, of which his trainer said: " He was just a bit lonely. All the pace was on the other side but he ran home really well. The lads will decide about the July Cup but it looks the obvious thing for him."
With Aljamaaheer looking held in third and Sole Power and Hot Streak almost certainly better over five furlongs the one horse who could trouble the two principles is likely Spanish contender Noozhoh Canarias who appeared to be a non-stayer in the QIPCO 2000 Guineas, but at the 6-1 available with Skybet and Boylesports it is the 3-year-old Irish challenger who is expected to come out on top on July 12th.