Starman leads the way for Lambourn trainer Ed Walker in Darley July Cup Stakes at Newmarket
A number of local trainers are set to go head-to-head in Saturday’s Group 1 Darley July Cup Stakes at Newmarket.
Roger Teal, Ed Walker and Archie Watson, all based in Lambourn, have entered runners into the showdown this weekend.
The Teal-trained Oxted, who stormed to victory in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot last month, holds an entry and is currently joint-favourite alongside Walker’s Starman.
The four-year-old is aiming for glory in the six furlongs contest on Saturday and his last appearance was a winning one, when he beat Nahaar, Oxted and Summerghand in the Duke of York Stakes at York in May.
The winning performance was Starman’s first appearance of 2021, after a 207-day break, as he was a late withdrawal from the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Ascot, due to a change in the going to soft after heavy rain.
As well as Starman and Oxted, Dragon Symbol is expected to line-up in the Group 1 contest and hoping to go one better than what happened in the Commonwealth Cup at Ascot.
Under Oisin Murphy, the Watson-trained horse was first past the post in the race at the Royal meeting, but the decision was overturned after a steward’s enquiry as the horse appeared to interfere with eventual winner Campanelle.
Despite Watson’s appeal last week, the decision stood and Murphy will ride the three-year-old at Newmarket this weekend.
Meanwhile stablemate Glen Shiel also holds an entry for the Group 1 race, as does the Clive Cox-trained Supremacy and the Andrew Balding-trained Chil Chil, who won the William Hill Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle last month.
One of the other featured races across the weekend is the Group 1 Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes on Friday, with Balding’s Alcohol Free the current market leader.
Walker is also likely to have a runner in the form of Primo Bacio, who was an impressive winner in the Listed Oaks Farm Stables Fillies' Stakes at York in May.
Like Starman, Primo Bacio was a non-runner during the Royal meeting because of the going.