Starspangledbanner Wins July Cup 2010
Australian-bred Starspangledbanner proved himself a worthy favourite when he emerged as the winner of the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Friday. Jockey Johnny Murtagh rode a brilliant race, demanding an immense effort from Starspangledbanner – priced at 13-8 as the race favourite by online bookmaker William Hill -, who showed incredible determination on the final metres of the six furlongs.
From the first moments of the July Cup the field of fourteen runners divided into two groups. Barry Hills’ Ascot winner Equiano was leading Australian-trained Alverta and Kingsgate Native down the centre of the track; Starspangledbanner heading the pack racing along the rail. Murtagh made the decision to stick to the rail early on in the race, a risky move which didn’t look to be paying off at first.
While Starspangledbanner was travelling well, working up an impressive pace, he was continually chasing Equiano and Alverta, still a little behind the leaders with one furlong to go. It wasn’t until the final incline that the Aidan O’Brien’s Australian sensation let loose and starting working on his Darley July Cup win in earnest. Mobilising his last energy reserves, four-year-old Starspangledbanner refused to let Equiano, ridden brilliantly by Michael Hills, get away and forced himself across the line a neck before his fierce rival. Equiano ran to second place, Alverta followed less than a length behind for third place. A valiant Kingsgate Native scored a fourth place.
Starspangledbanner’s connections are unsure whether or not the Darley July Cup winner should remain in training or end his racing career on a high and retire to a stud farm. After his Golden Jubilee Stakes win at Ascot in June and Fridays triumph at Newmarket it seems like Starspangledbanner has achieved more than expected already.
Second placed Equiano, who’s connections were full of praise for his brave performance, is not thinking about retirement just yet. Trainer Barry Hills is planning to run his star pupil at the Coolmore Nunthorpe Stakes, due 20th August at York Racecourse. Although it is too early for our selected online bookmakers to offer odds on this upcoming class one event – one of the last big summer races – we advise you to check your internet betting portal of choice closer to the race date, as excellent odds will be provided. Judging from his great performance on the track during the July Cup, Equiano looks all set to give us some more racing moments to remember.