Oxted raring to go for July Cup defence

Oxted is on course to defend his Darley July Cup crown following his victory in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Trainer Roger Teal reports his star sprinter to have taken his big-race efforts in his stride and the five-year-old will head to Newmarket on July 10.

One of 29 horses left in six-furlong showpiece at the latest acceptance stage, Oxted will bid to become a rare dual winner of the race. The last horse to record back-to-back victories was Right Boy in 1958 and 1959.

“All is good. I’m happy with him. He’s come out of the race well,” said Teal.

“The plan is to go for the July Cup again – all roads lead to Newmarket.

“We never lost the faith and it was an impressive performance by him as well, so fair play to him.”

Extravagant Kid, two lengths behind Oxted in third place at Royal Ascot, is set to reoppose.

The American raider won the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in March and will be stepping back up to six furlongs.

His trainer, Irish-born Brendan Walsh, is looking forward to the challenge.

“I don’t think going back up to six furlongs will be a negative. Although it is a little stiffer than Dubai, you are going downhill a lot of the way. It is probably as far as he needs to go but I think he will be fine,” said the Kentucky-based handler.

“We gave him plenty of time to get over his travelling turnaround, but you would think he would be in a better position now having had that run at Ascot.”

Frankie Dettori was aboard the eight-year-old at the Royal meeting and Walsh admits it would be “fantastic” if Dettori could take the ride again.

“I’m not sure yet who will be riding him as we haven’t looked into it yet and I will know more next week,” he added.

“We only decided to leave him in the race at the start of the week. It would be fantastic if we could get Frankie as he is always good to have.”

“He is eight now and is probably in his prime. He is not going to be up to this standard forever so we will just enjoy it.”

Supremacy is set to run in the July Cup
Supremacy is set to run in the July Cup (Mark Cranham/PA)

Lambourn trainer Clive Cox has left in Supremacy and Diligent Harry, who were both late withdrawals from the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot due to the soft ground.

“I would hope Supremacy is an intended runner. With the ground being too soft at Ascot, moving forwards this was always going to be the plan,” he said.

“He did have a high white cell count when he returned home from the Pavilion (Stakes at Ascot) which would suggest why he ran below expectations. At the same time the winner of the race (Rohaan) was underestimated as he clearly looks talented.

“We have been happy with Supremacy over the last few weeks and it was just unfortunate the ground went against him at Ascot.”

Diligent Harry, winner of the three-year-old All-Weather Sprint Championships at Lingfield, will run first in the Group Three William Hill Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle on Saturday.

“The intention is to run in the Chipchase Stakes on Saturday and that was the Plan B alternative when the ground went against us at Ascot,” Cox went on.

“He is proven on the all-weather and this gives us a stepping stone forwards and that is why we have kept an iron in the fire regarding his July Cup entry.

“I think it is doable to do both races but bearing in mind he has never run on turf in comparison to a lot of his competitors, he lacks the experience.”

Other acceptors include Diamond Jubilee Stakes hero Dream Of Dreams, Coronation Stakes heroine Alcohol Free, Jersey Stakes scorer Creative Force, Glen Shiel and Dragon Symbol.

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