Newmarket's July Meeting gets under way tomorrow afternoon with a strong Irish reputation in both of the feature races, the Falmouth Stakes and the curtain-raising Cherry Hinton Stakes.
While Aidan O'Brien is due to saddle the favourite for the Group One Falmouth Stakes with Lillie Langtry, a former employee of his, Tom Queally, will be enjoying partnering English and French 1000 Guineas winner Special Duty, who he picked up the spare ride on after regular jockey Christophe Lemaire suffered a leg injury. The filly, who claimed both her Guineas triumphs in the stewards' room, faces a competitive field of eight for the mile contest.
O'Brien's Royal Ascot winner Lillie Langtry will tackle her first challenge since landing the Coronation Stakes almost three weeks ago, and in doing so takes on other Royal Ascot winners Strawberrydaiquiri (Windsor Forest Stakes), and Rainfall (Jersey Stakes) as well as those who ran close at the Royal meeting, Gile Na Greine and Spacious -- runners-up to Lillie Langtry and Stawberrydaiquiri respectively.
Queally's fortuitous spare ride certainly comes here fresher than any of her market principals, but may just need more than the stewards to intervene if she is going to see off Lillie Langtry who gets a tentative selection for O'Brien and Johnny Murtagh.
Of the octet, only Rainfall -- who never ran as a two-year-old and is still progressive -- has not run within a few lengths of a Group One win and, indeed, this will be her first attempt at this grade, which just proves how hot a race this actually will be.
Lillie Langtry was a late starter to the season but bounced back to win the Group One Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot in a very impressive manner from the Jim Bolger-trained Gile Na Greine.
Dig deep enough in the form book and no matter what wins this race could be classed as a surprise -- but it is Lillie Langtry that is chosen as the most likely.
To whet the appetite, seven will face the starter for the Group Two Cherry Hinton Stakes. Expect Memory and Radharcnafarraige to fill the first two places tomorrow and more than likely in that order.
Falmouth Stakes - Boylesports Bet: Lillie Langtry 2/1, Special Duty 7/2, Strawberrydaiquiri 5/1, Spacious 8/1, Rainfall 8/1, Music Show 9/1, Gile Na Greine 9/1, Lahaleeb 40/1