Friday 23 February 2018

July Cup rematch on cards

Slade Power and Due Diligence get close in the dying strides
Slade Power and Due Diligence get close in the dying strides

Due Diligence could renew rivalry with his Diamond Jubilee Stakes conqueror Slade Power in the July Cup at Newmarket next month.

Aidan O'Brien's colt ran a terrific race to finish second, beaten a length and a half in the hands of Ryan Moore after meeting with a little interference in the dying strides, which made no difference to the result.

"It was his first time with the older sprinters and really we couldn't be happier," said the Ballydoyle handler.

"We would have preferred the field to have stayed together. He was a little bit lonely out there and Ryan said he was wanting to drift towards them, but we're delighted. All the pace was on the other side, but that's the way it is, and he ran home really well.

"His last two runs were against three-year-olds and they have to step up against the hardened sprinters. We felt he would learn a lot today and hopefully he did. We look forward to him next time. The lads will discuss it, but it (the July Cup) looks the obvious thing for him."

Roger Varian was delighted with the effort of third home Aljamaaheer, who has come back to sprinting this term having shown quality form over a mile in the past.

He said: "I wished it had been six and a half furlongs. I believe he will have his day. It was a good run and we're now thinking of the July Course at Newmarket (for the July Cup) and the Maurice de Gheest at Deauville.

"It was only his second run of the year. It was a good run, but he hasn't quite got that sprinters' mentality. He's broken well, but then lost ground, he couldn't hold his position and then came home well."

The Henry Candy-trained Music Master finished fourth, having raced away from the main group for much of the contest.

Candy said: "He ran a wonderful race. He picked up really well. What looked like a good draw (14) turned out to be a lousy draw. Fergus (Sweeney) said when he looked up those on the far side were leading him five lengths so he had to commit earlier than he wanted. I don't know where we'll go next."

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