July Festival day 3 preview: King’s Command can rule in Superlative Stakes at Newmarket

Published on: July 12, 2019
Author: David Metcalf
July Festival day 3 preview features a Charlie Appleby trained horse in the Superlative Stakes at Nermarket

Trainer Charlie Appleby has a good record in the Superlative Stakes, so King’s Command looks worth siding with at 5/2 with Betfair to further enhance it with victory in the 7f Group 2 contest for two-year-old colts at Newmarket on Saturday (14:55).

The in-form Newmarket handler has won two of the last three runnings courtesy of Boynton (2016) and Quorto (2018).

Like that pair, King’s Command carries the famous all blue colours of leading owners Godolphin who also won the race in 2006 with his sire Dubawi.

Judged on his debut success over 6f at this venue last month, King’s Command looks an exciting prospect with a big future ahead of him.

That came in a seven-runner novice contest where he beat Al Namir by a neck, but was value for more than the winning margin.

After travelling strongly at the head of affairs under Kerrin McEvoy, King’s Command ran green and got outpaced at the furlong marker.

He looked in trouble, but the penny then dropped and he rallied strongly inside the last under a hands and heels ride to get up close home and win going away.

It was a most taking display against more experienced rivals and the runner-up, and third home Electrical Storm, had solid placed form going into the race.

The fifth home Royal Commando, who was beaten three-quarters of length in total, has also come out since and bolted up by 3 1/2 lengths at Doncaster.

That gives the form a solid look and King’s Command looks sure to come on a bundle for that experience.

This represents a big step up in class, but he has a star quality about him and King’s Command is expected to take it in his stride.

Year Of The Tiger on the improve for Superlative Stakes

All-conquering Irish trainer Aidan O’Brien has won the Superlative Stakes three times, most recently with Gustav Klimt in 2017.

His sole representative this time around is Year Of The Tiger, who has showed improved form in each of his three outings.

After finishing runner-up on debut at The Curragh, this son of Galileo ran well when an 8 3/4 lengths seventh of 14 to the highly regarded Pinatubo in the Listed 7f Chesham Stakes at Royal Ascot.

Year Of The Tiger has since opened his account in facile fashion at Naas when forging clear to beat Innisfree by 4 1/4 lengths. He is clearly going the right way and his experience in this will count for plenty.

Ryan Moore also now takes over in the saddle for the first time and Year Of The Tiger undoubtedly has more to offer.

He can be backed at 4/1 with Unibet and rates the main danger in the Superlative Stakes to King’s Command.

Flashcard value in Mile Handicap

Flashcard has shaped nicely in both his starts this season, so now stepped up in trip looks the value each-way bet at 12/1 with Ladbrokes in the bet365 Mile Handicap (14:20).

This Andrew balding trained colt won his first two starts as a juvenile at Salisbury in taking fashion, showing a smart turn of foot on each occasion to win cosily.​

He then rounded off the campaign with a cracking second of 18 to Barbill in a valuable sales race over 6f at The Curragh.​

Flashcard lost ground well dwelling at the start before making headway into fifth at the two marker, but then stayed on strongly to press the winner throughout the final furlong and go down by just half-a-length.​

It was a fine effort, given how the race panned out, and the winner – who he met on levels weights – was rated 102 going into the contest.​

That suggested and opening handicap mark of 93 was exploitable and Flashcard ran well off it on return to action at Goodwood in May when sixth of 14 to Beat Le Bon, a winner again since off 101.

The son of Fast Company backed that up with an eye-catching fifth of 12 to Awe over 7f at this venue when doing all his best work at the finish to be beaten 3 1/4 lengths.

Judged on that effort, the extra furlong of this promises to suit and Flashcard has since been dropped another 1lb to 91.

It makes him a big player at the weights on the pick of his form and look overpriced at the odds on offer.

Flarepath fancied for Royal success

In the 7f fillies’ handicap (16:05), Flarepath appeals at 4/1 with Betway to cash-in on what looks a lenient mark.

This William Haggas trained three-year-old is a highly promising and lightly-raced individual who carries the colours of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II.

After shaping well when a tenderly handled sixth of 16 at Leicester on her sole starts as a juvenile, the daughter of Exceed And Excel opened her account on seasonal reappearance at Chelmsford when running on strongly to beat Dubrava by 1 3/4 lengths.

The pair pulled six lengths clear of the third home Saikung who has come out and won since.

It was a performance which suggested there was better to come and Flarepath has since confirmed that view with a fine 1 3/4 lengths second of 12 to Nonchalance over this course and distance.

After attempting to make all, she stayed on well again when headed at the furlong marker and had subsequent easy winner Nazeef four lengths behind in third.

Nonchalance was given a rating of 91 on the back of that success and sent off a well-backed 8/1 shot for the ultra-competitive Sandringham Stakes at Royal Ascot, but failed to live up to expectations.

However, it suggests that the assessor has been kind in allotting Flarepath an opening mark of 85. She looks a potentially improver now going down the handicap route.

Her stable is also in red-hot form and operating at a strike rate of just under 30 per cent in the last 14 days at the time of writing.

So, taking everything into account, there is simply nothing not to like about the chances of Flarepath.