Timeform’s July Cut Report: Alcohol-Free Analysis

Read Timeform’s report on the Darley July Cup, won by rejuvenated filly Alcohol Free.

A generational clash between the directors of the two races in group one 6f at Royal Ascot, with all but one of the older runners contesting the platinum jubilee, only the Japanese-trained King Hermes missing out on the Commonwealth Cup among the three-year-olds, older riders dominate, top six all in platinum jubilee peloton, track position is also important, peloton in two groups for much of the way, those drawn – stalls 1-6 – aren’t competitive by at least 2 feet, although maybe they just haven’t been good enough, form among the directors looking solid and simple to assess, form to match.

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Alcohol-free proved at least as good as ever, easily riding his best race of the year and adding a fourth Group One to his tally, the decision to race here rather than Falmouth the day before well rewarded, supporting the pace well. a sprint on the second attempt backwards and less brisk than it tends to be at 1m; expected with, well traveled, effort on 2f, chased the leader on 1f, remained in the lead for the last ½f, in command shortly after; she’s likely to bid for another Sussex Stakes win next, that a tougher mission, the danger of her being over-enthusiastic if the race isn’t run well has surely increased, given that she sprinted in his last two races.

naval crown was beaten by whoever was behind him last time out, but ran very close to the improved level of form he had shown in the platinum jubilee, able to dominate on his part of the track, where there was no had no obvious front runner, and saw maximum advantage; broke good, drove, went zest, shook 2f, rode 1f, well kept, headed last ½f, not sped; the Sprint Cup and the Sprint Champions are the obvious next races for him, no reason why he shouldn’t run well in both.

Artorius ran much as he did at Ascot, taking the same position and running at a similar level, doing his best work late after finding the pace a bit too much halfway through his two races in Britain suggesting a horse that needs everything to fall properly; ran out of rhythm, rocked halfway through, passed 1f, continued well, closest to finish.


creative force ran respectably, bettering his fifth place from last year, but with no obvious excuses that day, on the same side as his Ascot winner this time; in touch, mounted on 2f out, not accelerated, left border on 1f out; he followed up his effort last year with a second-place finish in the Lennox Stakes and that again seems like an obvious target, likely to be at least as effective at 7f.

Double or bubble did the best of the five riders who raced to the pit side, running another healthy race at the highest level, overall a very likeable mare; expected with, well traveled, effort on 2f, kept on final 1f, never on conditions.

Emaraaty Ana stepped up its run a bit in the platinum jubilee and ran as well as one would expect, at a similar level to this run last year; close-up, shaken on 2 feet, not accelerated, sharp to the right.

Perfect power, who looked in good shape, was strong in the bets on the back of his Commonwealth Cup career record, facing his seniors for the first time, but he just didn’t look the part. same horse in the race, rider never really happy it seemed, all strenuous late progress, trying to come from a similar position to third, rider blaming the ground, although he handled the same well thing at Ascot, this form usually taking a hit in this case; ran out of rhythm, never traveled well, had to fight his way within 2ft, kept going, never on conditions.

happy romance received another chance among the top sprinters, but it’s not really her level and she was below the form she showed last time, her draw is not ideal; retained, effort on 2f, makes little impression.

Blazing Coast had built a solid record since returning to the sprint this year but like the favourite, who beat him in the Commonwealth Cup, he was well below his best, running down the perhaps disadvantaged side offering a partial excuse at best ; rhythm followed, mounted on 2 feet, weakened on 1 foot.

romantic proposal wasn’t in the same shape as last time, 10 weeks later, not trying to drop to the floor when asked for effort, this is the firmest surface she’s faced; restrained, well traveled, shaken under 2f, edged left, no additional final 1f.

King Hermes, in freefall, looked like he would face a heavy task in form and had little impact, looking rather uncomfortable on the track; pace followed, half way up, weakened 2f out.

cadamost had returned to the Commonwealth Cup path and should have been ideally drawn to make an impact, but he was unable to sustain that effort, let alone build on it, with the shape of that race taking a overall significant hit; retained, mounted on 2f, not accelerated, abandoned 1f final.

Twilight Jet ran badly again, no excuse immediately revealing itself on this occasion, running the side perhaps less favored, but beaten far enough to think there was more to it; helped force the pace, rattled under 3f out, weakened under 2f out.

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