Simcock dreaming of July Cup glory

DAVID Simcock is confident his star turn Dream Ahead is ready to show his true colours in today’s Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

The Diktat colt enjoyed a superb juvenile campaign, completing a hat-trick of victories with a breathtaking display in the Middle Park Stakes on the Rowley Mile.

He blotted his copybook when expected to make Frankel work on his final two-year-old start in the Dewhurst, but connections still harboured Classic ambitions.

A dry spring meant those dreams never came to fruition, and he did not make his seasonal reappearance until Royal Ascot, where he was once again left chasing Frankel’s shadow in the St James’s Palace Stakes.

With the mile appearing beyond him that day, Simcock has decided to bring the apple of his eye back to six furlongs, and is anticipating a bold show.

“I’m really excited and he’ll run. It would be nice if we got some more rain but as long as the ground doesn’t dry out too much it’ll be fine,” said the trainer.

“Before Ascot I was half-sceptical not knowing about the mile and I went into it with a very open mind.

“But what I’m pleased with is the way he’s come out of the race – it’s sharpened him up and he’s in excellent order.

“I hope it’s a good sign that I’m excited about running him.”

William Buick has partnered Dream Ahead on each of his five racecourse starts but as he is required to ride for his boss John Gosden at York, Simcock has called upon the services of Hayley Turner.

“William is riding for John Gosden and the second choice was Jamie Spencer, but he has got to go to America,” Simcock continued.

“I’m happy, the owner is delighted and if the horse is good enough Hayley will be good enough.

“Everyone has to have a Group One winner somewhere, so I hope Hayley can do it tomorrow.”

The horse widely recognised as the one to beat is Godolphin’s Duke Of York winner Delegator.

The five-year-old was a late withdrawal from the Golden Jubilee at Royal Ascot after rain turned the ground soft, but he looks set to take his chance.

Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford said: “We’d prefer fast ground, but it’s likely to be good and I don’t think it’s going to rain that much.

“He’s going to run. The only reason we’ve been talking about the ground so much is because he can use his turn of foot better on fast ground.”

Australian speedball Star Witness made two appearances at Royal Ascot, finishing a close second in the King’s Stand on the Tuesday before running a creditable third in the Jubilee just four days later.

His trainer Danny O’Brien said: “I think the top half a dozen sprinters here are hard to beat and it will be the same case on Saturday.

“There’s never a Group One race in a country like England that’s easy to win, and if we can win on Saturday we’ll have done a very good job.

“All the signs are he’s held his form for a really good crack.”

Elzaam was only beaten two lengths into fourth in the Jubilee and trainer Roger Varian hopes there may be more to come from his three-year-old.

“He seems very well and has come out of the Ascot race in good order. I’m very much looking forward to running him,” said Varian.

“He’s a horse that can travel well in a very fast six-furlong race and show a good turn of foot.

“Three-year-olds have a good record in this race and you wouldn’t be frightened or shirking it just because you’d got a three-year-old.”

Roger Charlton saddles the unexposed Jubilee fifth Bated Breath as well as his durable older performer Genki.

The trainer said: “Bated Breath is in good order and I think he will be a better horse on quicker ground.

“I’m very happy with the horse. It’s a competitive race, obviously, and I would say there is probably only a length between seven or eight of the runners.

“Genki is in great form and looks wonderful at the moment.

“I was impressed with his last race at Newcastle and I think he’s in with a shout.”

Picture: Dream Ahead can again leave her rivals trailing in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket today. Picture: Getty

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