Force romps to July glory

Lethal Force confirmed himself the leading sprinter in Europe as he made all to land the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

Force romps to July glory

Lethal Force confirmed himself the leading sprinter in Europe as he made all to land the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

Adam Kirby blazed up the stands rail on the Clive Cox-trained grey as he showed there was no fluke about his Diamond Jubilee Stakes win from Royal Ascot, again proving too good for closest pursuer Society Rock, this time by a length and a half.

The four-year-old (9-2) was kicked on by Kirby with a quarter-mile to run and despite a visible jink along the way he ran on strongly to beat James Fanshawe’s runner in record time. Slade Power was third.

Kirby said: ``He's fast. I jumped out, got into a beautiful rhythm and things went nicely to plan but he had no concentration just after the two pole. When I gave him a smack he jinked, he nearly slipped, he wasn't expecting it. But he was very good.

“Clive leaves it to me and he’s a pleasure to ride for.”

Cox said: “I’m so proud of him. Even when he won at Royal Ascot they said he was lucky and it was a good ride, but I think he’s confirmed today he’s pretty good. There might be a few doubters silenced now. I’m thrilled for everyone back home.

“He came back from Ascot really well and he was cherry-ripe today.

“Physically he has matured and strengthening from three to four has been the key. To break the track record is brilliant.

“I was a bit worried about the undulations but he put that to bed really well. Adam said if anything he was idling a bit in front, he gave him a smack and the result was clear.

“He’ll tell us how he comes back from here. We’ve got lots of nice options. He’s a seven-furlong Group Two winner, so the Maurice de Gheest is possible (over six and a half furlongs at Deauville) and beyond that we’ve had lots of kind invitations from as far afield as Australia and Hong Kong. We’ll just take it a step at a time.”

Fanshawe, who has been suffering from ill health, said of Society Rock: ``He ran really well and I'm so proud of how the team have prepared him since I've not been around.

“It’s the most consistent he has ever been and he seems to be enjoying it. We’ll see how he is, we’ll look at Haydock (Sprint Cup) but there might be a race in between via the Maurice de Gheest.”

South African raider Shea Shea was neck behind Slade Power in fourth, having been sent off the 3-1 favourite.

His trainer Mike de Kock said: “I just don’t think he’s a six-furlong horse. He has won over that trip in South Africa, but really beating nothing. He couldn’t show that burst of speed over six, so we’ll go on to the Nunthorpe and the Prix de l’Abbaye.”

Krypton Factor was withdrawn after an incident with the stalls and his jockey Luke Morris said: “He reared up, kicked the stalls and they opened very easily. It’s very frustrating as he had form with all those at the front.”

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