Superb July Cup field assembled
Caravaggio features among six Aidan O'Brien-trained runners in Saturday's Darley July Cup where he could face The Tin Man.
O'Brien has won the Moet & Chandon July Festival feature on three occasions in the past, Stravinsky and Mozart both landing the race as three-year-olds, and Caravaggio has captured the imagination in the same way after storming to victory in last month's Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.
He powered home to beat Harry Angel there and the pair could meet again, with Clive Cox's representative the sole possible contender for Godolphin.
The pick of the older horses set to do battle over six furlongs on Saturday is James Fanshawe's The Tin Man, who roared back to his best with victory over Tasleet in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.
They will lock horns once more and also face Diamond Jubilee third Limato, so impressive on his way to victory in last year's July Cup.
The Tin Man's rider Tom Queally, who won the race in 2009 aboard the Jeremy Noseda-trained Fleeting Spirit, said on Monday: "It has the potential, given all the factors and the horses going into the race in the form they are in, to be a vintage renewal and one that could go down as an all-time great July Cup.
"We are happy with our guy and his preparation has been very good. You have to respect all the runners as that's the nature of the game.
"We are looking forward to the race. It adds a different aspect and dynamic to the race and it turns it into a sort of a conundrum whether the three-year-olds are up to it.
"I've only sat him once since Ascot, but he felt in good shape and seems to have come out of the race well and is arguably in the same sort of form he was before Ascot.
"My concern before the race was that although we appeared to have a good draw on the favoured side of the track, we weren't in close proximity to our main dangers and the horses that were likely to go forward.
"I had no concerns with the ability of my horse, or the shape he was in. I was happy going into the race and thankfully it panned out quite well and he won with a little in hand."
He added: "I was impressed with Caravaggio and you would have to be as they pulled an awfully long way clear of the rest of the field and he is clearly well thought of by Aidan and the guys at Ballydoyle. Then there is Limato. You can't – and shouldn't – disparage his course form as he won the race last year.
"Everyone will form an opinion and my opinion is that I couldn't be happier with my horse going into the race and James echoes those sentiments as well. It's a race we are looking forward to."
Adding weight to the O'Brien team are Washington DC, Intelligence Cross and Peace Envoy, while Kevin Ryan runs Brando, David O'Meara saddles Intisaab and Richard Fahey is double-handed with Growl and Mr Lupton.
The biggest absentee at the five-day entry stage is Magical Memory, who instead heads for the Group Three Hackwood Stakes at Newbury later this month.
NAP of the Day
|Date||Time / Course||Silk||Selection||Price|
|£10 Win Single Pays £26.25 with Bet365|
|22 Aug 2017||14:30 Brighton||Al Ozzdi|