Holler to be fitter in July Cup after Diamond Jubilee Stakes defeat

Trainer John O’Shea believes that Holler will strip a much fitter horse when he lines up in the Group 1 £500,000 Darley July Cup (6 furlong) at Newmarket on July 9 after failing to run a place in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot last Saturday.

Holler, above, was unplaced in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photo by Steve Hart.

Holler, above, was unplaced in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot. Photo by Steve Hart.

James McDonald settled Holler in second position behind French sprinter Signs Of Blessing but when the pressure was applied at the furlong, Holler couldn’t match it with the others and faded in the run to the line to finish seventh, five and half lengths behind the winner, Ryan Moore’s mount Twilight Son, in the Group 1 £600,000 The Diamond Jubilee Stakes (6 furlongs).

“He was there for a long way most probably his condition gave out at the hundred but it was a fair run,” O’Shea said.

“He definitely will improve, whether he will improve enough to win the July Cup, that’s what we have got to decide.”

“He’s always been a second tier horse for us but a good Group one horse at that. It’s been a very good learning experience.”

Holler’s earned his place in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes following some first class Group 1 form during the 2016 Autumn Carnival with an all the way win in the Group 1 $500,000 Canterbury Stakes (1300m) at Randwick followed by a nose second to Flamberge in the Group 1 $500,000 Mitchelton Wines William Reid Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley.

If O’Shea decides to push on to the July Cup, he will most likely clash with most of the Diamond Jubilee Stakes runners, including the winner, Twilight Son, who trainer Henry Candy said was lucky to line up on Saturday after a week of uncertainty.

“The horse had had a few hiccups in the last week because he suffers from cracked heels very easily and my head lad did a fantastic job getting him there,” Candy told At The Races on Sunday.

“It didn’t give me a whole lot of confidence and I was slightly in two minds in the 48 hours before the race whether to pull him out or not but then I had him out on Saturday morning and he was in fantastic form.”

Twilight Son appreciated the soft conditions at Royal Ascot and Candy is hoping for some give in the ground at Newmarket for the July Cup.

“He doesn’t want firm ground and we’ll go for the July Cup all being well,” Candy said.

“He’s a horse with a huge amount of ability and Ryan (Moore) was of the opinion he will improve again for that and I think that’s absolutely right. I had a job getting him tightened up and ready for this one and I think it will have done him a huge amount of good.”

Twilight Son has been installed the 5-1 favourite for the July Cup at Ladbrokes while Holler is listed as a 16-1 chance for the Newmarket Sprint.

About The Author

Mark Mazzaglia

Mark is a passionate journalist with a life-time involvement in the racing industry. He spent many years as an analyst and form expert at the Courier Mail and also has hands-on experience working with some of Queensland’s top trainers.