The fickle English weather will decide if Golden Slipper winner Sepoy takes his place in the Group 1 £400,000 Darley July Cup (1200m) at Newmarket on Saturday.


The English weather will determine if Sepoy runs in the July Cup at Newmarket - photo © Taron Clarke

Sepoy was to have his swansong at Newmarket before returning to Australia to stand his first season at Darley’s Kelvinside Stud in the Hunter Valley for a $66,000 service fee and trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni was hoping the four year old can regain his best form for Sheikh Mohammed.

But the forecast for Newmarket is for heavy rain and the news coming out of the Godolphin stable is that Sepoy won’t run on heavy ground.

“It’s all doom and gloom, but hopefully the weather men are as bad at tipping as ours are,” said Henry Plumptre, manager for Darley, the Australian based arm of the Godolphin operation.

“Newmarket is a good draining track, but if it rains … it could be heavy and Sepoy would not run.”

“And his best is outstanding,” he said. “I know he worked on Saturday morning and they must have been pleased otherwise he wouldn’t be running.”

“You look at a horse like Soul, who ran so well to Black Caviar. Sepoy could give Soul 3kg at weight-for-age and still beat him easily.”

The four times Group 1 winner had his last run for Darley’s Australian trainer Peter Snowden when a disappointing tenth to Krypton Factor in the Group 1 $US2m Golden Shaheen (1200m) at Meydan in Dubai on March 31 and was then transferred to Godolphin’s Newmarket operation under the care of Al Zarooni.

The Newmarket trainer is expecting Sepoy to bounce back to his best form after pleasing him in his final lead up work.

“He’s a good horse and he’s back now,” Al Zarooni said.

“When he arrived here (in Newmarket) he was a bit down. We gave him an easy time to recover. He has recovered and is in good form. He did a piece of work on Saturday and he’s showing that sort of form (as he did in Australia).”

“I don’t know why he ran like he did at Meydan. The surface, or sometimes when they travel they get really down. It is long way to Dubai from Australia. That’s why I think he ran like he did.”

Sepoy is currently a 14-1 chance for the July Cup with stable mate Soul at 20-1.

King’s Stand Stakes runner up Bated Breath heads the betting at 7-2 ahead of Society Rock at 7-1 with Strong Suit and Australian sprinter Ortensia sharing the next line of betting at 10-1.

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.