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Racing: Canarias gets ready for July Cup challenge

Spanish trainer Enrique Leon has high hopes for Noozhoh Canarias. Picture: Getty

Spanish trainer Enrique Leon has high hopes for Noozhoh Canarias. Picture: Getty

  • by PETER ALLISON
 

Noozhoh Canarias familiarised himself with the setting of his big challenge this ­Saturday when completing a gallop on the Newmarket July Course ­yesterday morning.

Enrique Leon’s colt was the first Spanish runner in a ­British Classic when he ran on the ­Rowley Mile in the 2000 Guineas, setting off quickly in front but fading in the closing stages to finish sixth behind Kingman.

Noozhoh Canarias drops back to six furlongs for the Darley July Cup and looked in fine fettle when stretching clear of his lead horse. The going is currently good to firm, but with some rain on the horizon.

Leon said: “I was very happy with the ground and I hope it stays like that on Saturday. I am very happy with the horse. He travelled over very well and has handled everything very easily – he has a beautiful temperament.

“The Darley July Cup is always a very competitive race but he deserves to be there and the stiff six furlongs will suit him.”

Hot Streak is likely to take his chance if conditions are suitable. The Kevin Ryan-trained three-year-old has shown top-class form at five furlongs against talented and seasoned sprinters this term, winning the Temple Stakes and finishing a close third in both the Palace House and King’s Stand Stakes.

He did make a successful ­racecourse debut over the July Cup trip of six furlongs as a juvenile and was only half-a-length short of his stablemate Astaire in the Group One Middle Park Stakes on his final start of 2013.

Connections are keen to step him back up to the longer ­distance at some stage as long as they are happy with the ground.

“The July Cup is the target for Hot Streak if the ground is good,” said David Redvers, ­racing manager to owners Qatar Racing. “We are obviously ­stepping him back up to six. We know he’s got plenty of speed, so we are strongly considering it. There is no firm decision made as yet. He will run over six furlongs this season, I’m sure. Whether it’s the July Cup or the Haydock Sprint [Betfred Sprint Cup], we don’t know yet.

“The July Cup is a definite ­possibility. We’ll leave the ­decision as late as we can.”

Astaire is also in contention for Saturday’s feature event and the trainer hopes to be 
double-handed.

The Intense Focus colt has enjoyed returning to six furlongs, finishing second in the Duke Of York and sixth in the Diamond Jubilee. “The intention is to run both of them,” Ryan told At The Races. “It would be nice if it was really good ground.”

Meanwhile, Arab Spring takes his next jump in class by ­joining Sir Michael Stoute-trained ­stablemate Hillstar among the eight declared ­runners in ­Thursday’s Princess of Wales’s boylesports.com Stakes at ­Newmarket.

The late-developing four-year-old has won each of his starts this season and moves out of handicaps after an impressive victory in the Duke Of Edinburgh Stakes at Royal Ascot. Stoute has won this Group 2 event an incredible nine times already and Arab Spring could end up in one of the autumn’s prestige events if he continues his progress.

 

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