Aussies Nicconi & Starspangledbanner Favourites for 2010 July Cup

Nicconi

Nicconi
Photo courtesy © Taron Clarke Photography

Australian gallopers Starspangledbanner and Nicconi will continue their international campaigns this Saturday taking to the field in the Group 1 July Cup (1,207m) at Newmarket.

The pair are two of the favourites for the UK race this year, attempting to break the Australian hoodoo in the prestigious sprint event.

Trained by leading Flemington-based mentor David Hayes, Nicconi began his English campaign last month with an eye-catching run in the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes (1,006m) at Ascot, finishing fourth to Equiano.

He will now head to Newmarket Racecourse for the July Festival, where he will contest the July Cup alongside some of the world’s elite sprinters. Champion hoop Damien Oliver has been booked to ride Nicconi in the July Cup, a change from international jockey Frankie Dettori who was aboard for the horse’s King’s Stand Stakes run.

Nicconi’s July Cup run is likely to be his last race before he returns to Australia for a stud career at Widden Stud in the Hunter Valley, New South Wales.

A son of American-bred sire Bianconi, Nicconi has enjoyed great success over his career so far boasting six wins from 16 starts for over $1,027,380 in prizemoney.

Currently Nicconi is the fourth elect for the July Cup, paying $11 through leading bookmaker Ladbrokes.com.au for a win.

Starspangledbanner on his way to win the Oakleigh Plate 2010

Starspangledbanner on his way to win the Oakleigh Plate 2010
Photo courtesy © Taron Clarke Photography

The warm pre-race favourite is another Australian galloper, Aidan O’Brien’s three-year-old Choisir colt Starspangledbanner, who took out the Group 1 Golden Jubilee Stakes (1,207m) at Ascot last start. Starspangledbanner is at $2.25 through Ladbrokes.com.au at the moment, followed by last year’s winner Fleeting Spirit at $5.50.

Starspangledbanner has contested 14 career races for six wins and three placings and has won in excess of $1.79 million in stakes. A good run this Saturday will help determine whether the colt will return to Australia or remain in Europe to contest some of the lucrative summer sprint features.

The July Cup is one of England’s most exciting horse races and is sure to be an entertaining affair for spectators and punters alike. So while the group racing scene in Australia is quiet, try your luck in the international events and get behind the Aussie contingent including Starspangledbanner and Nicconi!

2010 July Cup Betting Odds

Horse

Odds*

Starspangledbanner
2.25
Fleeting Spirit
5.50
Kinsale King
9.50
Nicconi
11.00
Society Rock
13.00
Kingsgate Native
14.00
Showcasing
17.00
Marchingand Dor
18.00
Equiano
19.00
War Artist
21.00
Prime Defender
34.00
Varenar
34.00
Alverta
41.00
Serious Attitude
41.00
Alfred Nobel
51.00
Balthazaars Gift
51.00
Meezaan
51.00

*Odds provided by Ladbrokes.com.au and are subject to change