Lethal Force: followed up his Royal Ascot win at Newmarket in the July CupPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Kirby kills off rivals with display of Lethal Force
Report: Newmarket, Saturday
Darley July Cup (British Champions Series And Global Sprint Challenge) (Group 1) 6f, 3yo+
LETHAL FORCE put on a brilliant display of sprinting to follow up his Royal Ascot triumph with victory in the Darley July Cup.
The grey broke the 6f July course track record, set in 1999 by Stravinsky, as he repeated his Diamond Jubilee Stakes defeat of Society Rock to cement his status as the top sprinter in Europe.
Jockey Adam Kirby replicated the tactics used at Ascot on Lethal Force who made virtually all the running up the stands' rail, kicking into a clear advantage from over 2f out which Society Rock proved unable to bridge as he had to settle for second again with Slade Power pipping favourite Shea Shea for third.
"I didn't steal it at Ascot and this horse is a machine, a hell of a horse," said Kirby. "He doesn't have to front run. he is uncomplicated and has a high cruising speed.
"We got into a beautiful rhythm, everything was going nicely to plan. Just after the two [furlong pole] he lost all his concentration. When I gave him a smack he jinked and nearly slipped because he wasn't expecting it."
Cox added: "The horse deserves the credit today after all the reports that Adam rode them to sleep to win the race at Ascot. The course record time is something I will cherish and he will have all the major sprints on the agenda.
"The key to him is he has matured physically and mentally from three to four and he was already a Group 2 winner last year. He has clearly stamped his authority on this division and this is another special day for the stable."
Eddie Lynam, trainer of the third Slade Power and fifth Sole Power, added: "I'm delighted with Slade Power. He ran a cracker, he's like his trainer; only learning the game! He proved he's up to this and will be back for the Betfred [Sprint Cup].
"It was always my worry that they wouldn't go fast enough for Sole Power and that was the case. The first furlong of a five furlong Group 1 is 12 seconds, over six it's 14 or 15 - it's a huge difference. If he runs over six furlongs again it will be in Hong Kong where they go fast. He will go to the Nunthorpe next."
Danny O'Brien, trainer of Australian raider Shamexpress who finished seventh, said: "He's ran well but the last 100 yards up that hill just caught him out. I've no regrets about bringing him over.
"I think he's probably run to his rating both times but he just needs to find three lengths to win a top Group 1 like this. He's thrived over here and will go back into training in Newmarket before being shipped home to run at the Melbourne Cup meeting."
Krypton Factor, who had finished third to Lethal Force at Ascot, burst out of the front of the stalls before the start and was not allowed to take part.
Luke Morris, who rode Krypton Factor said: "For whatever reason he reared and kicked the front of the gate open. It's frustrating because he really had his ideal conditions today and was third to the front two at Ascot."