Michael Bell: set for a July Cup assault with Sovereign DebtPICTURE: Edward Whitaker (racingpost.com/photos)
Bell unveils July Cup assault for Sovereign
SOVEREIGN DEBT is set for a first start over six furlongs since his juvenile days when he reverts to sprinting in the Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday week.
Trainer Michael Bell is not averse to an ambitious plan and feels the likely strong pace in one of Europe's most prestigious sprints will play to the strengths of the son of Dark Angel who has not run over the trip for over two years.
Sovereign Debt won twice over six furlongs as a juvenile but has been mixing it in the miling division for the past year when the pick of his efforts was his second to Farhh in the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury in May.
The Lawrie Inman-owned grey, 14-1 with William Hill for the July Cup, ran ninth to Declaration Of War in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
Sovereign Debt, whose dam was a three-time winner at five furlongs, was given the green light for Newmarket after impressing in his latest exercise under Jamie Spencer on the watered gallop on Wednesday morning.
Bell said: "We have decided to drop Sovereign Debt in trip and have a crack at the July Cup. The strong pace they usually have in the race will play to his strengths and fortune favours the brave."
As for jockey arrangements, he said: "Adam Kirby has ridden him the last twice but I would imagine he will stick with the favourite Lethal Force. Hopefully Jamie can ride him unless he has other commitments."
Krypton Factor, who claimed third in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot, is on schedule for the July Cup.
With Shamexpress from Australia, Shea Shea from South Africa, Havelock from the USA and Krypton Factor from Bahrain all on target, Europe's joint most valuable sprint could have one of the most international line-ups in its history.
Krypton Factor, trained by Fawzi Nass, has not won since March last year in the Group 1 Golden Shaheen at Meydan in the hands of Kieren Fallon. He was a close third in the same race this year, again with Fallon in the saddle.
Nass said: "Krypton Factor looks well and is a lot fitter now. He needed the race at Royal Ascot as he had not run since March and he is the type of horse who needs a race or two to get to his top notch of fitness. We had to miss the July Cup last year because of the rain. Ground conditions are very important to him and he does not like anything worse than good. We tried him on good to soft at Royal Ascot last year and he did not enjoy himself.
"His training did not go smoothly early this year as he bruised his foot and that was bothering him for his last two races in Dubai, but he has overcome that now. We also decided to give Singapore a miss this year as we felt that going from Dubai to Singapore and on to Ascot was too much for him.
"I am hoping that his improvement in fitness and the different circumstances in which the July Cup may be run will mean that we can overturn Ascot form. Lethal Force was impressive there but he got an easy lead and the winning time was nothing special.
"The quicker they go the better for Krypton Factor - he will be ridden up with the pace as usual and hopefully Luke Morris [who rode him in the Diamond Jubilee] will ride if Kieren Fallon is committed to Society Rock.
"He has never run at the July Course before, but we were lucky enough to get the chance to work him on the track last year and he seemed to handle it well.
"There has never been a Bahraini winner in Britain before and to win a race like the July Cup would be an honour for myself and would get plenty of recognition back home."