Frankie returns - but it looks tough against Coventry hero Rajasinghe
Arqana July Stakes (Group 2) | 6f | 2yo colts and geldings | ITV3
Frankie Dettori returns to action after spending most of the last month on the sidelines when he partners Coventry Stakes disappointment Denaar for Richard Hannon.
Dettori injured a shoulder and arm in a fall in the Yarmouth paddock on 13 June but partnered Shutter Speed to finish fourth in the Prix de Diane five days later before pulling out of Royal Ascot at the last minute and flying home to Sardinia to recuperate.
He rode out for John Gosden on Thursday and after enjoying trips to Sandown for the Coral-Eclipse and to Spielberg for the Austrian Grand Prix he is delighted to be back in action at last.
He said: "I'm very excited to be coming back – it's been a long time. Newmarket is my home town and the July Festival is one of my highlights of the whole year."
The Richard Hannon-trained Denaar, on whom Dettori won at Chelmsford and Newbury before he was only eleventh to Rajasinghe at Royal Ascot, looks an ideal partner for his comeback, although he has his work cut out reversing placings Coventry placings with the winner.
Rajasinghe was a fairytale first winner at the meeting for Richard Spencer in just his second season and is the clear pick on form, although the last colt to overcome a penalty was Norfolk Stakes winner Winker Watson ten years ago.
Sound And Silence was also a Royal Ascot winner, but his defeat of stable-companion Roussel in the Windsor Castle Stakes was at Listed level, so he escapes a penalty.
The July Stakes will bring in a third strand of Royal Ascot form as Cardsharp and It Dont Come Easy were third and fifth respectively in the Norfolk Stakes.
One plus for Dettori is that the Hannon stable has taken five of the last seven runnings. The most recent success came with Mehmas, on whom Dettori wore the Denaar silks of owners Al Shaqab Racing, who also had 2015 winner Shalaa with John Gosden.
What they say
Richard Spencer, trainer of Rajasinghe
He came out of Ascot really well and has put on weight so seems to be in a really good place. He has a penalty but hopefully will keep progressing and be able to overcome it. It is a long time between Royal Ascot and the Prix Morny at Deauville so why keep him locked up in his box?
Hugo Palmer, trainer of Alba Power
They've had enough rain overnight and he'll get his toe in. It's a big jump forward from maiden company and this is competitive, as it should be.
Richard Hannon, trainer of Denaar
I really like this colt but he pulled too hard at Ascot and had no petrol for the end. I think he'll be a major player if he settles better.
Owen Burrows, trainer of Enjazaat
He disappointed in soft ground at Newbury first time but then got the job done well in his novice at Yarmouth, where conditions still weren't very nice. It's difficult to weigh the form up, but he's always worked well and he's entitled to his place.
Clive Cox, trainer of Grand Koonta
I was very pleased with his win in lesser company at Windsor and he's given me confidence that he's progressed well since. He's shown that he handles the track and the ground should be fine, although he would prefer it drier rather than slower.
James Tate, trainer of Hey Gaman and Invincible Army
It's a shame they are running in the same race but they are in different ownership and it looked the right race for them both, as they were impressive over the trip in their novices. It's very hard to choose between them, although they have worked together plenty of times. They are head and shoulders above the rest, but always finish their work on the bridle.
Charlie Appleby, trainer of Sound And Silence
We felt this race was a nice opportunity to try Sound And Silence over six furlongs. He settles well at home and shows all of the right signs that he will stay this trip. If he runs well, then it opens up a few avenues later in the season and, if he doesn’t, then we can always drop back to five furlongs.
Aidan O'Brien, trainer of US Navy Flag
He came good in first-time blinkers at the Curragh last time when he won well. He wears the blinkers again and we're happy with him.