A very heavy track at Newmarket for the Group I Darley July Cup overnight forced the withdrawal of many fancied runners including the favourite Bated Breath, with no joy for Aussie contenders Sepoy and Ortensia, although some consolation for Darley with Commands gelding Soul capturing the Group III Hackford Stakes at Newbury.
The July Cup was won by the roughie Mayson, a four year-old stallion by Invincible Spirit trained by Richard Fahey, who won the six furlong sprint by five lengths in the very slow time of 1:15.9.
Racing Post offered the following assessment of Mayson, who has the overall record of five wins and six placings from 17 starts, his best previous win in the Group III Palace House Stakes.
Racing Post - MAYSON, taken to post early, showed bright pace down the centre and had all his rivals in trouble heading down to the two pole, keeping up the gallop to win emphatically. Successful twice on the Rowley Mile in the spring, he came here on the back of two below-par efforts, becoming upset in the stalls at York then failing to act at all in near unraceable ground at Newcastle. Bad though they were, these conditions cannot have been quite as bad and he simply handled them better than the opposition.
For all that this seemed to fall in his lap, he is a tough and likeable colt, and clearly a very smart sprinter. He´s in the Nunthorpe and would have a chance if the ground is still soft at York next month. The Haydock Sprint Cup must also come into consideration. Longer term, this win has surely secured a stallion career for the son of Invincible Spirit.
Mayson is one of 57 stakes-winners by top class sire Invincible Spirit (pictured) , whose classy sprinting son I Am Invincible stands at Yarraman Park.
He is the first winner from the Pivotal mare Mayleaf, who comes from the family of Group I winner Singhalese.
The Paul Messara trained Ortensia ran a brave fourth, while Sepoy laboured back in the field to beat one home in what is likely to be his last run before returning to Australia to take up a stud career at Darley, where he will command a $66,000 service fee.
Now with Saeed Bin Suroor, four year-old Commands gelding Soul sidestepped the July Cup after finishing fourth to Black Caviar in the Group I Golden Jubilee Stakes and was rewarded with a four length victory in the Group III Hackwood Stakes.
He is one of five winners from the Night Shift (USA) mare Marvilha, who died in 2009 and was a half-sister to Group I winners Denman and Preserve.