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The 2015 Darley July Cup at Newmarket promises to be one of the best sprint races run in the world for this year. 68 entries have come from as far away as Australia and the United States. According to Newmarket officials, entries are up 40 percent from last year. Odds are that the 11 July event will help determine the year’s champion sprinters in more than one country. Be sure to bet that there will be people from several nations betting on this event.

Since 2008, the Darley July Cup has been a key part of the Global Sprint Challenge. This gives UK punters a chance to eye the world’s best horseflesh in July. This is a Grade I event over 6 furlongs on the undulating turf course at Newmarket. In order to keep the horses and jockeys safe, starters will be limited to the top 20 eligible sprinters. No mad tangled Grand National starts here.

Horses to Watch Out For

Best odds will be given long before July, but punters do have to take the chance that their choice will actually be able to start. However, sprinters tend to have longer careers than runners of classic distances, so odds are that a punter’s choice in May will still be sound in July. Last year’s winning trainer, Edward Lyman, has no less than three entries, including Sole Power, Moviestar and Anthem Alexander.

The possible favourite so far is last year’s runner-up, seven-year-old chestnut Tropics. The lightly-raced son of Speightstown not only benefits from the services of trainer Dean Ivory but also is familiar with the course. Tropics ran poorly in Dubai because he did not seem to handle the course surfaces there. Best odds that he will improve when running back home in Great Britain.

Foreign Challengers

The American invaders have often proved the downfall to many a hometown hero in Great Britain. This year, the American challenge comes from the 2014 Breeder’s Cup Juvenile Turf winner Hootenanny and last year’s fourth-placed Darley July Cup finisher, Undrafted. Both are trained by Kentuckian Wesley Ward.

Australia looks to have at least two entries (touch wood) including the improving four-year-old Brazen Beau, a son of I Am Invincible. No matter how Brazen Beau performs, this is scheduled to be his final year racing. He is scheduled to race in his native Oz on 29 May before flying to England for Royal Ascot in June.

More than a Horse Race

Last year’s Darley July Cup winner Slade Power turned out to be a win for the race’s current sponsor, Darley Stud. Slade Power was purchased by Sheikh Mohammed’s Darley Stud just days before the race. Darley Stud is arguably the most powerful thoroughbred breeding facility in the world, even eclipsing the famed Bluegrass stud farms like Clairborne.

Winners or even runners-up of such a prestigious race as the July Cup not only win a lot of money for their owners, but also win the right to retire to the breeding shed. Slade Power may one day become a major influence in shaping the modern thoroughbred. Slade Power combines one of the best American families (Mr. Prospector) with the family of Storm Bird.

This article was written by John Hawthorne who is a sports writer who writes for various websites such as www.odds.com.au.