In-form jockey William Buick is set to take up the right on top class Australian Sprinter Ortensia in Saturday's Darley July Cup at Newmarket. Buick has been in blistetering form for John Gosden of late, with the pair landing the Coral Eclipse at Sandown last Saturday.
Buick, riding Nathaniel, made the most of the slightly sticky ground to get the better of Godolphin's improving Farhh by half a length. Gosden later revealed Buick's impending July Cup ride, saying: "It looks like William will be riding Ortensia in the July Cup, which is exciting for him."
Ortensia (12/1 To Win The July Cup), trained by Paul Messara, was among the favourites for the King's Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, but finished a disappointing ninth, seemingly struggling to cope with a testing track and getting very warm prior to the race. Messara himself however believes the run to be a blip, and intends to run her in a racecourse gallop at Newmarket this week to give her the best chance on the July course's undulating straight.
Ortensia will face former southern-hemisphere trained Sepoy (14/1 To Win The July Cup) on Saturday. A four-time Group One winner down under, he was disappointing in Dubai in his first run for Mahmood Al Zarooni, but the trainer is confident he is back towards his Australian peak, saying: "He did a piece of work on Saturday and he's showing that sort of form."
"I don't know why he ran like he did at Meydan. The surface, or sometimes when they travel they get really down. It is a long way to Dubai from Australia. That's why I think he ran like he did." Favourite for the race is Roger Charlton's Bated Breath (3/1 To Win The July Cup), a close second in the King's Stand and well fancied to take his first Group One this Saturday.