The traditional two-day Summer Mile Weekend has been condensed into a single afternoon for 2020 in light of the COVID-19 emergency Fixture List. An extended eight-race card is set to take place, headlined by the Group 2 Betfred Summer Mile.
It has attracted a strong field of 11, headed by 2019 Queen Anne Stakes winner, Lord Glitters. He has been off the track since November though and may find it tough against some race fit rivals. Marie’s Diamond brings the strongest form to the table from this season having been third in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot last month while Mohaather had a luckless run in the same race and will be bidding to make amends here. The unexposed San Donato looks a lively outsider for Roger Varian.
A full field of 20 has been declared for the Betfred Heritage Handicap over the minimum distance of five furlongs and several of these seasoned sprinters have already been busy this season. Stone Of Destiny was a strong-running sixth in the Wokingham Stakes, form that has already been boosted and the drop in trip should suit.
Venturous was a good second ahead of Ornate at Newcastle last time out and both of those should be in the mix. Aplomb is another who drops in trip having been well fancied when seventh in the Silver Wokingham Stakes and he is unlikely to be far away again.
The mile-and-a-half ‘Play Nifty Fifty Exclusively At Betfred’ Handicap for three-year-olds looks a good opportunity for Celestran who was third behind Khalifa Sat, second in the Derby last week, at Goodwood in June. His mark of 88 looks generous and a repeat of that performance should be enough to see off Dubai Souq who will look to improve on a promising two-year-old campaign.
There could be a Royal winner in the Betfred ‘Fred’s Pushes’ British EBF Fillies’ Novice Stakes where Lightness will look to finally get her head in front having been second on two starts this season.
Away from Ascot, the Newmarket July Festival comes to a conclusion with the Group 1 Darley July Cup the main event. A fascinating renewal sees Diamond Jubilee Stakes winner Hello Youmzain take on Commonwealth Cup winner Golden Horde as well as Equilateral, second in the King’s Stand Stakes.