07/13/2017 1:47PM

Caravaggio short price in July Cup at Newmarket


The unbeaten Caravaggio will be favored to win his debut against older horses in Saturday’s Group 1 July Cup at six furlongs on turf at Newmarket Racecourse in England.

From a betting perspective, Caravaggio is a standout. As of Thursday, the colt was about even-money with bookmakers to beat nine rivals and win for the seventh time.

Trained by Aidan O’Brien for the Coolmore team of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor, and Susan Magnier, Caravaggio has won two Group 1 races, including the Commonwealth Cup for 3-year-olds at six furlongs at Royal Ascot on June 23. Caravaggio was an odds-on favorite and finished three-quarters of a length in front of Harry Angel, an 11-2 chance, in the $646,650 Commonwealth Cup.

Among the older runners in the July Cup, Limato and The Tin Man are rated as the biggest threats to Caravaggio. The Tin Man and Limato were first and third in the Group 1 Diamond Jubilee Stakes at six furlongs at Royal Ascot on June 24.

The Group 1 Irish Oaks at the Curragh is the top race in Ireland on Saturday, with a field of 10 led by Enable.

Trained by John Gosden, Enable won the Group 1 English Oaks on June 2 in her group stakes debut and was 2-5 on Thursday to win the $455,960 Irish Oaks at 1 1/2 miles.

Gosden also starts Coronet, who was fifth in the English Oaks but rebounded to win her first group stakes in the Group 2 Ribblesdale Stakes for 3-year-old fillies at 1 1/2 miles at Royal Ascot on June 22.

O’Brien’s best chance in the Irish Oaks is Rain Goddess, who was second against older fillies and mares in the Group 1 Pretty Polly Stakes at 1 1/4 miles at the Curragh on July 2.

Minding retired

Minding, a seven-time Group 1 winner in 2015 and 2016, has been retired because of persistent injuries this summer.

A 4-year-old filly by Galileo, Minding won 9 of 13 starts in a three-year career. Trained by Aidan O’Brien for the Coolmore team of Derrick Smith, Michael Tabor, and Susan Magnier, Minding had one start this year, winning the Group 2 Mooresbridge Stakes at Naas Racecourse in Ireland on May 1. The Mooresbridge was meant to be a prep for Group 1 races later in the spring and summer.

Minding won two Group 1 races as a 2-year-old in 2015 and won five of seven starts as a 3-year-old last year.

All five of Minding's wins last year came in Group 1 races – the English 1000 Guineas and English Oaks against 3-year-olds, the Pretty Polly Stakes in Ireland and Nassau Stakes in England against older fillies and mares, and the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes against males at Ascot last October in her final start of the year.

Arrogate tops rankings

Arrogate, the winner of two eight-figure races earlier this year, remains the top-ranked horse in the world, according to ratings issued on Thursday by the Longines World Best Racehorse Rankings Committee.

Arrogate, trained by Bob Baffert for Juddmonte Farms, is rated at 134 on the basis of his wins in the $12 million Pegasus Gold Cup at Gulfstream Park in January, and the $10 million Dubai World Cup in the United Arab Emirates in March.

Arrogate is scheduled to start in the Grade 2 San Diego Handicap at Del Mar on July 22.

Winx, the star Australian turf mare, is a clear second at 132, followed by Gun Runner, the winner of the Grade 1 Stephen Foster Handicap at Churchill Downs on June 17. Trained by Steve Asmussen for Winchell Thoroughbreds, Gun Runner was second in the Dubai World Cup. The win in the Stephen Foster moved Gun Runner from fifth in rankings issued in early June.

Ribchester, based in England, is rated at 124, one more than Churchill, Hartnell, Highland Reel and Jack Hobbs, all at 123. Always Dreaming, the winner of the Kentucky Derby for trainer Todd Pletcher, is tied for ninth at 122, with Chautuaqua of Australia and Lady Aurelia, who won the Group 1 King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on June 20 for American trainer Wesley Ward.