07/13/2006 11:00PM

Les Arcs rallies to win July Cup


Displaying remarkable consistency for a British sprinter, Les Arcs followed his Royal Ascot Golden Jubilee Stakes victory with a late-running triumph in the $666,000 July Cup at Newmarket on Friday.

A gelded 6-year-old Maryland-bred son of Super Derby winner Arch, Les Arcs is the first British-trained sprinter to win two consecutive Group 1 sprints since 2003, when Oasis Dream won the July Cup and the Nunthorpe Stakes.

Always well placed in mid-pack, Les Arcs and rider John Egan found a gap approaching the eighth-pole and pounced. As in the Golden Jubilee, the issue was decided in a few strides. Egan did have to get to work, however, to hold off the late challenge of Iffraaj, with Les Arcs prevailing by a head at 10-1. The winning time for six furlongs was 1:11.16, well off Stravinsky's 1999 track and stakes mark of 1:09.51.

Australian invader and King's Stand Stakes winner Takeover Target, the 9-2 favorite, led briefly a furlong from home before fading to seventh, 1 3/4 lengths behind the winner.