06/24/2010 12:00AM

O'Callaghan high on Kinsale King


Carl O'Callaghan sounded an upbeat note concerning his world-class sprinter Kinsale King on Thursday as he prepares that lightly raced 5-year-old son of Yankee Victor for the Group 1 July Cup, the centerpiece of Newmarket's prestigious July Festival on the ninth of next month.

"Coming in third in the Golden Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot was like winning," the Irish-born trainer said. "My horse showed up on the day, and that's all I can ask. I think next time we'll see a better performance. I am a bit concerned running him back so quick, but he bounced out of the race and is in great shape. After Ascot we did all the scopes and X-rays you can do and they were all spotless."

But Kinsale King, winner of the Dubai Golden Shaheen on March 27, faces a return match in the six-furlong July Cup with wire-to-wire Golden Jubilee winner Starspangledbanner, as well as the second- and fourth-place Golden Jubilee finishers, Society Rock and Fleeting Spirit.

"This time we won't let Starspangledbanner go," O'Callaghan warned. "I want to sit closer to him, perhaps only a length behind as my horse can kick but also keep going."

Like the Golden Jubilee, the July Cup is run on a straight and undulating track, although the 6 furlongs of Newmarket's July Course are more undulating than what Kinsale King encountered at Ascot. The $600,000 July Cup will be run on the climactic third day of the July Festival. Until then Kinsale King is stationed at Jane Chapple-Hyam's nearby Newmarket yard at Rose Cottage.