07/14/2010 5:15PM

Spanish Moon will have his work cut out at Newmarket


A pair of prominent Breeders’ Cup runners add an American flavor to the $143,000 Princess of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket on Thursday. BC Marathon winner Man of Iron makes his second start for new trainer Luca Cumani in the 1 1/2-mile contest, while Spanish Moon, fourth in the Turf, drops into a Group 2 contest after three narrow misses at the top level at far-flung locales around the world.

Spanish Moon, a son of El Prado trained by Michael Stoute, is the choice but it will not be easy for him. Since chasing home stablemate Conduit at Santa Anita he has been a short head second to Daryakana in the Hong Kong Vase and a length third behind Dar Re Mi in the Dubai Sheema Classic. Once banned from racing in Britain because of deplorable gate habits, he will be making his first start on home turf since he won a 1 1/2-mile listed race on the Kempton Polytrack in November 2008. Ryan Moore retains the ride.

Man of Iron returned form a 6 1/2-month absence to be third in the listed 1 1/2-mile Fred Archer Stakes over the course and distance on June 26, but he really prefers a longer trip. Godolphin’s UAE-bred Holberg rates as the 2-1 favorite off his six-length victory over French Group 2 winner Manighar in the listed 1 1/2-mile Tapster Stakes at Goodwood. Jockey Frankie Dettori will surely try to steal the race from the front end once again, but Holberg is facing tougher horses this time.

One of those is Tazeez. A 6-year-old trained by John Gosden, he ran the race of his life when he was third by 1 1/4 lengths behind Byword and Twice Over in the 1 1/4-mile Prince of Wales’s Stakes at Royal Ascot. A repeat of that effort makes him dangerous but the Silver Hawk-Nureyev cross he comes from has never been further than 10 furlongs.

◗ The Group 2, $105,000 July Stakes for juvenile colts and geldings at six furlongs looks like a match between Approve and Elzaam. Trained by William Haggas, Approve won Royal Ascot’s five-furlong, Group 2 Norfolk Stakes, while the Michael Jarvis-trained, Australian-bred Elzaam just failed to hold off Strong Suit by a nose in the six-furlong, Group 2 Coventry Stakes. But beware the Godolphin-owned Nebraas, who was second to Strong Suit in a Newbury maiden before winning his maiden race by four lengths at Goodwood.