US sprint star Extravagant Kid stays in Britain for star-studded July Cup

After coming third in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot, US sprint star Extravagant Kid is staying in Britain to bid for G1 glory in the Darley July Cup, six-furlong highlight of next month’s Moet & Chandon July Festival.

EXTRAVAGANT KID winning the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
EXTRAVAGANT KID winning the Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Picture: Francois Nel/Getty Images

The eight-year-old is one of 29 horses left in the July 10 contest after the latest entries stage alongside a host of Royal Ascot winners in last year's champ Oxted, Dream Of Dreams, Creative Force and Rahaan – plus Starman, denied a run in the Diamond Jubilee when the ground turned heavy.

Eyecatching entries from the three-year-old brigade include Coronation Stakes heroine Alcohol Free and Dragon Symbol, first past the post in the Commonwealth Cup before being demoted in favour of Campanelle.

Extravagant Kid, who won the G1 Al Quoz Sprint at Meydan before finishing under Frankie Dettori behind Oxted in the King's Stand, is currently housed in Abingdon Place Stables – and the gelding's trainer Brendan Walsh is certainly no stranger to Newmarket.

"I spent a lot of time working in Newmarket back in the day as I worked three or four summers for Godolphin then four years for Mark Wallace before that so I know the place very well," explained the Kentucky-based trainer.

"I always liked the July meeting and it would be quite something if I could go back there and win the July Cup with this lad.

"I don't think going back up to six furlongs will be a negative," Walsh went on. "Although it is a little stiffer than Dubai, you are going downhill a lot of the way. It is probably as far as he needs to go but I think he will be fine.

"We gave him plenty of time to get over his travelling turnaround but you would think he would be in a better position now having had that run at Ascot."

Jockey plans are yet to be decided. "We only decided to leave him in the race at the start of the week," said Walsh. "It would be fantastic if we could get Frankie as he is always good to have."

Walsh believes Extravagant KId's recent spell racing abroad has helped rejuvenate his career. "The first target this year was Dubai and that worked out well so we thought why not go to Ascot now and now here we are," he said.

"He ran really well at Ascot and justified us taking him there. I think that was a tougher spot than Dubai. He showed he belonged there and I was happy with him.

"Travelling with him is a new dimension and he seems to like it. It has brought out the best in him. As an older horse travelling just adds something a bit different.

"He is eight now and is probably in his prime. He is not going to be up to this standard forever so we will just enjoy it."

Lining up in opposition could be the Clive Cox-trained pair of Supremacy and Diligent Harry, both late withdrawals from the Commonwealth Cup owing to the ground.

"I would hope Supremacy is an intended runner," said Cox. "With the ground being too soft at Ascot, moving forwards this was always going to be the plan. 

"He did have a high white cell count when he returned home from the Pavilion which would suggest why he ran below expectations. At the same time the winner of the race [Rohaan] was underestimated as he clearly looks talented.

"We have been happy with Supremacy over the last few weeks and it was just unfortunate the ground went against him at Ascot."

Stablemate Diligent Harry is set to run in G3 William Hill Chipchase Stakes at Newcastle on Saturday. "That was the Plan B alternative when the ground went against us at Ascot," said Cox.

"He is proven on the all-weather and this gives us a stepping stone forwards and that is why we have kept an iron in the fire regarding his July Cup entry. I think it is doable to do both races but bearing in mind he has never run on turf in comparison to a lot of his competitors, he lacks the experience.

"He has had a healthy time between All-Weather Finals day and now. He is a horse we are very much looking forward to for the rest of the season."

Horse Racing Planet