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Naval Crown goes down fighting in G1 Darley July Cup


Naval Crown followed up his Royal Ascot heroics with an honourable second in the six-furlong G1 Darley July Cup on Saturday, 9 July, the highlight of Newmarket’s three-day July Festival.

Charlie Appleby’s Platinum Jubilee Stakes winner broke alertly from stall 13 and soon led under James Doyle, with stable-mate Creative Force tracking the pace.

Naval Crown had his rivals under pressure approaching the final quarter mile, with Alcohol Free the only one to emerge as a serious threat as the action unfolded towards the far side.

Alcohol Free drew level with Naval Crown at the furlong marker and ran on strongly to score by a length and a half. Creative Force was fourth, beaten three and a half lengths in total.

Charlie Appleby said: “I am delighted with Naval Crown. That was another big run and he is really starting to mark himself down as a proper sprinter in this division.

“William [Buick] said that Creative Force was feeling the ground towards the finish. He travelled well but would not let himself down.

“I think we will keep an eye on the Haydock Sprint Cup for Naval Crown, whereas we will work back from the British Champions Sprint with Creative Force as he is likely to get his ground there.”