July Cup: Shaquille shines bright to win Newmarket Group One for Julie Camacho despite typical slow start

Shaquille shot at the sprinting summit at Newmarket as Julie Camacho’s speedster doubled his big-race tally in the Pertemps Network July Cup Stakes.

The three-year-old was competing in handicap company on the weekend of the opening Classics of the season – but he has since announced himself as a star of the division and, having taken the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot, he took the sting out of his elders here on Newmarket’s July course.

In scenes reminiscent of Ascot, Shaquille bunny-hopped as the gates opened, giving away plenty of ground.

However, while at Ascot Oisin Murphy had time to creep his way into contention, Shaquille was not hanging around on the wide expansive track at HQ on this occasion and pulled his way to the front to eyeball the front-running Art Power.

With two furlongs to run Rossa Ryan let the 5/2 joint-favorite have his head and the duo soon set about putting the race to bed.

Rossa Ryan celebrates as Shaquille wins the July Cup at Newmarket
Rossa Ryan celebrates as Shaquille wins the July Cup at Newmarket

Although Henry Candy’s Run To Freedom and Ralph Beckett’s Kinross were breathing down his neck in the final furlong, Shaquille was never slowing down and kept on strongly in the closing stages to come home a length-and-a-half clear of the runner-up .

Shaquille had given his Yorkshire-based team of Camacho and her husband Steve Brown their first Group One victory at Ascot and after quickly doubling their tally, he provided his jockey with his finest hour, too, with Ryan, who only picked up the ride on Thursday, tasting top-level success for the first time.

Rossa Ryan beams after steering Shaquille to July Cup victory
Ryan beams after landing his first career Group One title

It could be the Betfair Sprint Cup at Haydock next and both Betfair and Paddy Power make the winner their 7/4 favourite.

“Why does he keep doing everything wrong,” said Camacho immediately after the race. “I just wish he’d do things right. Hey wasn’t he. I’m at a loss for words!”

Having become the first female trainer to break the £1million mark in prize-money in a season, Camachco composed herself thereafter and added: “It is brilliant. It is not as if it is an overnight success.

“We have been at it a long time. It is just nice that people in the north can have a bit of success because there are some really good trainers in the north and if we can get the ammunition, we can do well with them .

“We will probably go to Haydock, although we will put him in at Deauville (Prix Maurice de Gheest).

“Steve will discuss it with Martin (Hughes, joint-owner). I’m only a very small part. Steve plays a bigger part than I do.”

She added: “I was wondering what he was doing after the stalls opened. He came on pretty keen and he did at Ascot, which isn’t ideal. I keep saying I wish he’d do everything right. He drives us mad.

“I think since we are beating the older horses, this was better than Ascot. We were confident the horse was fit and well and he was in good form, but then we are taking on the older horses, aren’t we?”