Harry Angel was a brilliant winner of the Darley July Cup at Newmarket under Adam Kirby as Caravaggio tasted defeat for the first time in his career.
Clive Cox’s three-year-old son of Dark Angel was reopposing the Aidan O’Brien-trained Caravaggio who won the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot in impressive fashion in June.
Harry Angel (9/2) made a smart start from the stalls and tracked Caravaggio’s pacemaker Intelligence Cross for much of the six-furlong contest. Caravaggio (10/11f) had a poor start and never seemed in contention in the Group 1 contest, with jockey Ryan Moore hard at work two furlongs out.
Harry Angel hit the front inside the final furlong but the odds-on favourite was already under pressure and never looked like narrowing the gap.
Cox’s sprinter galloped all the way to the line to win by a length and a quarter, with Limato second, and Brando a further half a length back in third. Caravaggio finished a disappointing fourth, a further short head behind.
His trainer Aidan O’Brien stated that Caravaggio’s slow start was a possible reason for his three-year-old colt’s first defeat:
“He ran very well. Ryan said he was a little bit slow out the gates and that probably left him a bit on the back foot. I’m not making any excuses.”