Khaadem on target for July Cup

Newmarket options abound for Sheikh Hamdan’s stellar string.

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Khaadem is set to go for the Darley July Cup at Newmarket following his encouraging effort in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes at Royal Ascot.

The Charlie Hills-trained sprinter had to settle for fourth place in the Group One behind Hello Youmzain after travelling as well as anything two furlongs from home.

The ease in the ground may not have suited Khaadem, and connections for hoping for quicker conditions on Saturday week.

“The plan at the moment is to go to Newmarket,” said Angus Gold, racing manager to owner Sheikh Hamdan Al Maktoum.

“He ran well at Ascot. He was a bit fresh. The ground was a little bit too easy for him, arguably, but it didn’t quite go his way – without making excuses.

“I think he can improve on that, so hopefully we get fast ground and he could run well.”

Nazeef is likely to try her hand at Group One glory in the Tattersalls Falmouth Stakes at the July meeting next Friday.

The John Gosden-trained four-year-old has earned the right to go there after winning the Group Two Duke of Cambridge Stakes at Royal Ascot.

“Nazeef looks really good, so at the moment we are going to look at the Falmouth next week,” said Gold.

It is possible another of Sheikh Hamdan’s Royal Ascot winners, Molatham, may get his Group One opportunity in the Prix Jean Prat at Deauville next weekend.

The Roger Varian-trained colt stayed on strongly to lift the Group Three Jersey Stakes.

“We’ve not had a chance to chat about plans yet,” said Gold.

“He is in the Prix Jean Prat, but I haven’t yet spoke to Sheikh Hamdan about that. That was a thought of Roger’s at this stage.

“We’ll just see. It’s a question of trip with him. I think he showed plenty of speed that day, the way he travelled through the race, so we are thinking of possibly staying at seven – but this is all to be confirmed with Sheikh Hamdan.”

However, Gold confirmed Hukum met with a slight setback when winning the King George V Handicap at the Royal meeting.

“He got struck,” he said.

“He had to have a few quiet days. He’s back now, but he won’t be running just yet.”

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