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NEWMARKET JULY FESTIVAL DAY 1 REPORT | Sir Mark Priestley battles on to win the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes

Mark Johnston‘s talented stayer fought well to claim success on the opening day of the July Festival at Newmarket

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Sir Ron Priestley Newmarket
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Sir Ron Priestley produced an upset in Thursday’s feature race at the July Festival, as the former St Leger runner-up defied the odds-on favourite Al Aasy in the Princess Of Wales’s Stakes at Newmarket.

Mark Johnston’s colt expectedly took up the lead from the start and dictated the tempo early on, setting a steady gallop around the July circuit.

watch: sir ron priestley wins the Princess of wales’s stakes [credit: racing tv]

Franny Norton shook his mount up with three furlongs remaining and he pushed on, with Al Aasy beginning his pursuit shortly behind.

The pair traded blows down the home straight and Al Aasy was looking the more likely winner of the two in the closing stages.

But Sir Ron Priestley threw down one last challenge as he rallied gamely in the final strides to claim success by a neck.

Star Safari ran well to claim third for Charlie Appleby, while Bangkok finished fourth for Andrew Balding.

An incredibly tight finish ensued in the July Stakes, with Richard Hannon’s Lusail just claiming victory on the line in the Group 2 6f contest.

watch: lusail wins the july stakes at newmarket [credit: racing tv]

The colt took the lead in the final furlong and kept on well in the final strides, just showing enough pace to claim his third victory in four starts.

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The race could have gone either way, with Alan King’s Asymmetric and Tom Dascombe’s Sam Maximus finishing a head and half a length behind the eventual winner.

Yibir returned to form for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin, as the gelding produced a respectable performance in the Group 3 Bahrain Trophy Stakes.

Charlie Appleby smiles at the Ebor Festival
Charlie Appleby landed a double at the first day of the July Festival at Newmarket

The three-year-old made good headway in the final stages and comfortably edged into the lead with a furlong remaining.

James Doyle pushed his mount on and he pulled readily away from his rivals, claiming victory by two and a half lengths.

Mandoob kept on to finish second for Brian Meehan, while Mark Johnston’s Dancing King ran on for third.

Frankella broke her duck at the third time of asking as the daughter of Frankel claimed the 6f Maiden Filllies’ Stakes for Andrew Balding, while Michael Dods’ Blackrod snatched victory by a neck in the 6f Handicap.

Baaeed oozed class as he cleared away to win by four lengths in the Listed Sir Henry Cecil Stakes for William Haggas, while Charlie Appleby‘s Path Of Thunder claimed the 1m Handicap.

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