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Underdog Mayson grabs Darley July Cup

Heading into the Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket, horse racing tipsters barely gave Mayson any notice (20-1).
Heading into the Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket, horse racing tipsters barely gave Mayson any notice (20-1).
Photo by Daniel Munoz/Getty Images

Heading into the Group 1 Darley July Cup at Newmarket, horse racing tipsters barely gave Mayson any notice (20-1). Instead, most of the attention was showered on the likes of Strong Suit, Dandy Boy, and Sepoy. None of these runners placed better than eighth in the six furlong meeting on Saturday.

Jockey Paul Hanagan helped the four-year-old Mayson, trained by Richard Fahey, to defy expectations and took in £256,329 in first prize on behalf of owner Hamdan Al Maktoum.

The four-year-old sprinted in the center of the pack and started to emerge one furlong out. Mayson would continue building on her lead the rest of the way without serious contention from the other runners.

Heading into the final stretch, Mayson had built almost an insurmountable three lengths gap against The Cheka (second, £97,180), Society Rock (third, £48,635), and Ortensia (fourth, £24,227). Mayson would continue to the separation and crossed the line five lengths ahead.

The recent wet weather had hampered racecourse conditions at Newmarket. At the last minute, Bated Breath, which had been viewed as the betting favourite by tipsters and punters, was withdrawn due to the conditions. Given Mayson’s performance, it may not have mattered. Fahey and Hanagan bagged their first Group 1 win in England.