SHEA Shea finished fourth in Saturday’s Darley July Cup at Newmarket, the Gr1 race emphatically won by Lethal Force (grey, left on headline photo).
Lethal Force had the right blend of speed and stamina to be a sensation at the highest level and once again he powered home from the front to defeat Society Rock, his victim in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes. It all looked too easy and the clock agreed as Lethal Force broke Stravinsky’s 14-year track record.
Slade Power was third for Ireland in the six-furlong event, with Shea Shea the first of the international contingent home in fourth ahead of Sole Power, his King’s Stand Stakes conqueror.
Since Agnes World handed Japan their first Group 1 success in Britain 13 years ago there had been 17 horses from outside Europe that had tried and failed. Shea Shea joined that list but trainer Mike de Kock is determined that the Al Quoz Sprint winner tacks on a European Group 1 before the end of the season.
“He was tested today and he never got home,” the South African trainer said. “He doesn’t have the same kick over five furlongs. He had form over six and seven furlongs in South Africa but he didn’t beat anything there really – they were not the calibre of these horses.
“We’ll look at the Nunthorpe Stakes at York next and possibly the Prix de l’Abbaye at Longchamp on Arc eekend.
“Those flatter, faster tracks will suit him perfectly.”