Angel flies high to down Caravaggio and co for Kirby and Cox

It was his first test against older horses and Harry Angel proved up to the examination as he claimed the Group 1 Darley July Cup (1200m) under Adam Kirby at Newmarket on Saturday.

Kirby refused to get into a battle with leader Intelligence Cross and moved to the front before a furlong out, with Limato swooping for second and favourite Caravaggio, who started slowly, never able to land a blow as he lost his unbeaten record.

Trainer Clive Cox, winning his second July Cup, said: “We’re so glad. This is what it’s all about. Although he was beaten at Royal Ascot, and Adam was disappointed, the look in the horse’s eye said: 'right, I’m getting the hang of this now'. So I was very confident today. He’s so exciting that I’ve not needed to have an alarm clock since I’ve had him.

“It’s great for Adam, who’s been with us a long time. I’m over the moon.”

Kirby added: “This horse is the best.”

The win reversed the form of the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot where the Aidan O'Brien-trained Caravaggio came from off the pace to gun down Harry Angel.

That day the Godolphin-owned Harry Angel got into a fight for the lead with the O’Brien trained Intelligence Cross, but this time Kirby kept his sword sheathed until producing a telling burst of pace to beat Limato by a length and a quarter, with Brando outrunning his 28-1 odds to finish narrowly back in third.

Limato, last year’s July Cup winner, has looked a serious threat as he angled inside Intelligence Cross to make his challenge, but Harry Angel found more.

Sent off the even-money favourite, Caravaggio was sluggish out of the stalls and was never closer than the two lengths he finished behind Harry Angel in fourth at the finish.