Darley July Cup: Ed Walker hoping Starman gets conditions to suit at Newmarket after rain forced Royal Ascot withdrawal

Heavy rain at Royal Ascot forced Ed Walker to declare Starman as a non-runner having been long-time favourite for the Diamond Jubilee Stakes; trainer confident ground will be more suitable at Newmarket for July Cup bid

Starman
Image: Starman missed Royal Ascot after heavy rain turned the ground soft on the Saturday

Trainer Ed Walker is confident conditions will be suitable for Starman in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket on Saturday week.

The Upper Lambourn handler was ruing his luck when rain fell at Royal Ascot, forcing him to withdraw his crack sprinter from the Diamond Jubilee Stakes.

The four-year-old was a leading fancy for that six-furlong Group One feature on the back of victory in the Duke of York Stakes on the Knavesmire.

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His only defeat in five career starts came on soft ground at Ascot when he was well-beaten in the Qipco British Champions Sprint in October.

"He's on track for the July Cup. He's in good nick and he'll work on Wednesday," said Walker.

"I think we'll be all right with the ground. Newmarket was very quick last week and they tend not to get much of the rain. I'd be very surprised if it's any softer than it was when he won at York.

"We'd be seriously unlucky if we had to rethink again. It would be hard to rethink again as he hasn't got many options. I'm sure it will be fine."

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Starman, ridden by Oisin Murphy, wins the Duke of York Clipper Logistics Stakes
Image: Starman's only career defeat came on soft ground at Ascot in October

A setback prevented Came From The Dark from running at the Royal meeting but he is fully recovered and on course to return to action in the Coral Charge at Sandown on Saturday.

The five-year-old has his second attempt at a Group Three contest after finishing second in the Palace House Stakes at Newmarket in May.

"I think we are going to head to Sandown. It should be nice ground there," said Walker.

"It was a real shame we missed Royal Ascot with him because the five there would have been perfect, but this stiff five will suit.

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"You just tend to need a bit more luck at Sandown. I hope the race pans out for him but he's in great shape. I am looking forward to seeing him back.

"He had a setback after Newmarket which was not a major one but we could not train him for 10 days or so. It was frustrating rather than disastrous."

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