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Champion jockey Richard Hughes has been booked to ride Australian challenger Shamexpress in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.
The big race on Saturday, July 13 has attracted some of the best sprinters around, but trainer Danny Wilson hopes Hughes will give his horse an extra edge.
The four-year-old finished just over four lengths behind Sole Power in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot on what was his first visit to the UK.
A winner of three of his 11 career starts, including a Group 1 at Flemington in March, he will appreciate the step back up to six furlongs at Newmarket, and although Craig Hewitt has done nothing wrong on him, the inclusion of Hughes is another plus factor.
Shamexpress has been put through his paces on the July course recently after which work rider Paul Koumis expressed his delight with the horse.
“He worked terrific and I’m very pleased with him. He handled the track really well and had no problem with the undulations,” he said.
“He has come on from Royal Ascot. We missed four or five days with him when he first came over and he ran a bit like that in the King’s Stand Stakes.
“I’m not saying he would have won but he would have been third or fourth.
“I think the five-furlong trip takes him out of the comfort zone and six furlongs will suit him better.”
Big-race rider Hughes is due to sit on him this week to get a feel before the pair team up at Newmarket a week on Saturday.