Jockey James Doyle could offer no real excuses as Brazen Beau looked to have rounded off his career with a rather disappointing seventh in the Darley July Cup at Newmarket.

The final British-based round of the Global Sprint Challenge continues to elude Australian-trained raiders, with a dozen failing since the dual Royal Ascot hero Choisir was second to Oasis Dream back in 2003.

This time it produced an incredibly exciting finish as Brazen Beau’s fellow 2-1 joint- favourite Muhaarar grabbed Tropics right on the line.

Carrying Godolphin’s blue silks in the 1200-metre Group 1 ahead of becoming a Darley stallion, Brazen Beau arrived at the July course after finishing second in the Diamond Jubilee Stakes, where he had raced in isolation.

Doyle, replacing Craig Williams, had the multiple Flemington winner settled just in behind the speed as Astaire and Tropics towed them along but Brazen Beau simply failed to go through the gears as smoothly as might have been expected.

“I’ve watched his replays a few times and after a furlong he can grab hold (of the bit) and shake his head, as he did today,” said Doyle.

“There are no excuses, I was one of the first in trouble when they started to quicken. He didn’t give me the same feel as he had been doing in his morning work and it was different ground.

“It is a lot tighter out there today than it has been during the morning, when they’ve had a bit of dew. That’s lot firmer out there now.”

Muhaarar, the impressive winner of the Commonwealth Cup over the same trip at Ascot, had a three-year-old allowance but appeared ill-at-ease on the undulating course.

For a second Tropics, still seeking a maiden Group 1 after a hat-full of strong efforts, looked like he would finally break his duck but Muhaarar just stuck his nose in front in time.

“He just didn't really handle the track, the dip, the only time I could really move on him was when he hit the rising ground,” said jockey Paul Hanagan. “I did always think he was going to get there, without sounding cocky.”

Trainer Charlie Hills added: “He didn’t come down the hill too good but he’s a real fighter, he battled right the way to the line. We look forward to going back to a nice level track for races like the Prix Maurice de Gheest, the Haydock Sprint Cup, and finish back in the big sprint at Ascot.” (,com)