14:00 Betfred Glorious Stakes
We start with a Group 3 race where The Corsican sets a good standard. It was disappointing to see him taken out of the King George on Saturday considering he does have good form on soft ground. However connections felt differently and trainer David Simcock says he’s better on fast ground. He won’t be getting rattling quick ground but it has been drying out and is likely to be closer to firm than soft. This four-year-old has improved with every start and was fourth in the Group 1 Prince Of Wales’s Stakes, which sets a high standard compared to the rest of these; this is a drop in class and he looks the one to beat. That was over 1m2f and this is an extra 2f, which there are doubts about however he has won over this trip previously. One major boost is that he has raced here before and he’s won both of those races. The only concern would be the form of the yard, who finally got their first winner of the month on Wednesday night.
Connecticut won a Listed race at Pontefract on his first and only start so far this season. Nancy From Nairobi was in second and Mick Channon’s runner was second in the Fillies handicap on Wednesday giving that form some strength. He’s won over this distance at Newmarket beating Xinbama, who then won at Leicester more recently. He has raced over further and was placed over 1m6f at York last season. He’s shown he’s progressive and looks the main danger. Watersmeet is the most likely pace angle in this race. If given a soft lead in front this grey gelding could take advantage. This is tougher than what he has raced in but he was a close second in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock at the beginning of this month. Has form links with some good horses including Astronereus, who has won over further, and was fifth behind Arab Dawn at Royal Ascot.
Hillstar has disappointed on both starts in Group 2 company so far this season. This is a slight drop in grade and he’ll need to find some of his best form to win this for me. He was well beaten at Royal Ascot and then was beaten by 3½l by Big Orange at Newmarket; we saw Big Orange win the Goodwood Cup yesterday. He does have good form but some of these look more progressive and personally not one to fully trust. Dubday is now trained by Jassim Al Ghazali over in Qatar. He’s won a couple of Listed races over in Qatar and has won over further suggesting his stamina is there. Two starts in the UK this season and has been second on both occasions and he’s been giving weight to those winners. The returning Gospel Choir narrowly beat him at Newmarket when last seen and for me he could go mighty close.
Advice: The Corsican (15/8 win)
Match Bet – Dubday to beat Hillstar (if available)
14:35 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes
This is the second Group 3 race on today’s card and again the market looks about right in my opinion. Latharnach sets a high standard following his cracking second to Gleneagles at Royal Ascot in the Group 1 St James’s Palace Stakes; Aktabantay was back in fourth. He’s dropping in class and if he can replicate that run at Royal Ascot then he’ll be very difficult to beat. He was second on his seasonal reappearance in a Listed race at Newmarket behind Tupi, who we saw win another Listed race at the July Festival; when seen on Tuesday the ground beat him. It’s worth pointing out Charlie Appleby’s colt was a smart juvenile too, as he beat Time Test in a Novice Stakes at Sandown and Roger Charlton’s colt is highly-regarded following his win in the Tercentenary at Royal Ascot. He is at the head of the market but the form reads very strongly.
Kool Kompany carries a 4lb meaning he is giving weight to all of these. He won the Group 3 Craven Stakes on his seasonal reappearance at Newmarket but did get the run of the race from the front. Personally think this will be tougher than that effort with some improvers in this field. He was a close fourth in a Listed race at Chester when last seen and would need to find a little bit more here. He is the likely pace angle in this race but may want quicker ground. Convey won his debut on the all-weather at Kempton by a comfortable margin and in the style that an odds-on shot should. The form doesn’t look much to shout about but the second King To Be is now rated 91. He suffered a setback meaning he hasn’t been since then (296 days) but is thrown straight into Group company on his second start. He holds entries into Group 1 and 2 races further down the line, so is held highly in connections thoughts. You’d be taking the word of Sir Michael Stoute that he was at peak fitness running here. This is a tricky track and that could catch him out on just his second start.
Two of the runners at bigger prices are Hathal and Moheet. William Haggas’ Hathal was second to Consort on debut at Newmarket and the winner is now rated 112. There have been winners in behind too from that maiden. He won on his next start on the turf track at Lingfield, as the odds-on favourite. He ran in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot finishing tenth of 16 where he was outpaced by horse that had a bit more know how. He steps up in trip but that shouldn’t be a problem as his mother Sleepytime won the 1000 Guineas in 1997. There is a slight reservation about him on turf mind, as he could be even better on the all-weather surfaces. Moheet was out of his when running in the Derby, so you can put a line through that. He had problems throughout his run in the 2000 Guineas, so his eighth place finish was very reasonable. If you look at his first two starts he showed some nice progress. After winning by 7l on debut at Salisbury he was put into the Craven and finished third behind Kool Kompany. He could still have more to come in this sort of field and resume his progress.
Advice: Latharnach (13/8 win)
Hathal (14/1 each-way)
15:10 Betfred Mile/Golden Mile
This is a really competitive handicap and one where things may have to fall into place for a few of them.
Red Avenger won this last year when running on well to deny Mark Johnston’s Heavy Metal. In this year’s renewal he is only 3lb higher and that comes as a result of him dead-heating for first at Newcastle 36 days ago. That little break will have freshened him up and he’ll have been targeted for a return here to defend his crown. This year is slightly different as he is drawn on the other side. He came out of stall five last year but comes from stall 19 this time around. There hasn’t really been a draw bias so far this week, so that shouldn’t play a significant fact.
GM Hopkins won the Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot with Chil The Kite back in third. Both have to be respected, especially the latter that has that bit of course form, which could be important here. John Gosden’s runner is 6lb higher for that win and they both carry top weight, which hasn’t been done in the last ten renewals of this race. At Ascot GM Hopkins was given a peach of a ride by Ryan Moore to find the gaps then to hold on in the finish. Chil The Kite ran on well in the final furlong after not getting those gaps earlier, if they had come it may have been a different matter. Both are on the shortlist but carrying this sort of weight could be a problem.
Belgian Bill was fifth in this last year and runs here off the same mark. He disappointed finishing 19th of 22 in the Lincoln back in March. He hasn’t been seen since then but his course form of 0-4 is also a negative. Basem is looking to complete the hat-trick here after winning his last two at Sandown. James Doyle has given him two good rides to win both of those and he is likely to go close again despite a 6lb rise. The latest Sandown win has seen the form enhanced as Master Carpenter, third, has since won the John Smith’s Cup at York. Off his mark of 104 and drawn down the middle he has a very good chance. Munaaser was second to Basem at Sandown and has gone up 3lb. This is more difficult plus Paul Hanagan doesn’t have a great course record with only four winners from 112 rides in the last five years.
Magic City would be the first of my two each-way picks. He was third in this race last year and with Tom Marquand’s claim he is effectively off the same mark. He won a handicap at Kempton last November over 7f and was a good fourth over in Meydan in March. He’s been off the track since then but is likely to have been targeted for this. From his seven starts at this course he has three wins and two thirds. The wins have all been over 7f, which is the concern but he holds each-way claims.
My other pick is You’re Fired for Karl Burke, who sneaks in here off 97. He was third at York last time beaten by the progressive Birdman, who was third in a Listed race at the weekend and is now rated 106. That day he was slow away and kept on well making eye catching late progress suggesting this could possibly be a race he’d go well in. For this he is able to run off the same mark and if he breaks smartly here he’ll go close in the finish. The Royal Hunt Cup performance was too bad to be true after some of the performances he has put in, so I’m forgiving him for that. In May he was second in a Listed handicap at York where he again stayed on well late. The wider draw is a slight concern but in recent years horses have placed from wider. He’ll give you a run for your money and you know what to expect – a late surge.
Donncha gets an honourable mention following his third place at Ascot last Saturday for the blog. He’s off the same mark here but doesn’t have Tom Marquand’s claim yet Andrea Atzeni does take the ride, which is a positive jockey booking. Well drawn down the middle but this race may come just too soon.
Advice: Magic City (20/1 each-way)
You’re Fired (16/1 each-way)
15:45 Qatar King George Stakes
This Group 2 race will be fast and furious over one of the quicker 5f tracks in the country. There are plenty of past winners lining up again in this race.
Let’s get straight to the point here by saying Out Do looked a group performer when winning over 6f at Pontefract in April. He followed that up with a win at York beating Red Baron, who has won twice since and is now rated 102. In that York race Paul Midgley’s Desert Law (100) and Monsieur Joe (108) were third and fourth respectively. They went on to complete the 1-2 in the Epsom Dash. Since then he was second in a Listed race at Haydock before winning the City Walls Stakes at York ahead of Monsieur Joe where a couple of these were behind him. He comes in here off the same mark and is likely to get a strong pace that will suit him, so that he can make a late challenge. For me he has looked like a group winner and he gets his chance to prove that here. The main negative is that he has the widest stall to come from and that’s on the high side but Daniel Tudhope will be looking to tuck him in anyway.
Muthmir won a Group 2 on softer ground at Chantilly in May. Since then he was third at Royal Ascot in the King’s Stand before running in the July Cup only to finish ninth of 14. Back down to 5f should suit and there should be plenty of pace so he shouldn’t be too keen. Low numbers have gone well in this race in recent years, so he could be ideally positioned in three. Cotai Glory is also prominent in the market. He should really have a Group 2 to his name but when leading and about 25 yards from the line at Doncaster George Baker was unseated following his saddle slipping. He has won the Group 3 Molecomb Stakes last year showing he has a good pedigree and can handle the track. He had a low draw that day but is drawn high today, which is a slight concern.
Previous winners include last year’s winner Take Cover, the 2013 winner Moviesta and 2009 winner Kingsgate Native. The most interesting of these is Movista, who is now trained by Edward Lynam, who knows a thing or two about sprinters. On top of that he bounced back to a bit of form when third in the Group 2 Sapphire Stakes at the Curragh when Stepper Point was given enterprising ride from Pat Smullen to make all. He’ll need to replicate that form to stand his chance but has a good draw from stall one. Kingsgate Native beat Out Do in the Achilles Stakes at Haydock and has a better draw here. However that form was reversed at York on their last meeting. The ten-year-old isn’t without a chance and won this off 116 in 2009. He is one for the each-way punters too.
Of the rest then Paul Midgley’s sprinters are going really well and he has Line Of Reason here. He won a listed race at Cork three starts ago and hasn’t performed too badly since but would need a career best off 111. He’s the one that Out Do is likely to track through. Move In Time is stablemate to the pick. He has good form after finishing second in a Group 3 before winning the Group 1 Prix De L’Abbaye at Longchamp. He won a weak race at Hamilton when last seen but he did it well and it was likely required just to blow those cobwebs away. Has to be respected but worth nothing that stable jockey Daniel Tudhope has chosen Out Do.
Advice: Out Do (13/2 each-way)
16:20 Betfred Supports Jack Berry House Nursery Stakes
This looks another difficult Nursery to solve after the one yesterday. Mark Johnston’s Highly Sprung got off the mark on the fifth time of asking and comes into this race carrying a 6lb penalty. Despite the penalty he is 4lb ahead of the handicapper, so could capitalise and quickly double up. His overall maiden form doesn’t look the strongest. He was third to Receding Waves on his second start and that horse is now rated 92, yet the second horse in that race is still a maiden following two more attempts since. He got off the mark at Catterick beating a Godolphin favourite however initial impression are that it was the best of races to follow.
Top weight Sandahl looks to be the way to play this race. He was fourth on debut behind Dhahmaan, who is unbeaten in two starts, Ajaya who was second in the Group 2 in France at the weekend and Kyllukey, still waiting to score. That form doesn’t look too bad and he followed that up by winning a York maiden where there have been plenty of winners in behind, so that form couldn’t look any stronger. This race is going to be easier than the Group 2 July Stakes he contested in when last seen. Shalaa, who followed that up by winning yesterday, won the July Stakes. In behind that day were Eltezam, Orvar, Areen and Listed race winner Sixth Sense showing it was a good renewal. He could still be a useful performer for Ralph Beckett.
Ferryover dead-heated for first on his last start with Ancient Astronaut at Ayr. The pair came away nicely from their other three rivals but how strong the form is can still be questioned considering he got the run of the race from the front. For me it was Ancient Astronaut that was the big eye catcher coming from off the pace after dwelling in the stalls and being keen throughout. Belvoir Bay won quite nicely at Windsor on her second start and followed that up by finishing sixth in the Super Sprint; the winner of that race Lathom finished fifth in the Group 3 Molecomb yesterday. She showed good speed to win that maiden and was able to quicken well, so stepping up to 6f shouldn’t be a problem.
Kyllukey has now got a handicap mark of 78 and could be threatening off that. His debut run saw him finish fourth, but Steady Pace, Beaverbrook and King Of Rooks, three useful performers, beat him. On his second start he was third and bumped into Orvar and was just caught on the line for second. His form isn’t bad and he could go close off this mark stepping up in trip. Alshalaal is another yet to get off the mark but comes into this off 79. The blinkers seemed to bring about some improvement on his latest start when second to Wayward Prince. However in that race the winner saw out the race better than him but he did come a fair way clear of third. He’s the interesting one in this race considering connections.
Advice: Sandahl (8/1 each-way)
16:55 L’Ormarins Queens Plate Stakes
Fadhayyil has been competing in Group company and will be looking to finally score in one. She heads the market for this Group 3 but I think she could be a little short. Her overall form reads well. She was second to Lucida in the Group 2 Rockfel Stakes before slightly disappointing when fifth of 13 in the 1000 Guineas. She bounced back from that to finish behind Dutch Connection in the Jersey Stakes at Royal Ascot beaten by Dutch Connection; she was second to Toormore in the Lennox Stakes. As mentioned earlier Paul Hanagan doesn’t have the best of strike rates here, which would be the slight concern, as would the wide draw from stall ten.
New Providence looks the way to go in this race. She was third behind Fadhayyil and Lucida in the Rockfel Stakes but ran well. She has continued in good form by placing in her next three Group races with form of 223. The third was in the Group 2 Sandy Lane Stakes behind two of her male rivals in Adaay and Limato, which wasn’t a bad effort at all and she was only short-headed by Osaila in the Nell Gwyn. She won the Group 3 Summer Stakes at York on her last start against her own sex, just like this race. She stayed on nicely to just hold off a fast finishing Lucky Kristale and carries a 3lb penalty here for that win. Harry Bentley and Hugo Palmer couldn’t be in much better form and with her form looking solid she looks a solid alternative to the favourite.
Osaila won the Sandringham Listed race for fillies at Royal Ascot where she made a late challenge to get up on the line. That was over a mile but she does have previous form over this trip when denying New Providence in the Nell Gwyn at Newmarket by a short head. If anything the drop back to 7f should suit her better than the mile. Her form looks solid and she has a good draw here in stall one; she should go close. Kiyoshi has run well in defeat recently. She was third in the Summer Stakes at York won by the selection and stepping back up to this trip should suit. Another positive for her is that she has course form having won her maiden here. She has been a hard one to get a gauge on but did win a Group 3 race at Doncaster last season, which advertised her capabilities. If she can run to anywhere near that level of form she could prove difficult to beat.
Montalcino was caught close home in a Listed race at Sandown when last seen and before that was second to Crystal Zvezda at Newbury in another Listed race. She’s stepping down in trip but up in grade and would need to find an improvement on what she has shown so far. Dusky Queen has been a consistent performer in the north but this is harder. She was second to That Is The Spirit in a Listed race in May before claiming one at Chester when last seen. That was her best run to date and she ran on well inside the closing stages; the third was Gabrial and he ran into third in the Group 1 Sussex Stakes and could go well in a race against her own sex.
Advice: New Providence (6/1 each-way)
17:30 Betfred Mobile Stakes
A tricky looking Class 3 0-90 handicap to finish the day where Tashaar heads the market. The Richard Hannon colt won by 4½l on debut at Haydock and suggested he is a potentially useful individual. Despite the conviction he had in winning that race the form may not turn out to be that strong but you had to be impressed in the manner he routed his rivals. His pedigree suggests this trip shouldn’t be a problem and he could possibly improve for the extra distance. He’s only had one run at a fairly conventional track, so coming to Goodwood for his second start shows connections rate him highly and think he’ll be balanced enough to handle the track.
Roger Varian can do no wrong. From his last 30 runners he has had 13 winners at a strike rate of 43% and I think Taraz can continue that trend. This son of Oasis Dream is looking to complete a hat-trick here and despite the 12lb rise he could go close. That rise follows an 8l win at Epsom, so he should be able to handle this track. He is bred to be very good and this extra furlong shouldn’t be a problem. He runs here off 77, which could slightly underestimate him. Those wins have been at Class 5 level so he would need to improve for this race but he has got better with time and extra distance; that can be the case again here.
Shell Bay is quite an interesting runner having gone down by the narrowest of margins at Windsor 11 days ago. He was beaten by a nose and comes into the 4lb well-in ahead of the next assessment from the handicapper. On top of that you’ve got Tom Marquand claiming a handy 5lb on board, so he is one that you could keep onside. He kept on, along with Biotic, inside the closing stages. If the race was another ten yards the Richard Hannon’s gelding would have won as he was fighting back closer to the line suggesting he has a fairly good attitude. The thing that may have cost him was that he drifted left from the rail into the middle of the track, which may be a slight concern. Will need to find improvement from that Class 5 handicap.
Rhythmical won on her debut at Leicester and is the half-sister of Notarised, suggesting this trip shouldn’t be a problem. She comes into this off the back of that win, which to the eye didn’t look too bad. She receives weight from all but one of her rivals and we know Mark Johnston’s horses can still find that bit of improvement following their first start. She is quite interesting on just her second start. Newera has been in some good form for Tom Dascombe. His improvement has come following the fitting of headgear showing he is a bit quirky. Despite those wins they have been in small fields at Haydock where the form may not be the strongest. One thing is that he should get the trip but needs to find a bit more.
Of the remainder Sweet Selection won here in May and has been fourth twice since off this mark. Master Zephyr has gone up 8lb for his win at Newbury. He’ll stay the trip and actually drops back down a furlong here, so a strongly ran race should suit him. He has experience of the track after finishing fourth here two starts ago. This could be tricky for him off this mark. Mezajy has ran to a consistent level and has kept improving. He’s bumped into some useful performers and was a good fifth at Epsom on Derby day; things didn’t go his way in that race. He should stay this trip and connections regard him highly. In this race he’d be one for each-way purposes.
Advice: Taraz (5/1 each-way)
Shell Bay (14/1 each-way)