A welcome dry day forecast for Goodwood ahead of their eight-raced card which features three Group contests likely to be run on soft or tacky, holding ground.
Happy Romance is held in high regard by connections and she looked ready for a step up in grade when winning the valuable sales race at York earlier in the month. The winning time was only slightly slower than the Lowther and she looks sure to go close but she has yet to win beyond six furlongs and the nod goes to Pomelo (1.50) who looked potentially very smart when scoring at Newbury on debut.
Trainer Ralph Beckett suggested his daughter of Dubawi had only started fast work two weeks prior to her Newbury success and he immediately nominated this race as her next start. She is drawn out widest of all but that should not be a problem given there are only six runners. The filly is 2/1 at Boylesports and that is the recommendation.
Breath Of Air (2.25) beat none other than the recently retired Sussex Stakes winner Mohaather as a juvenile on ground with plenty of cut in it and the hope is that he can return to winning ways in the 7f handicap.
The 4-y-old – 6s with Unibet – has never been the most consistent but Ryan Moore has been in the plate for three of his four starts this term and he is only 1lb higher than when second at Haydock last time when he drifted right inside the final couple of furlongs. He only went down by a nose and that shift was, arguably, the difference between victory and defeat.
The filly Cabeletta was no match for Enbihaar over today’s C&D last time but that form was given a boost when the winner followed up in the Lonsdale Cup at York earlier in the month. I was disappointed with the performance of Subjectivist in the Gt Voltigeur at York last time, but he would not be the first runner from the Mark Johnston yard to bounce back from a poor run at Goodwood.
The selection – 6/4 with William Hill – is related to the stable’s Sir Ron Priestley who finished runner up behind Logician in the St Leger last September and the Doncaster classic has long been the target for the Johnston colt.
Benbatl remains one of my favourite horses in training but he is a much better horse on a sound surface, and he is reluctantly overlooked in the Celebration Mile because of the forecast ground and 3lbs penalty he is due to shoulder.
Regal Reality (3.35) returned to winning form in a first-time visor at Salisbury last time when he seemed suited by the drop back to a mile having been campaigned exclusively over further since April 2019. There is no guaranteed pace in the race, and I wonder if Ryan Moore will want to get across from his wide draw and set his own gallop. The Stoute trained selection is 7/2 with Unibet.
At Newmarket Domino Darling was taken out of her comeback race at Windsor earlier in the month on account of the prevailing soft ground even though she landed her sole juvenile start on heavy ground at Doncaster.
The Frankel filly Tanita (3.55) receives 7lbs from the William Haggas trained filly and she gets the vote having run an eye-catching race on her reappearance when tenderly handled at Yarmouth. The selection – 7/2 at bet365 – has never raced on soft ground but her sire’s progeny often appreciate a bit of cut in the ground and she can break her maiden tag at the fourth time of asking.
Pitcher’s Point makes his turf/handicap debut for John Gosden having raced four times on the all-weather previously. The American bred colt has been well supported on all four starts and is obviously held in some regard but his ability to cope with today’s forecast soft ground is a concern.
The vote goes to Amir Kabir (4.30) who is a progressive sort for Roger Charlton and is taken to defy a 2lbs hike for finishing a close third at Sandown last time. Today’s softer ground should hold no terrors and 10/3 with 10bet looks fair.
I remain convinced there is more to come from King Ottokar (3.15) and Charlie Fellowes has gelded his four-year-old since his last start and fits his charge with a visor for the first time this afternoon in Windsor’s Winter Hill Stakes. The selection – 11/2 with William Hill – finished a neck behind Fox Chairman at Royal Ascot last year, but he is given one last chance on ground that clearly suits.
At Perth on Sunday Scardura (2.05) was nominated as a novice chaser to follow by trainer Neil Muholland in a short video he did with Paul Ferguson whose excellent publication Jumpers To Follow is a must read for all jumps enthusiasts. The form of his second to Longhouse Sale on his chase debut has been boosted by the subsequent wins of the first, third and fifth and he can take advantage of what looks an attractive mark. The 7/4 widely available looks fair.
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