The opening 10f handicap for the classic generation is one of the races of the Goodwood Festival.
The form of Migdam’s Doncaster success last month was given a boost when the third Adjourn won with his head in his chest on a return visit last month. Sir Michael Stoute’s colt has now won his last three and a 6lbs rise looks fair such was the ease of that win on Town Moor. He has a plum draw in stall two, Ryan Moore takes over in the saddle, but he has been well found in the market and 7/2 looks a shade too short in such a competitive heat.
Warren Point pulled too hard and failed to get home over 12f last time but did well in the circumstances and it would be no surprise to see William Buick go forward from stall six. The return to ten furlongs will suit although he is still entered in the Gt Voltigeur over a mile-and-a-half at York next month.
Asaassi was well on top at the end at York last time and the form has subsequently been franked by the second and third. He is another for the shortlist, but I cannot desert VEE SIGHT who did us such a favour when scoring at Sandown time over nine furlongs last time and an 8lbs rise is fair.
He is still at the right end of the handicap, and this valuable handicap is likely to have been the target since that success. He has the worst of the draw in stall thirteen, but he was slowly away last time and still picked up his field. Hollie Doyle takes over in the saddle with the gelding carrying just 8st 3lbs and he gets the each way vote for Ralph Beckett. Do note five of the last ten winners of the race have been drawn in double figures.
Recommendation: Vee Sight at 11/2 with 10Bet 4 places
The form of ROYAL SCOTSMAN’s C&D successon his penultimate start back in May has been well and truly franked in the interim period and he travelled like the best horse in the race for much of the race when third in the Coventry at Royal Ascot last time. A return to this sharper track should suit and I would be disappointed if he didn’t return to winning ways in the G2 Richmond Stakes for Paul and Oliver Cole.
The stable have won the race on three previous occasions. but not since Sri Pekan back in 1994 with their other successes Dilum in 1991 and Nomination in 1985.
Andrew Balding has, surprisingly, never won the Richmond but his Chateau represents the main danger having improved for the step up in trip when landing a listed race at Newbury last time. He represents a big danger.
Recommendation: Royal Scotsman at 15/8 with Corals
The G1 on the card is the Nassau Stakes and Nashwa is odds on to follow up her win in the French Oaks over this trip last time. She was well drawn at Chantilly but is posted wide this afternoon and I certainly would not be advocating getting stuck into her at odds on.
My two against the field are Lilac Road and VILLE DE GRACE with preference for the latter although he was well behind the William Haggas trained filly at York last time.
Lilac Road had been behind the each way recommendation on her two previous runs and the Sir Michael Stoute 4-y-old has now run poorly twice on the Knavesmire for whatever reason. I am prepared to put a line through the form. The ew recommendation is twice the price of Lilac Road and that sways me toward the Stoute runner with the stable having an impressive winner with Crystal Caprice on Tuesday.
Take Nashwa out and this does not look a vintage renewal of this Group 1 contest and I remember thinking Ville De Grace could be up to this level when she ran away with a Yarmouth listed contest last September.
Her best form is, arguably, with a bit of cut in the ground and that is a slight cause for concern with no rain forecast and the clerk of the course having watered sufficiently to allow Trueshan take his chance in the Goodwood Cup on the opening day.
Recommendation: Ville De Grace EW 12/1 at Boylesports
Farout tanked his way through the two-mile flat handicap here earlier in the week, but he failed to get home and he will do well to get competitive in today’s feature the Galway Hurdle just 72 hours on. He would have been the selection had it not been for that tough race although I still expect him to reverse previous Punchestown form with Felix Desjy.
The handicapper has given top-weight Ballyadam a chance and he finished in front of MY MATE MOZZIE in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham back in the spring, but I hope to see Gavin Cromwell’s six-year-old reverse the form with the return to a right-hand track considered pivotal.
The each way selection is fitted with cheekpieces for the first time and will enjoy the forecast good ground. Only a mistake at the last prevented him winning the Grade 1 Royal Bond at Fairyhouse back in November and that was the last time he raced right-handed over timber.
Willie Mullins has saddled the winner three times in the last four years, and he has a strong hand again, but My Mate Mossie gets the each way vote.
We have highlighted in recent days the form of the Sir Mark Prescott yard and stable jockey Luke Morris must have faced a difficult decision today as the yard have winning opportunities at Nottingham, Salisbury and Epsom where I hope to see HEAT AND DUST who has won her last two and looked well in front of the handicapper when scoring at Catterick last time.
She carries a 5lbs penalty this evening but do note she holds an entry in the listed Chalice Stakes at Newmarket at the weekend as well as another handicap at Hamilton. Owner/breeder Kirsten Rausing won the Lennox Stakes with Sandrine earlier in the week and I hope her colours are back in the winners’ enclosure at Epsom tonight.
Recommendation: Heat And Dust at 2/1 with William Hill