The “glorioius” meeting at Goodwood takes centre stage over the next 5 days and kicks off tomorrow with a 10 furlong handicap at 2.15.
Plum Pudding is the only runner from our list to follow. His 3 career wins have all come at Newmarket all on good ground. I thought he ran quite well at Sandown last time but didn’t get the best of runs at a crucial moment. He has only tackled this trip once before and that was at Lingfield in March where he appeared to stay. Of the rest the drying ground will not help Zero Tolerance but previous course winners Championship Pont, Nayyir and Fort Churchill are all worth considering at a track where previous course form is an important factor.
The Gordon Stakes at 2.50 sees the return of Derby 3rd Aqaleem. He has previously won the Lingfield Derby Trial and carries a 3lbs penalty for that success. Aqaleem beat Hearthstead Maison by 4 lengths at Lingfield and strictly on form should just hold him again. Against that though Hearthstead Maison showed himself to be in good nick by winning a Newmarket handicap off top weight. His trainer won this race in 2002 with Bandari and Hearthstead Maison should put up a bold show here, especially if the ground continues to dry out.
Raincoat may have found the trip in the Prix du Jockey Club on the sharp side for him and is one for the short list. The lightly raced Lion Sands looks a progressive type and is the other one that I considered. If pushed for a tip it would have to be Aqaleem.
Dunelight has a good record at the Sussex track with form figures of 21. He was unlucky last time out at Ascot when hampered twice by the wayward Echo of Light. He hasn’t run over 7 furlongs since his 2 yare old days and he has never won beyond listed class. He is best suited by fast ground. Royal Oath has been running well this season. He was second in the Ascot race referred to above and had earlier won the Royal Hunt Cup. He is another that has never won at this trip. Thousand Words was 3rd in the Craven Stakes behind Adagio but generally has not shown much this season.
Asset and Tariq are likely to be popular choices in a tricky looking heat.
There are 2 runners from our list to follow in the 4.35. All the Good won with a bit in hand over 14 furlongs at Musselburgh but was not quite up to the required standard in Group 3 company at The Curragh. Strategic Mount won 3 times last season and needs fast ground which is why he hasn’t yet run this season. One of his wins came at Goodwood and if the ground were to ride fast he could be an interesting contender.
There is also racing at Beverley where some real old warriors do battle in the sprint handicap at 3.10. Smokin’ Beau (10), Legal Set (11) and Funfair Wain (8) have all featured in the pages over the years and are getting a bit long in the tooth.
My best offering at Beverley is probably Prince Evelith in the 3.45. He is a course and distance winner and was 2nd in the Carlisle Bell two runs ago.