Firstly, we can’t comment on any racing without paying tribute to Sir Peter O’Sullevan. A voice – indeed the voice – that will never be forgotten by anybody who watched or listened to this great sport. Secondly, he loved his racing so let’s get on to today’s action.
Due to time restrictions today’s preview is rather limited, and we’ve only got time for a fuller analysis of the two Group 2 races on the card. As ever, we’ll start with a quick recap of yesterday’s results, which included a couple of nice 1-2s:
2:00 – William Of Orange 3rd @ 5/1; Wordiness 7th
2:35 – Highland Reel 1st @ 7/4; Scottish 2nd @ 7/1
3:10 – Solow 1st @ 2/5; Arod 2nd @ 6/1
3:45 – King Of Rooks 2nd @ Evs; Muhadathat 4th
4:20 – Silent Dreamer 7th; Alamode 1st @ 7/1
4:55 – Imshivalla 7th; Hala Madrid 6th
5:25 – Mutawathea 2nd; Assault On Rome IF SEEN PLEASE CONTACT DEREK POTTER
2:35 – Group 2, 6f, 2yo. Another big group race, and another high-profile non-runner for Ballydoyle. Given how few hard-luck stories there have been so far at Goodwood, and no complaints about the ground, and given the fact Highland Reel dug in so well yesterday to win his race, it is a shame not to see Air Force Blue but it does open the door for others.
Shalaa, for John Gosden and Frankie Dettori in the colours of Al Shaqab racing, showed virtually no promise whatsoever on his debut, when he trailed in last of 8, but two wins (including a Group race last time out) since then have seen him propelled to short-price favouritism here. Steady Pace for Godolphin and The Doyler will certainly pose a threat, as will the runner for the other stable jockey William Buick in the form of Log Out Island. It is fair to say Log Out Island’s form wasn’t boosted by King Of Rooks yesterday, regardless of whether you believe Frankie gave him a good ride or not.
Kachy was a deserved winner and so my eyes are turned elsewhere, and on to Tasleet. Hamdan Al Maktoum owns two in this race, the other being Elronaq, and it is Tasleet whom Paul Hanagan has chosen to ride. Winner of his last two races, and for a fine trainer in William Haggas, Tasleet looks open to improvement and one I am happy to side with.
Adventurous and Riflescope are the Mark Johnston entries, and in spite of Joe Fanning riding Adventurous, it is Riflescope who catches the eye if he handles the step back up to 6f. He previously flopped at the trip but to me has the class to overcome that, and particularly as the race was over 2 months ago – a long time in the career of a Mark Johnston horse.
To summarise, Shalaa is a hot favourite and I can certainly see him winning – but my selections will hopefully provide some value and a run for the money.
3:10 – Group 2, 2m, 3yo+. The obvious place to start here is with the top weight Trip To Paris. This is a horse who started out the season in handicap company and progressed to win an Ascot Gold Cup whilst seemingly going unnoticed by the punters and bookmakers alike, with his last three victories coming at 8/1, 10/1 and 12/1.
That is not the case today, however, and whilst I am a huge admirer of this gelding, he may find carrying top weight in another gruelling test of stamina just one step too far. I would love to see him win, but I won’t be selecting him for today’s pick. Next up is a horse I put in a strong word for in the Northumberland Plate, and Quest For More certainly delivered there.
He is the first runner of the week for the Beckhampton stable under Roger Charlton’s always excellent stewardship, and if he continues to improve like he suggests he will then he will surely come close. Big Orange for Michael Bell and Jamie Spencer has a great chance based on his winning form, but hasn’t tried this trip since an unsuccessful attempt on heavy ground in October 2014. If he stays then his price will look small, but he’s also one I’m willing to pass over. When Blue Wave won on the first day of Goodwood for the Mark Johnston team, his wife said that Oriental Fox would be the best result of the week for them – and with his marathon victory at Ascot in the bag you know this horse will stay all day, and probably sleep on the couch just to make sure.
Another runner for the Johnston team that catches the eye at a ridiculously low weight is Vive Ma Fille, who runs as a 3yo with 18lbs in hand on most of the field. Silvestre De Sousa could well give her a smart run to outrun her price. Whilst Scotland and Pallasator both pose threats, the final word goes to Simenon for Willie Mullins and Frankie Dettori. 4th to Trip To Paris in the Ascot Gold Cup, I fancy him to turn the tables here and take the honours. He has been lightly raced this past calendar year and that could be the key advantage for him here.
Alternative: QUEST FOR MORE