DAY two of Glorious Goodwood sees an excellent renewal of the Qatar Sussex Stakes with the winners of the English, Irish and French 2,000 Guineas locking horns again. GALILEO GOLD, Awtaad and The Gurkha met at Royal Ascot when Frankie Dettori produced a masterclass to steer Hugo Palmer’s stable star to victory. I see absolutely no reason why he should not confirm the form today.
I still think Dettori, while magnificent at Ascot, over-complicated things at The Curragh when Galileo Gold got stuck on the inside rail. This long-striding colt is seen to best effect when racing handily and he stays a mile extremely well. Straightforward tactics worked a treat in the St James’s Palace Stakes and I expect a similar ride from the Italian here. The Gurkha ran well in the Coral-Eclipse but is unproven on fast ground and that is a concern. The same applies to Awtaad, whose best form is with some dig. Lightning Spear looks the best of the older horses but the three-year-olds should dominate.
2.00: I love trying to decipher this race and I’ve whittled it down to a short list of four. Oceane will love the ground and won well at Ascot but will he stay 2m 5f? Moscato will get the trip and sets the standard on form although has looked a little one-paced. Wind Place and Sho won really well at Pontefract while THE CASHEL MAN has been running well without troubling the judge. The latter is preferred and with Jamie Spencer on board, expect him to arrive late on the scene.
2.35: The Gordon Stakes is a tricky affair but STEEL OF MADRID appeals at the prices. He won well at Newmarket before a solid fifth to Hawkbill at Ascot. I liked the way he finished off those two races over 1m 2f and this extra 2f should bring about improvement. I am not sure the Bahrain Trophy form amounts to much although Platitude is progressive and Goldmember cannot be discounted. Ulysses is the interesting one and bids to recover from his Epsom Derby flop although a watching brief is advised on him.
3.45: GLOBAL APPLAUSE hated the soft ground at Ascot and is best judged on his National Stakes victory over Mehmas at Sandown. He is drawn one, which might not be ideal, but he will relish the fast ground. The Last Lion sets the standard but may be more effective on a softer surface.
4.20: I was going to alert readers to keep an eye on Diva Power, as her trainer Marcus Tregoning has a good record of readying a juvenile for Goodwood. But she is now a non runner. BOUQUET DE FLORES was smashed up in the market on her debut before fluffing her lines at the start and should gain compensation but this is probably a race to avoid.
4.55: A devilishly tricky fillies’ handicap, so I’m sticking to my policy of tipping up Mark Johnston horses in the handicaps. DESSERTOFLIFE and KILTARA are his runners here and a few shillings each way on them both is the play.
5.25: REX IMPERATOR won the Stewards’ Cup a few years ago and retains ability judged on his third at Doncaster last time. He is still well handicapped and has Danny Tudhope on his back who might be able to settle him and get the cover he needs.
PS Fire Fighting (8/1) was a nice winner on day one for this blog while Notarised, Bynton, Thesme and Home of the Brave all hit the crossbar.