Athos looks heaven sent
Channel 4 Racing commentator Simon Holt previews day three of Glorious Goodwood and fancies Mount Athos.
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Mount Athos, an unlucky fifth in last year's Melbourne Cup, has strong claims in Thursday's Artemis Goodwood Cup en route to a retrieval mission at Flemington in November.
Luca Cumani's progressive six-year-old came from an impossible position in the race that stops the Australian nation and is being specifically prepared for a repeat attempt.
An easy winner at Chester first time out in May, Mount Athos was not disgraced subsequently in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, staying on strongly behind the ill-fated Thomas Chippendale after becoming briefly outpaced in the home straight over the mile and a half on fast ground.
Conditions here - a longer trip and perhaps a bit more give in the ground - should suit him fine and this powerful galloper may have little trouble confirming his impressive dismissal of Brown Panther at Newbury last season.
The main form lines surround last year's running of this historic prize and the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot.
Last year's winner Saddlers Rock goes again after beating Askar Tau and Colour Vision 12 months ago but the latter seems in better form right now after his fourth to Estimate at the royal meeting where Altano finished fifth, Saddlers Rock eighth, Number Theory ninth and Repeater tenth.
What's more, Colour Vision (Silvestre de Sousa) looks Godolphin's number one contender from three representatives ahead of Cavalryman (Mikael Barzalona) and Ahzeemah (Kieren Fallon) who fought out the finish of the Dubai Gold Cup at Meydan in March. The grey, winner of last year's Gold Cup, is most likely the one Mount Athos will have to beat.
Earlier, Godolphin look sure to figure prominently in the Audi Richmond Stakes with the Charlie Appleby-trained Figure Of Speech likely to start a strong favourite after an eye catching second at Newmarket last month.
I was much taken with that performance; he showed terrific acceleration from the back of the field and looks a smart prospect.
Later, Wild Coco looks a similarly invulnerable favourite to repeat last year's victory in the Lillie Langtry Stakes.
The Lady Cecil-trained mare has been off the course for a long time but has been entered up several times this season and connections have been waiting for the right opportunity.
Wild Coco can confirm her superiority over Jehannedarc in this race last August.