Royal gets Seal of approval
Man On The Spot provides a race-by-race guide to Thursday's card at Glorious Goodwood.
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The defection of Top Tug leaves 14 facing the starter and not one is without a chance. Mark Johnston has won this three times in recent years and has begun the meeting in typical top form. He has a trio of entries here and last week's impressive Beverley winner Rainbow Rock may prove best of them under his penalty as he's still on a very lowly mark. Ventura Quest had no answer to Torchlighter at Newmarket but any ease in the ground would be in his favour though it's another Yorkshire raider, BRAIDLEY, who is handed the vote to reward each-way backers at a big price. He's never raced beyond a mile but has given every indication that this trip is required and his handler wouldn't be sending him on the long journey unless a big run was expected. Roseburg has done everything right so far and is now on a mark of a pattern race performer, though the expected fast ground is a concern. Arable is up 10lb for his Haydock victory but Astronereus looked very smart when landing a Newmarket maiden and makes his handicap debut from what could prove to be a lenient mark.
Mark Johnston won this in 2012, interrupting a run of four straight victories by the Hannon team who should take it again through IVAWOOD. Odds-on when making a successful debut at Sandown, he was always in command of Newmarket's Group 2 July Stakes despite a tardy start and though second Jungle Cat is 3lb better off it's unlikely he'll have the pace to reverse the form. Ahlan Emarati could be the main threat as though he had no answer to Kool Kompany at the Curragh the winner is very useful and would have been favourite for this. His stable was quickly off the mark at the fixture on Tuesday as was that of Clive Cox, who saddles the unbeaten Louie de Palma who showed his toughness when landing an Ascot nursery.
Brown Panther won this comfortably a year ago from Ahzeemah with Cavalryman back in sixth. Tom Dascombe's charge has continued to perform with great credit and it was only the very testing conditions that beat him at Longchamp last time. Cavalryman had the pace to land a Group 2 over 1m4f at Newmarket last time but it will be a surprise if any of them can cope with ESTIMATE. The Queen's mare is likely to lose her second spot in this year's Gold Cup on a technicality after just failing to add to last year's victory in the same event but she had Brown Panther behind at Ascot and the shorter trip shouldn't be a concern. Angel Gabrial steps into Group company for the first time after his second place in the Chester Cup and victory in the Northumberland Plate and certainly deserves a crack at this grade while the Grade 2 winning hurdler Forgotten Voice tackles his correct trip after a couple of very good efforts over shorter.
Last year's Oaks heroine Talent hasn't won subsequently but she showed her liking for the trip with an excellent run behind Leading Light in the St Leger. MISSUNITED also finished behind that winner in this season's Gold Cup where she led for most of the way over that 2m4f trip. She'd earlier landed a Leopardstown Listed contest over this distance so will be very difficult to beat. As we've seen over the past year or so, German-trained horses are very much on the rise and the Group 1 winner Nymphea is greatly respected as she's only had two runs this season and will be fit for action. Waila hasn't quite looked up to this class so far but there could be more to come over this trip.
Shagah probably came up against a smart performer when failing to cope with Winters Moon at Newmarket and it will be a surprise if she's not in the hunt. THUNDER IN MYHEART also ran over this trip at Headquarters and produced a very encouraging display to finish runner-up to the well supported Arethusa so, with further progress guaranteed, she looks the one to be on. Hoorayforhollywood only showed modest improvement from her opening run when placed at Doncaster but Runner Runner stayed on strongly at Lingfield and could get into the frame. The five newcomers are all very nicely bred with Ralph Beckett's Oasis Dream filly Sweet Dream perhaps the best of them at this stage, though the market should prove the best guide.
Not one favourite has won this in the past 10 years. Richard Fahey was successful a year ago but Shot In The Sun will need to do better than at York where she was a disappointing favourite. Jallota has only won one race but has been competing at a very high level including in Dubai over the winter. He'll be a threat to all if ready after a break but was behind Championship when both made their debuts last May and the winner is 7lb better off. ROYAL SEAL looked a smart prospect when scoring on fast ground at Sandown earlier this month and his most recent run at Newmarket is best ignored as Ryan Moore took him to the far side on the soft going. He'll be a different proposition in the likely conditions and can return to winning ways. It was also soft going when Nakuti won at Newmarket so she could do with some rain while Passing Star has done his winning on Polytrack.
Las Verglas Star would have a chance if the ground eases and George Chaloner is one of the best young riders in the race. GEORGE CINQ is not the easiest of rides and needs to deliver his challenge late so Cam Hardie will have his hands full but his mount is talented and suited by a strong gallop which he should get here so he gets the vote to gain compensation for his Sandown defeat. He holds Tigers Tale on that run though Oisin Murphy will ensure the latter gets a good ride while Ned Curtis was on board when Balmoral Castle completed a double at Windsor having already scored over this track and trip. Corton Lad arrives with a 6lb penalty for Sunday's easy victory at Carlisle and, though that was over 1m3f, the pace here should be strong enough for Jason Hart to get him into the action.