Take two in the Mile
Simon Holt looks ahead to day four of Glorious Goodwood and has a couple of selections in the big betting heat - the Betfred Mile.
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VELOX, a hugely impressive three-length winner over a strongly-run mile at Sandown last time, is taken to defy the handicapper in Friday's Betfred Mile (1505) at Goodwood.
The Luca Cumani-trained gelding, who had been struggling to get home over 10 furlongs in previous outings, has been raised 9lbs for that win but looks like a horse, from a stable in good form, who is set to rise up the ranks.
On his previous start at Epsom, Velox gave a very strong hint of potential for improvement and might have gone close but for being badly hampered inside the final furlong in the race won by the subsequently disappointing Abseil.
HEAVY METAL, a revelation this season having completely lost his form as a three-year-old, looks the danger in his bid to grab a big handicap double in the space of six days.
Mark Johnston's gelding carries a 3lb penalty for his decisive win in last Saturday's International over seven furlongs at Ascot, where Heaven's Guest was fourth, Fort Bastion eighth, Bronze Angel 13th, Horsted Keynes 15th, Belgian Bill 17th and Pastoral Player 23rd, but runs off only a 2lb higher mark.
Successful at a mile at Brighton earlier in the season (but possibly better over seven), it is hard to find reasons why any of those horses behind him should turn the tables, though Heaven's Guest did shape as if this step up in distance would suit despite being unproven over it.
Overlooked in the betting that day at 25/1, it surprises me that Heavy Metal isn't heading the market here especially given his trainer's strong record at this meeting and renown for keeping his horses fresh for quick follow-ups. Like Velox, he looks worth an interest.
The other interesting runner is the top weight Captain Cat, who produced a smart effort on the Lingfield all-weather in April and could very well be Group class.
However, the gelding's turf form is not quite so impressive and he ran badly on one previous visit to this course.
Later, the much improved TROPICS could get away with a drop in distance in the Betfred King George Stakes (1540) after his fine second to Slade Power in the six-furlong July Cup (Moviesta eighth) last time.
This could well be sharp enough for Dean Ivory's gelding but, with loads of likely pace in the race courtesy of Hamza, Take Cover and Demora, he may just be able to reel them in.
Both G Force and Extortionist are also likely strong finishers and look open to further improvement.