Toormore time has arrived
Our Man On The Spot previews the opening day of Glorious Goodwood and thinks Toormore can return to winning ways.
Mark Johnston has a good record in this and has a strong hand with last year's winner Sennockian Star back for more. Like a year ago, he arrives after a run in the John Smith's Cup at York where he finished behind stablemate Fire Fighting and the third Mount Logan. Luca Cumani's charge could go close but Fire Fighting is worse off with YEAGER on earlier form at Redcar and the Noseda gelding is taken to come good again in this off his current mark. A Listed winner in France, Zand has his first start for the Johnston yard while both Godolphin runners, Elhaame and Gold Trail step back down in distance. Newmarket winner Master The World is still improving, Forgotten Hero has a shout on his fourth in the John Smith's Cup and we have yet to see the best of Top Tug so far this year.
The Hannon yard's stranglehold on this contest was broken by Aidan O'Brien with Highland Reel last year and AIR VICE MARSHAL looks to have every chance of following suit. The latter has a length to find with Birchwood on running in the Group 2 Superlative Stakes at Newmarket but Richard Fahey's colt is penalised for that success and the Ballydoyle colt can take his revenge. Beaverbrook was only fifth in the Superlative but is still preferred to stablemate Welford as the latter steps up in class after beating Palawan at Chester last time. Ibn Malik's debut win at Newmarket is working out well and he is preferred to Strong Challenge and Twin Sails while novice stakes winner Galileo Gold will need further improvement to figure in this company.
TOORMORE (NAP) has improved since finishing runner-up in last year's renewal with placed efforts over a mile in Group 1 races including a second in the Lockinge in May. He should have the measure of these sporting Godolphin colours for the first time. Jersey stakes winner Dutch Connection ran a terrific race in a Group 1 event in France last time and has strong claims while Safety Check has his first start since landing a couple of Group 2 contests at Meydan early this year. Limato could prove a threat if staying the extra furlong but Aeolus has ran below par in previous attempts at 7f. The remainder are all of similar ability with the selection's stablemate Tupi perhaps proving best of them.
AJMAN BRIDGE ran well enough back over 1m2f last time considering he had gone close over 1m4f in the Duke Of Edinburgh at Ascot before that. Luca Cumani's charge should confirm Ascot running with subsequent winner Astronereus and his price for next month's Ebor will shorten dramatically if he runs a big race here. The latter beat Great Hall over today's trip at York last time and Old Newton Cup winner Notarised has the beating of Farquhar, Battersea, Excellent Result and John Reel on that Haydock form. Newmarket winner Elidor drops back down into handicap company but All Talk N No Do is upped in class while Nicky Henderson's Forgotten Voice has a shout on last year's second to Mount Athos in the Aston Park at Newbury.
DOUBLE UP is looking to do just that after landing a competitive handicap at Ascot. Roger Varian's progressive sprinter beat Humidor, B Fifty Two, Lady Gibraltar and Perfect Muse last time and there is plenty of speed drawn low. Both Nocturn and Top Boy went close on their latest starts at Haydock and Newmarket respectively while Ridge Ranger has a shout if back to her best. Boom The Groom could go well from those drawn high along with Lucky Beggar, who won a handicap off a higher mark at Newbury last term, while Chilworth Icon has also slipped down the weights and is not without a chance.
Richard Hannon is mob handed with five runners. Richard Hughes and Pat Dobbs swap rides on Papa Luigi and Dyllan but the latter pair look to have the best chance of the quintet. Sir Roger Moore was outmatched in the Coventry last time but ran well in a York maiden on debut while Goodwood Zodiac went close at Epsom on his latest outing. But OPERATIVE may just edge this given his third behind Gutaifan at Salisbury was given a massive boost when the latter won a Group 2 in France last week and Ed De Giles colt gets the nod. Sterling Lines and In My Place are newcomers to note.
Hugo Palmer has sent out the last two winners so it's safe to assume STRONG STEPS will cope with the rise in class. The latter went close at Kempton last month and should make a bold bid. Ifwecan is another to consider on the back of a second at Newmarket while Outer Space finished ahead of Santefisio when beaten less than a length over 7f at the same track last time. Czech It Out also won over 7f here on his reappearance and has a chance off top weight but Third Time Lucky may be in the handicapper's grip now and recent Ascot winner Hannington is preferred. Rembrandt and Wind In My Sails are upped in class but Toga Tiger and Volunteer Point are at home in this grade and could go well.