Catching Pigeons: Atlantis to star

  • Last Updated: July 31 2012, 11:33 BST

All the latest whispers and gossip from the major training centres ahead of this week's action at Glorious Goodwood.

John Dunlop: Trains Goodwood Atlantis

The fine record of Richard Hannon and Richard Hughes at Glorious Goodwood is well known, but Lyric Ace offers punters a rare opportunity to back one of theirs at a working man's price in the Molecomb Stakes on the opening day of the meeting.

There are valid excuses for his last two defeats, as he returned home from Royal Ascot a sick horse having been well beaten in the Windsor Castle Stakes and being isolated on the far side in heavy ground didn't do him any favours in the Super Sprint last time either.

His recent work is back to the levels he was producing before Ascot but the betting market has forgotten about him. He's all speed and worth another chance, for although the favourite is a strong-looking animal there must be a doubt as to whether he really wants to be back at the minimum trip.

The stable also strongly fancy Jacob Cats in the Poker at Bet365 Handicap, despite a less than perfect draw in stall 14. Expect Hughes to drop him out before picking a path through in the closing stages.

There are positive messages for plenty of the field in the previous maiden. African Oil comes with a good word from Charlie Hills and the stable have a better idea where they are with their juveniles after Ebn Arab won well at York on Friday. But Huntsmans Close (who worked notably well on the Summer Gallop on Saturday) and Blessington carry good messages from Newmarket and we know that Richard Fahey thinks a lot of Garswood.

Wednesday's Veuve Clicquot Vintage Stakes is very competitive and not a race in which to take an unnecessarily bold position.

Whipper's Boy is held in regard at Manton, but might just be a little too immature for a contest of this calibre, while the light-framed Maxentius could be capable of shaking up Olympic Glory having failed to handle conditions at Newmarket as well as that rival last time out.

But it is John Gosden's Ghurair who just gets the shout having dropped hints in his homework that he has improved for his debut-race victory. He is a professional and Richard Hills dropped by to put the finishing touches to his preparation at the weekend.

Sir Mark Prescott's Repeater doesn't line up in either of his possible engagements on the day but is still a name to note for the future after being given a thorough stretch on the Al Bahathri gallop at the weekend. He stretches out nicely at full speed.

Goodwood Atlantis was given a mention for this meeting on this page before his latest eyecatching third at Sandown and looks ever more as if he has been laid out for the UBS Stakes. He has looked to be screaming out for this mile and a half trip on both starts this season. Trainer John Dunlop has endured a shocking season but the owners of this horse will care only about getting it right here.

Flywheel is worth a mention at a decent price in the Markel Insurance Fillies' Maiden having shaped with some promise on her debut. Like all of Brian Meehan's juveniles, she is expected to have come on plenty for her debut.

Anyone feeling brave enough to try and take Frankel on in the Qipco Sussex Stakes is advised to think again. He is still to put a foot wrong on the gallops this season and a single canter on Monday was enough to convince that his unbeaten record won't come under threat this week.

Sir Henry Cecil, set to miss Goodwood this week with illness, was on the gallops on Saturday to see two-year-old Kyllachy Ride work well enough to suggest that he will go very well when he makes his debut - possibly at the end of this week. Cecil's juveniles are rarely sharp enough to strike first time out, but this is one is nippy.