Worth more than a Cursory Glance
Simon Holt previews the second day of York's Ebor Festival and fancies Cursory Glance to win the Lowther Stakes.
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After her spectacular romp in the King George at Ascot last month, when slamming Telescope and Mukhadram by three lengths, Thursday's Darley Yorkshire Oaks should be a walk in the park for Taghrooda.
John Gosden's imposing, impressive filly boasts a blemish-free record so far and, while receiving a generous weight-for-age and sex allowance at Ascot, her superiority was something to behold. Taghrooda had been equally fluent in victory when taking the Oaks at Epsom and a reproduction of those efforts makes it difficult to envisage defeat in the Yorkshire version.
The Irish Oaks resulted in a much less clear-cut outcome with Bracelet narrowly defeating stablemate Tapestry and Lustrous well beaten back in seventh.
Having disappointed in the 1000 Guineas in May, Tapestry has returned to her best and, along with Venus De Milo who finished third over a possibly too-short 10 furlongs in the Nassau Stakes behind Sultanina (Lustrous fifth) at Goodwood provides trainer Aidan O'Brien with two chances to beat the favourite. Venus De Milo chased home The Fugue - no match for the winner - in this race 12 months ago.
Of the others, last year's Oaks winner Talent seems to be struggling a little this season and may not have enough pace for this test while Tasaday is up in class after winning a listed event here last month.
In the six-furlong Pinsent Masons Lowther Stakes, I reckon CURSORY GLANCE could just be stronger at the finish than the flying Tiggy Wiggy whose form so far has come exclusively at five furlongs.
Roger Varian's filly put up a taking performance to win the Albany Stakes (6f) at Royal Ascot in June, beating a highly-rated American raider Sunset Glow by two lengths, and a line through third-placed Patience Alexander who beat Tiggy Wiggy on this course in May suggests she could well extend her unbeaten record.
However, both are bound to be progressing and since May, Tiggy Wiggy has run second to the reopposing Anthem Alexander (3lb worse off for a neck) in the Queen Mary at the Royal meeting and then trounced inferior rivals (conceding weight all round) in Newbury's Supersprint. She will be no pushover, that's for sure, but speed seems to be her potent weapon.
An entry in the Nunthorpe on Friday, Anthem Alexander must also be a big player despite her penalty. Eddie Lynam's chestnut travelled beautifully at Royal Ascot looking a smart performer having previously slammed the opposition at Tipperary by seven lengths.
It looks an intriguing renewal but Cursory Glance is given the narrow vote.
Finally, a hugely-competitive Clipper Logistics Handicap could see BRONZE ANGEL repeat his fluent course-and-distance win earlier in the season.
Up 5lb for that success, Marcus Tregoning's smart handicapper was drawn in the car park last time at Goodwood in the Betfred Mile (won by Red Avenger) and struggled to get a clear run in the home straight. There is little to choose between a number of the horses who ran in that race but, back at York and with better luck in running, Bronze Angel could come out on top this time.