1pt win Dragon Symbol in 3.35 Goodwood at 7/2 (General)
1pt win Magical Morning in 3.00 Goodwood at 11/2 (General)
There can be no question that Battaash is the star of the show at Goodwood on Friday in pursuit of a remarkable fifth King George Qatar Stakes victory but the progressive DRAGON SYMBOL could prove a formidable rival.
For a horse who has raced just seven times, the recent July Cup runner-up has come a long way since making his racecourse debut at Wolverhampton in March and, while Oisin Murphy's mount has been campaigned mostly at six furlongs, he seems to have bags of speed.
Indeed, Dragon Symbol was in front over a furlong out when beating Campanelle in the Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot only to lose the race in the stewards room, and had earlier slammed Significantly (twice a winner at Ascot since) over five furlongs at Hamilton. He looks hugely talented.
Perhaps it's an act of folly to oppose Battaash, surely one of the fastest horses to race in this country, over a course and distance which is made to measure, but he had a setback between winning the Nunthorpe last August and finishing fourth in the King's Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting last month.
That run behind Oxted and the re-opposing Arecibo may have been needed but Battaash was some way below his best there, and probably ran nowhere near his best again when beating Que Amoro and Moss Gill at York.
If he bounces back, then of course he's the one to beat but Dragon Symbol is seriously talented too.
Earlier, MAGICAL MORNING can prove too good for his rivals in the Unibet Golden Mile.
Frankie Dettori's mount, who is very well bred out of the Oaks third The Lark and related to the likes of Eagle Top and Sariska, was a bit disappointing in the middle of last season but looks a different horse now.
A fair eighth on his belated reappearance in the Royal Hunt Cup, Magical Morning could be called the winner some way out at Sandown subsequently when comfortably accounting for the re-opposing Maydanny and Acquitted.
With just a 3lb penalty to carry for that smooth success (and up another 2lb in future handicaps), it will be surprising if he can't confirm those placings with further improvement likely on just his ninth career start.
Published at 1715 BST on 29/07/21
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