Catching Pigeons: Gossip and tips from the gallops

All the latest rumours and whispers from the gallops...
All the latest rumours and whispers from the gallops...

Cross Counter is taken to land the Gordon Stakes and there's plenty more tips and whispers from some of the leading training centres in this week's column.

Catching Pigeons: Best chances

2.40 Newmarket - European Bloodstock News British EBF Fillies' Nursery

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13
28-11OR: 79D
6/1
Last RunWatch last race

3.00 Goodwood - Qatar Gordon Stakes (Group 3)

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2
39-1OR: 108D
7/4
Last RunWatch last race

4.45 Galway - Galway Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle

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711-5OR: 142
10/1
Last RunWatch last race


Cross Counter can make a successful step up to pattern company in the Group Three Qatar Gordon Stakes at Goodwood on Saturday.

Charlie Appleby has an impressive array of middle distance performers this season and this son of Teofilo has earned a tilt at this St Leger trial with an impressive win over Berkshire Royal at Ascot last month.

Giving plenty of weight to all his six rivals, he responded well when Adam Kirby delivered his challenge and he quickened away well in the closing stages.

The third, Elegiac, has won well since and Cross Counter has also pleased the Godolphin team significantly with his subsequent work. His turn of foot could be key this weekend.

On The Warpath can complete a double for Appleby in the Qatar Handicap.

A winner of two of his four starts for Sir Mark Prescott last season, he made an encouraging start to his career with his new trainer, despite failing to justify favouritism. He could only finish fifth to Aces in what looked a smart handicap, but he lost ground after receiving a bump at the start and also ran as if he may just have needed the run.

The son of Declaration Of War has worked very well since and he should be up to conceding 9lb to comfortable Chester winner Chai Chai.

Charlie Appleby (left) pictured with William Buick
Charlie Appleby (left) pictured with William Buick

Melting Dew is on an upward curve and he can foil the Appleby-trained fancy Walton Street in the Qatar Summer Handicap.

He broke his duck for the campaign when landing a Chelmsford handicap in June, before taking the notable scalp of Alfarris when following up at Sandown a month ago.

The runner-up won a hot handicap here on Tuesday to boost the form and Melting Dew would probably have been carrying a few pounds more here if the assessor had been able to take that into account.

Growl should run his usual sound race in the Unibet Stewards' Cup.

Richard Fahey would love to make it third time lucky with this grand speedster, who has been placed behind both Dancing Star in 2016 and Lancelot Du Lac 12 months ago.

His form tailed away a little last autumn after that appearance, but he showed signs of a revival at York last weekend and a short mid-summer break after his outing in the Wokingham may have done him the power of good.

The handicapper has given him a real chance here based on those previous performances and he gets a narrow vote over Clive Cox's Tis Marvelous and Dancing Star's sister Foxtrot Lady. A market move for Michael Wigham's Glenamoy Lad would also be fascinating.

Andrew Balding, Foxtrot Lady's trainer, can strike with Pass The Gin in the European Bloodstock News British EBF Fillies Nursery at Newmarket.

Placed is useful company on two of her first three outings, she produced a smart turn of foot to break her duck at Chester on her latest start.

She gives the impression that there is much more to come from her and she looks reasonably weighted for her first venture into a handicap.

Galmarley looks a choice bet to follow up her Newbury victory in the opening British Stallion Studs EBF Chalice Stakes, while it looks significant that Frankie Dettori heads to HQ instead of Goodwood and New Jazz can help justify the decision with victory for John Gosden in the Newmarket Equine Hospital EBF Fillies' Novice Stakes.

The tricky Swiss Storm is definitely on a fair mark and could be worth an interest in the Federation Of Bloodstock Agents Handicap providing he takes the preliminaries in his stride and the price is right.

Eve Johnson Houghton has done well with her juveniles this season and Henry Ponsonby's Pegasus Bridge can see off the challengers in the Unison Defending Your NHS Novice Auction Stakes at Doncaster. Named after a famous defensive position during the D Day landings, he ran a fair race on his debut at Wolverhampton and connections have been very pleased with his progress since the outing.

Hughie Morrison is always a trainer to note at Lingfield and he should be on the scoresheet with Katabatika in the 188Bet Mobile Bet10 Get20 Handicap on Saturday evening.

An easy winner of a handicap at Kempton in a relatively light 2017 campaign, she is back down to what looks a winnable mark with Charlie Bennett taking off a handy 3lb. This looks a low-key heat and she may have more scope for improvement than most of her rivals.

Roger Varian sends Angel's Glory north of the border for Hamilton's EK, East Kilbride Novice Stakes and while the Invincible Spirit filly could well be a shade of odds-on, there's an argument for her proving far too strong in this company.

Harry Fry loves to try his luck against the premier league of the Emerald Isle, and he holds bright each-way prospects with Minella Awards in the Shopping Centre Handicap Hurdle at Galway.

Although far from his best in just two outings last season, the seven-year-old can boast some smart form including a win at the Punchestown Festival after a decisive success in the 2017 EBF Final at Sandown.

Word from deepest Dorset suggests Minella Awards is back in good heart for his return to action and his trainer has secured the services of Davy Russell for the ride.

D'bai would not have blown a candle out after his luckless outing in the Group 2 Lennox Stakes at Goodwood on Tuesday and he turns out for the second time in a week in the Group 1 Larc Prix Maurice de Gheest at Deauville on Sunday.

He was quietly fancied after the weekend rain at the Sussex course and would have been more involved in the finish but for meeting continual traffic problems when trying to deliver his challenge in the closing stages.

This is a tough ask, but he remains in great form and he could reward an each-way interest.

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