Goodwood Blog! Recap the action from day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival

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Battaash broke his track record in the Qatar King George Stakes at Goodwood, completing a double for Charlie Hills. Recap the action from day four.


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1708: That is all from us today but please do join us tomorrow for another terrific day of racing.

Enjoy your weekends.

1657: Oisin Murphy and Richard Fahey have done it again as Ventura Diamond returns at 5/2.

That turned out to be quite an interesting race.

Sarsaparilla (2/1 favourite) travelled beautifully, going far better than the winner at the two pole but emptied quite quickly in the closing stages, as she did at Newbury, and needs a four furlong race.

Illykato (25/1) was trapped behind her on the rail and wasn't able to get out until well inside the final furlong but picked up to snatch second. She might have been an unlucky loser.

They were chased home by Meu Amor and First Lott.

Beautiful News was a little....meh.....trapped out in the middle of the course, she got some cover but didn't really pick up in the closing stages. No doubt there will be improvement to come.

1654: Beautiful News is third in the market now as they load quite quickly.

1649: That would certainly end the day on a happy note if you could find one at that price but that seems as unlikely as the odds suggest.

I didn't think the favourite did an awful lot wrong at Newbury for all that she was readily swept aside by a potentially useful winner and this looks a reasonable opportunity of going one better.

Ventura Diamond finished her race off strongly at Sandown and tackles an extra furlong which is a very obvious plus. She travelled far better than Rhythm through that race and that's reflected in their respective prices today.

1641: There is a school of thought that maidens who, er, have had a few cracks at the whip get overlooked in the market against 'sexier' opposition but that doesn't appear to be the case here as Sarsaparilla, a veritable veteran after four starts, is pretty solid at the top of the betting.

The aforementioned Ventura Diamond and Rhythm, who both contested the same Sandown maiden, are the obvious threats but we did see a Haggas-trained newcomer win the maiden yesterday and he didn't leave backers of Beautiful News without hope when talking earlier.

Seaclusion is related to winners but is any price you like. There is a precedent for big priced maiden winners at the meeting though.

1636: Richard Fahey's weekend column is live too but here's a reminder of what he had to say about Ventura Diamond.

"This is a very nice filly and I was pleased with her first run at Sandown. She was drawn wide and shaped with plenty of promise in finishing fourth behind Miss Jingles. There’s more to come from her and I’m sure the step up to six furlongs will suit.

We really like her but Goodwood maidens are always competitive and I’m just worried we’re coming back quickly with her. It was only nine days ago that she made her debut and we’ve just had her ticking over since."

1633: Attention will, I'm sure, be starting to turn elsewhere but we still have one to come from Goodwood with the British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes bringing the curtain down on proceedings.

That's that old cliche of the lucky last and that's certainly been the case for Oisin Murphy the last two days and he's hopeful of another big run as is trainer Richard Fahey.

Murphy won't be at Goodwood tomorrow and you can read why via the image below.

1627: I don't think the winner is the finished article yet which bodes well for the prospect of further improvement. He was certainly backed as though he had a lot in hand, returning at even money.

1622: The stewards might have a look at that but there won't be any change to the result as Zamaani sees off Perotto.

The favourite travelled nicely in behind the pace set by Julie Johnston with Perotto on his inside against the rail, racing a shade keenly. Julie Johnston drifted off the rail allowing Perotto up the inside but Zamaani then drifted to his left to the rail, hampering Perotto in the process.

Martin Dwyer switched but the runner-up never looked like reeling Zamaani in and wasn't checked all that badly although Lydia Hislop has just described it as 'significant'.

Thank You Next was third.

1619: They're loading quickly and we'll be off more or less on time.

1617: As with a couple of the races earlier on the card, he helps give the market a nice each-way look and it would be surprising if a few of the opposition weren't also ahead of the handicapper or, at least, progressing.

Whether they're progressing quickly enough is the question but I thought there was plenty to like about Perotto's two runs which came very close together. There are runners from the Johnston and Hannon yards and they target this meeting while a big, if unlucky, run from Le Don De Vie suggests that Hughie Morrison's stable is in form which is a boost for Rooster who steps up in trip.

1612: Nick Luck sounds quite excited to see Rooster in the paddock ahead of the nursery and reports the heavily backed favourite Zamaani to be a little warm which doesn't feel like any great surprise given the temperatures. Remarkably Porfin still has a rug on in the paddock but presumably it's more akin to a string vest.

The jolly is 11/10 now with only Julie Johnston (10/3) backed against him with the one I like, Perotto, out to 7s alongside Thank You Next who, I think, has shortened up a little from earlier.

It may just have been inexperience but Zamaani did wander around a bit on his first two starts and that was enough to put me off his chances on this track. True, he ran straight as a die last time but you don't always need to look too hard when you're trying to talk yourself into opposing a short one!

Possibly not the best policy mind.

1610: Value Bet has had his say on the big sprint tomorrow too and here it is.....

1608: Haggas choosing his words there and it was a considered response but it does seem at the moment as though there's a growing momentum behind changes to the rules regarding interference.

1606: Plenty to enjoy in an interview with William Haggas on Racing TV: "He's (My Oberon) an improver, we weren't planning to make the running at all, we thought the King Power horse would lead but he got left in the stalls. I haven't seen the race other than live but the horse ran a very solid race and is getting better.

"You couldn't guarantee that the winner was going to win. He probably wouldn't have won but if you're cycling and pedalling as fast as you go and suddenly you have to come to a complete halt, it takes a few wheels to get he momentum back. It just doesn't look right that you can knock one over and keep the race.

"If everyone feels that's a satisfactory outcome then I've got it wrong. I don't think it was Ryan's fault at all, the horse dived in. I've seen Ryan since and he was mortified but he's a proper bloke. I don't think it makes sense myself but that's only my opinion.

"He's a dear horse (Pablo Escobarr) and I've made a mess of him as that's the first time for ages we've dropped him in and gave him a chance. I owe an apology to his owner but we got it right today and I think he got a beautifully kind ride.

"She's (Beautiful News, runs in the last) come a long way in the last three weeks and she's very genuine like her mother. I suppose mine always need the race but she's not without her support."

1556: No crowd tomorrow but there is the small matter of the Stewards' Cup and here's a preview in association with Timeform (click on the image).

1550: Another winner for William Haggas and Tom Marquand in a very tactical race.

Marquand was pushing on the winner as Crowley waited but Desert Encounter did appear to get on terms and wasn't making any ground on the winner in the final half a furlong. He appears to have had every chance.

The winner returned at 9/2 with Desert Encounter second at 11/4 (joint-favourite).

Tom Marquand reveals that they've been changing it up a little bit with Pablo Escobarr in an attempt to get him to enjoy his racing and, on this evidence, it's certainly worked.

1546: They're off and racing.

Communique leads from Spirit of Appin and Le Don De Vie with Desert Encounter a few lengths adrift in rear.

Alounak and Le Don De Vie both look a little keen on occasion.

Little change to the order as they turn for home.

Desert Encounter begins to make ground as they pass three out.

Crowley leaving it late.

Le Don De Vie short of room and Pablo Escobarr hits the front and keeps that one and Desert Encounter at bay.

1544: Jim Crowley is the man on board Desert Encounter which will provide him with quite a contrast to Battaash but he'll be hoping that the outcome is the same.

Desert Encounter improved from his first UK start of 2020 to his second and connections will be hopeful that he can step up again but Communique has joined him at the top of the market and has already finished in front of him this season.

1541: Rounding up a little news from earlier and Under The Stars did indeed finish lame in the Oak Tree Stakes, hopefully it's not serious.

Here are excerpts from the stewards' reports in the Bonham Thoroughbreds Stakes and the Golden Mile.

"The Stewards considered that the interference had not improved TILSIT (USA)’s placing as TILSIT (USA) had been making its run from behind MY OBERON (IRE) and gone an extending three-quarters of a length clear prior to the incident occurring. Moore was suspended for 5 days for careless riding as he had allowed his mount to hang right-handed towards the rail without timely correction, tightening MY OBERON (IRE) against the rail and causing Marquand to take a significant check."

"An enquiry was held to consider interference approximately half a furlong out involving URBAN ICON, placed second, ridden by Pat Dobbs; CLIFFS OF CAPRI, placed fifth, ridden by Dougie Costello; VALE OF KENT (IRE), unplaced, ridden by Joe Fanning and ALMUFTI, unplaced, ridden by David Egan. Dobbs was suspended for 3 days for careless riding as approaching the half furlong marker he had switched right-handed for a run, carrying CLIFFS OF CAPRI off its intended line which in turn caused interference to ALMUFTI and VALE OF KENT (IRE)."

1534: From a six-year-old to an eight-year-old as Desert Encounter bids to back-up last year's victory in the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Glorious Stakes but it would be a little surprising if this proves quite as easy.

There are six runners in the absence of Thundering Blue but it's 11/4 the field and only Spirit of Appin is priced at double figures. Le Don De Vie has been backed from 20s, I think, down to 13/2 despite finishing held in soft ground handicaps the last twice.

He's never raced on ground faster than good so perhaps this is what he's been missing?

1530: Charlie Hills: "He's so talented. So very proud of him. Just to be involved with a horse like him means everything. He's not the biggest but he's just so fast.

"Further Flight [trained by father Barry] is the only horse to win a pattern race five years in a row so hopefully we can come back here next year and match that; for a six-year-old he's relatively lightly raced.

"We're just looking forward to the Nunthorpe know and then the Abbaye probably but it's a strange year, no one knows what the future really holds."

1525: Did you back him for the Nunthorpe before today?

He's as short as 1/2 after that.

He's 'only' six so there's a good chance that we'll be able to enjoy Battaash for another couple of seasons yet and, if he can maintain his form, what an exciting prospect that is.

1522: Jim Crowley: "He was good, he was getting a bit lonely out in front it's really hard to find horses to lead him. I just had to give him a couple of taps to keep his mind on the job.

"He's very consistent now. If a horse wants to take him on in a race, good luck to him, he's so quick."

1517: He's done it, Glass Slippers kept him honest but it was as straightforward as you could wish for.

Ornate ran another terrific race to finish third.

He jumps, he travels, he quickens, he wins and there's not much more to it than that.

He has smashed his track record, 55.62 is the new time.

The previous record was 56.20.

Ed Arkell suggested this morning that conditions were perfect for a crack at the record and punters who took 6/4 about him doing so will be delighted. It didn't really look like he broke a sweat either!

1515: Runners at the past for the King George and it's going to be fast and furious.

1512: Not that we want to get ahead of the game but it's the Nunthorpe at York next for Battaash, a race in which he was very impressive last season.

News from the Golden Mile and Pat Dobbs picked up a three day ban for his ride on Urban Icon while Ryan Moore got five days for his ride on Tilsit.

I'll see if I can dig out the official reports and reasonings for those suspensions later in the day but there will be some debate on the merit, or otherwise, of those decisions.

1507: Battaash will be mounted on the course and hasn't always been the easiest which is why he's a gelding.

That operation didn't entirely cure his behavioural traits and he has boiled over once or twice but with no racegoers at the track and his fine record, it would be surprising if that happened today.

"He is nice and relaxed," Charlie Hills tells Nick Luck. "I've been really pleased with his work and he's in good nick really."

"He's [Tilsit] a tremendously exciting horse but the Celebration Mile could be an option, we'll have to talk to the team."

1459: The King George Qatar Stakes will be more about enjoying the sight of the flying Battaash for most people and looking forward to celebrating a fourth successive win in the race.

There's not too much to say about this race with the favourite rated 11lbs clear of his nearest rival, Glass Slippers, over a course and distance that he so obviously excels.

That's not to say the race isn't without interest but finding an angle to have a financial interest is much harder. I suppose if you were keen to take on Liberty Beach, a clear second favourite, then even a place return will provide a reasonable reward with the remainder 16s and upwards.

1455: A typical renewal of the Golden Mile but it's not been a bad race for punters and that will be a popular winner. I enjoyed that, even if it wasn't quite the result I was hoping for. It is a cracking spectacle - unless you've spent two minutes watching your horse travelling like a dream on the rail with nowhere to go.

1449: Prompting (3/1 favourite) gets the job done, Urban Icon second.

He got a lovely position in behind the leaders and it was all very straightforwards for Bentley.

In contrast, Pat Dobbs had to sit and suffer on the second and went left and then right in search of a gap.

Afaak (25/1) was third with Willie John (9/1) fourth.

The winner was making it three from three since joining David O'Meara.

Matt Chapman interviews Harry Bentley: "He is a nice horse, he's very progressive. It was a very easy job for me, I just wanted to make sure I had a run."

1445: A cracking race in prospect and it can be a thrilling sight in the straight as the field jockey for position against the stunning backdrop of the Downs.

Support continues to come for Vale of Kent who seems almost certain to be in the vanguard and, accordingly, be able to result any in-running trouble.

1442: Harry Bentley has the ride on the favourite and tells ITV: "He's got a fantastic chance. His last two wins have been very impressive, back up to a mile here he's got a massive chance. My draw dictates where I'm going to have to be so I'll just have to grin and bear that and hope I can get a nice position behind the leaders."

1440: There's been money around this week for Willie John who hasn't delivered on his juvenile promise for one reason or another but he is handicapped accordingly.

Supporters will need to forgive him a poor run in the Royal Hunt Cup and more obvious claims are held by Sir Busker who has run three crackers in decent handicaps this season.

He's one who might need some luck in running though and this could be every bit as dramatic as the preceding contest.

1437: That debate will run and run, especially in light of controversy on riding offences and penalties this week, and it will be interesting to see if Moore gets a ban and for how long.

1431: The stewards' enquiry is ongoing. I'll bring you news as soon as I hear it but the Golden Mile is up next and it's the big betting race of the day at Goodwood.

Prompting is into 11/4 in the absence of Montatham and heads the betting from last year's second Vale Of Kent at 11/2 and the progressive Sir Busker at 6/1.

"It's just a mess," Ryan Moore tells the stewards on the enquiry which is being televised. Not surprisingly Tom Marquand is arguing that the interference cost him a huge amount of momentum.

The result is in. The placings remain unaltered.

1425: A big win on a big day for Charlie Hills and that will take his mind of Battaash for a little while.

1420: That's going to be a tricky one for the stewards as Tilsit (10/1) did win quite easily and My Oberon (3/1) looked held.

I don't know what to make of Khaloosy, he finished well held but did keep on.

1418: Mystery Power reared as the stalls opened, he was getting upset, and loses several lengths.

He quickly makes up the ground as My Oberon leads Khaloosy and Tilsit by a couple of lengths and the same.

1418: A little behind time but it shouldn't take too long to load them as Khaloosy hardens to 4/7.

Khaloosy stalks the front-runner in the straight as they pass the three pole and appears to be travelling strongly.

He's having to work though and is weakening.

Tilsit hit the front but drifted markedly into My Oberon on the camber before being picked up.

Stewards' enquiry surely.

1413: I imagine there might be a few multiples rolling on to Khaloosy here and there aren't many three-year-olds that blow away a field of handicappers like he did in the Britannia.

This is, of course, a markedly different test with just 4 opponents but he has upwards of 6lbs in hand of his rivals on official ratings and it's hard to escape his chance.

1410: Ben has been providing big race analysis throughout the week but the official handicapper has also had his say on the Nassau Stakes.

1406: If you've watched our racing briefing you will know that Ben Linfoot is going to take on Khaloosy but not too many are with only My Oberon in single figures.

Tilsit won by the proverbial country mile at Newcastle but the runner-up was relatively modest and the First Defence colt doesn't have any fancy entries.

1402: William Haggas has spoken to ITV Racing: "That's our 30th winner in July so I get all the glory and everyone else does all the work!

"I had a walk round this morning and I thought it was too firm for her but there's a beautiful strip of ground down to the three from the start and there's still a little bit of give in that. It's much quicker up the straight and I won't be relaxed about her until tomorrow.

"She's got a terrific turn of foot. If everything had been right she would have had an Probably go to York for a Group Two race and then the Foret."

Haggas runs My Oberon in the next and is hopeful his charge has a bright future if nothing else.

"He's a very nice horse, I don't know quite how good he is yet but I do think he will be a good horse. Roger's horse looks outstanding but it's a small field, faster ground and anything can happen. Our horse is not complicated but this is a huge step up."

1356: Well, that was exciting wasn't it? More of the same please.

Khaloosy is a strong favourite in our next while the market movers for the ITV races are Liberty Beach, Desert Encounter and Le Don De Vie.

1355: Ed Chamberlin suggesting that Under The Stars may have gone wrong late in the race there.

🀞 that's not the case or that if so, it's not serious.

1350: She got up.

A sigh of relief for Tom Marquand, connections and her supporters. That was mighty close.

She showed a really good turn of foot when the gap did come but it took a long while for the field to fall apart and for the opening to come.

Tom Marquand tells Matt Chapman on ITV Racing: "I'm lucky to be on an exceptional horse. The best ground was down the inside. It's always a buzz when it comes off like that and on a day like today, it's even more special."

1346: Around a quarter of the field are in and there is a move for Wasmya who is now 12/1.

Invitational is loaded without Andrea Atzeni in the saddle and she rears a little as the stalls open.

Shadn and Breathtaking Look go forward with One Master on the rail in around sixth, she'll need some luck.

One Master still short of room in the straight and they approach the furlong.

One Master (6/4) gets out and she crosses the line together with Valeria Messalina (12/1).

PHOTO.

Althiqa is third (11/2).

1344: They're going behind now and the loading procedure will get underway before too long.

There's not an awful lot of change in the market except that Althiqa is a couple of points shorter than Under The Stars now which would lead me to side with the latter (if I were going to) given how closely matched they are.

1343: Graceful Magic is biting off more than she can chew and is the outsider of the field but I liked her attitude last season and will be looking out for her in the hope she shows more than at Newbury last time. I think there should be more to come in the right company.

1339: They're on the way to post and One Master remains your 6/4 favourite.

This should be run at a decent clip which won't be a bother to One Master, she finished strongly when fourth on her previous attempt at this race but the big question remains the ground.

Martin Dixon expects her to be handier than usual with concerns about whether she will get a run from her draw in stall one.

1338: News of a significant non-runner with Montatham out of the Golden Mile.

1330: Some reaction from the first with Brian Meehan talking to Nick Luck.

"We've always thought the world of him as he won his maiden very nicely last year. The Guineas was a little ambitious but it was a reflection of what we thought of him.

"William said the pace was a little untidy but he's enjoyed the ground. We'll see what the handicapper does first but I think he's very, very good. He's going to keep improving. Probably next year you'll need to be looking at an Irish Leger, maybe things like that but we'll wait and see.

"I'd rather just come up the ranks a little bit like we are now."

1324: Under The Stars and Althiqa are closely matched on their Haydock form and priced similarly, both have been in action since and the former will appreciate being back on a firmer surface after a slightly disappointing run in the Group One Falmouth Stakes when behind Agincourt.

There are runners from France and Ireland to give the race some international flavour and French trained fillies in 2015, 16 & 17.

They were trained by Francois Rohaut whereas it is Francis-Henri Graffard who runs Wasmya but, like her compatriots, her jockey will wear the Al Shaqab silks.

1320: Not a great start to the day for favourite backers and that could see the layers being bold in trying to get One Master beaten.

She provides a nice each-way shape to this contest and for all she's got the best form, there are some perfectly useful runners up against her, including a Value Bet selection.

1316: A slightly odd race with Crowley moving Al Qaqaa going into a share of the lead a long way out but the front-runners all weakened quite badly so perhaps they were all committed too early. It's always easy in hindsight.

The winner was dropping in trip from his previous start so clearly stays well.

1312: Berkshire Savvy proved a little reluctant to go in but he did do so and they're off.

Celestan misses the break quite badly.

Summit Reach goes on from Aquascape and they're quite well strung out with the favourite in midfield.

It looks as though the gallop has settled as Celestan has made up ground quite easily ans is closing on the leaders.

Al Qaqaa now making a move on the outside before they turn for home and Jim Crowley is clearly intent to keep things simple.

They're quickening and plenty in with chances.

Cepheus takes over from Berkshire Savvy with Moomba flying late as Al Qaqaa weakens into fourth.

Cepheus (6/1) wins for Brian Meehan from Moomba (10/1) and Berkshire Savvy (9/1).

1308: Runners at the start at Goodwood.

Loading is underway and Al Qaqaa remains very solid in the market with Mafia Power at 4/1.

Martin Dixon (on Racing TV) reckons the handicapper may have left the favourite in lightly and he's clearly not alone on that view.

1302: Under 10 minutes until the off for the opener at Goodwood.

There's no better time for me with the day still full of anticipation.

Of course, a winner or two is fantastic but at this stage you've got a pocket full of tickets and all dreams are alive.

Are yours resting on Al Qaqaa?

1248: Last but by no means least is the British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Fillies' Stakes where I reckon Sarsaparilla can make it fifth time lucky.

A couple of these both showed promise behind Miss Jingles, a winner here this week, at Sandown on debut but Sarsaparilla showed plenty of speed at Newbury last time and may be able to last home on this sharper track.

Oisin Murphy has won the last race on the card for the last two days and he's in action again aboard Ventura Diamond and hopes are high that he and Richard Fahey can reprise Wednesday's success for Toro Strike

1240: Obviously it's more than a two horse race and it's not been a great race for favourites over the past decade.

Julie Johnston is more experienced than most and has already won a nursery while Richard Hannon runs two with Thank You Next shaping well behind the Group placed Caroline Dale on debut seemingly the better fancied of the pair.

Rooster has finished close to Gussy Mac twice already and seems certain to be suited by this step up to six furlongs, he's most definitely on the radar too.

1232: There were two short-priced favourites for the two nurseries yesterday and both were turned over. It should be safe to back Zamaani today as I'm keen to take him on.

The favourite has to give upwards of 11lbs away to his rivals after an impressive performance at Windsor on his third start; he's looked to be very much learning on the job and there were fewer signs of inexperience on display last time.

Inexperience has been evident on both of Perotto's starts but I'm taking Marcus Tregoning at his word when he said, earlier this week, that he has his nicest bunch of juveniles for years. It looks significant to me that Tregoning ran him back just three days after his debut (behind the decent Qaader) which I'm taking as a sign that he wouldn't to get him qualified for this target.

That could all be pie in the sky of course and Perotto may not be among the decent juveniles at Whitsbury but I've got to have something to build a case on!

1226: Back to the Glorious Stakes and the obvious opposition to Desert Encounter comes in the shape of Communique who finished one and a half lengths in front of Desert Encounter in the Princess of Wales's Stakes at Newmarket.

Mark Johnston's runner has been in action since, running well over 14 furlongs at York and seems sure to go well again if a third race in a month isn't going to the well too often.

Alounak was behind the pair at Newmarket but pushed Desert Encounter hard at Woodbine last October while Le Don De Vie - who could be off to Australia later this year if allowed - has course form and the promise of more to come and Pablo Escobarr is a consistent fellow.

It's a tight race as the market suggests.

1223: Just in case you're losing track of time (and the days), runners are at the start for the opener at Pontefract but we'll continue to focus on Glorious Goodwood with the first there still 45 minutes or so away.

1219: BREAKING NEWS

The government have withdrawn permission for the pilot test for racegoers to attend Goodwood tomorrow.

That's not the best news but perhaps not surprising in light of recent headlines. It might not have been the best bit of PR for the sport if the trial had gone ahead, especially in light of the criticism received for staging the Cheltenham Festival.

1218: That's not the end of the Group race action with another popular old campaigner going to post for the L'Ormarins Queen's Plate Glorious Stakes.

Desert Encounter is a veteran at the age of eight but last year's winner, who has followed a similar path to his title defence, has shown no signs that his powers are on the wain.

1214: It will be a major surprise if Battaash fails to win this race for the fourth year in succession as the demands of this test clearly suit him so well.

He was sent off at just 1/4 in 2019 but only scored by three quarters of a length having won by four lengths and two and a half lengths in the previous two renewals.

Ornate finished third 12 months ago and is back for more with David Griffiths happy to take him on as he did when saddling 2016 winner Take Cover to finish fourth and second in subsequent renewals.

1211: The King George Qatar Stakes is an altogether different test.

1202: I always enjoy a stab at a forecast or tricast too and I thought I'd throw a stablemate of the favourite into my perms.

Baltic Baron will need plenty of luck in running which he didn't get when fifth last year from a higher mark. I'm happy to forgive his latest run which is, arguably, built into his price and it's just possible that the new headgear (blinkers with a visor and cheekpieces already tried) could work wonders for a horse that has won just one of his 21 starts (8 seconds).

Jason Watson is a good booking and a high draw shouldn't inconvenience unduly as he's a hold-up performer.

If he finishes fast and late to finish second to Urban Icon I might do a little lap of the garden.

I haven't just left it down to those two of course and I feel obliged to include the favourite and Sir Busker alongside my more speculative pokes.

1155: It's time for you to hear from the brains trust who have put their heads together on today's racing briefing.

1148: The draw is usually hugely significant with only one of the last 10 winners drawn in double figures. That was the smart Wentworth who broke from 13.

There is a smaller field than usual so perhaps that may assist those higher berthed and that will need to be so if leading fancy Montatham is to take the honours from the widest stall of all.

Value Bet takes aim at this race and I quite like one that Matt gave an honourable mention to in Urban Icon.

Richard Hannon's runner makes his handicap debut on his twelfth start from a perch of 109 which doesn't immediately jump off the page but he travelled very well behind Mohaather in the Summer Mile last time and, to my eye, paid the price late on for going for home too soon.

I'm a little concerned that he doesn't have the necessary turn of foot for this test but with a close second to Space Blues in the seven furlong Surrey Stakes at Epsom on his CV, I do think he's capable of making his presence felt and he's an each-way price with plenty of firms offering enhanced place terms.

1144: The Golden Mile is usually one of the big betting races of the week and has seen the odd gamble landed in the past with Franklin D a memorable winning favourite.

Prompting hasn't quite captured the imagination in the same way but David O'Meara's runner was a very easy winner at York at the weekend. He's already made rapid strides for his new stable this season and it would be very surprising if there wasn't a good deal more to come but this is a quick turnaround and a marked step up in grade.

1141: There has been a little opposition to Khaloosy in the Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes with York novice winner My Oberon (another for the Haggas team) attracting some support but it's hard to escape the claims of the odds-on favourite who was a stunning winner of the Britannia Stakes.

1132: There's no shortage of options for those looking for an each-way wager but perhaps Jessica Harrington's Valeria Messalina might be the way to go?

The same yard's One Voice highlighted both the strength in depth of the stable and of the Irish three-year-old fillies yesterday and connections seem quite hopeful that there's more to come with jockey Shane Foley, after her latest success, saying: "She came forward from her run in the Guineas. I wasn't sure if she'd stay then and I don't think she did.

"Seven furlongs is a good trip for her and I knew the track would suit her. She's a strong traveller and stuck at it well. She's a very good filly. She was just touched off at Newmarket last season and the winner Rose Of Kildare came out and won the Musidora Stakes during the week. Her form is there and she was in front in the Guineas until late enough on. She'll keep going the right way."

Frankie Dettori takes the ride.

1129: She has yet to win in five starts on good to firm but statistics can be misleading. The going was just that when she was beaten a length into fourth in the 2018 renewal (winner was a stablemate and favourite) of this race as a 14/1 shot - she's an undoubtedly better mare now.

1125: The Group Three Saint Clair Oak Tree Stakes hinges on One Master who won the Group One Prix de la Foret over this trip last October. A repeat of that would be more than good enough to see off this field but conditions are significantly faster than at Longchamp and this is another favourite that provides a nice each-way shape to a race.

1109: Ben Linfoot makes a case for opposing the favourite with Moomba in the team's best bets but I'd rather play a little safer with Cepheus.

He didn't beat many home in the 2000 Guineas on his second career start but he stepped up on that in a Royal Ascot handicap won by Highland Chief who pushed Mogul hard here yesterday. Cepheus has been beaten again since but is still progressing and looks a very solid option at around 6/1.

Throw in Mafia Power, whose Newmarket run behind Zabeel Champion received a boost of sorts this week, and the consistent Celestran and there's plenty of depth to the opener.

1102: One of those jollies kicks off the day Al Qaqaa who made his debut at the backend of 2019 when finishing one place in front of Vatican City in a race won by Kinross.

That debut certainly promised plenty and the War Front colt is still potentially treated from 88 with the placed horses from that maiden both rated in the 90s. Al Qaqaa didn't shed his maiden until his fourth start but he brushed aside the re-opposing Moomba and the penny may just have dropped. William Haggas' horses have been running well all week and a big run seems assured but he is short.

1056: There doesn't appear to be anything very momentous there as yet with just a few runners being nibbled at more than anything else.

There are some hot favourites today and, as yet, it doesn't seem as though punters are rushing to oppose them. That was the case yesterday, too, though and that didn't work out so well.

1050: We have some market movers for you from Paddy Power:

Goodwood

1345 Althiqa 13/2 from 8/1

1415 Mystery Power 14/1 from 18s

1445 Vale Of Kent 7/1 from 15/2

1545 Alounak 5/1 from 11/2

Galway

1745 Fan De Blues 100/30 fav from 7/2 fav

1815 Canardier 9/2 fav from 5 jt fav

1845 Ming Dynasty 4/1 from 9/2

1915 Robin Des Foret 16/5 from 100/30

1945 Gunfire Reef 3/1 fav from 11/2

There is also a raft of extra place races on offer across the two meetings and elsewhere.

1046: Fran Berry's column, covering Galway and Goodwood, has just gone up and he makes a similar point albeit siding with a different opponent to Mr Holt.

1042: Hopefully we won't be adding One Master to that list but conditions could be on the fast side for her as Simon Holt points out in putting one up against her in his preview (click the image below to read).

1039: There are a few more non-runners than has been the case. They are:

1310: The First King

1345: Final Song

1545: Thundering Blue

1655: Enoughisgoodenough

1033: Good morning, I hope this finds you all well and in good cheer. I probably ought to have started with that.

Jockeys and trainers alike have been praising the track all week and with a good covering of grass and conditions getting faster, it's easy to see why Ed Arkell believes Battaash might break his own course record.

It's often the case that you need a high class athlete in opposition to push a performer to produce a fast time and despite Battaash's prohibitive odds, there are some worthy opponents including the Prix de l'Abbaye winner Glass Slippers.

She was behind the favourite and Liberty Beach at Royal Ascot but might not have been ideally placed and it was her first start of the season (as it was for the winner). Last home in the Abbaye was Ken Colt but the French raider has resumed in good form, running a career best in beating Al Raya at Chantilly last time.

That's not to argue with the market but the penalised six-year-old won't be able to afford to be too far off his peak. One man who is certain to be cheering him on is his groom, will anyone be joining Bob in the tattoo parlour?

1022: Once more unto the breach dear friends, once more.


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