The weekend’s action previewed by Charlie McCann of BetVictor.com
Glorious Goodwood has been a bit of a damp squib so far this week although the brilliant Nassau Stakes winner Winter (6/1 from 12s at BetVictor for the Juddmonte International) and unbeaten juvenile Expert Eye (4s from 6s for the 2018 Guineas) have certainly brightened up events on the soggy track.
The big betting race of the day today is the Stewards’ Cup and Donjuan Triumphant (3.35) is taken to round off what has been a fantastic week for the Andrew Balding stable. The selection should be fresh and well following a three-month break and looks to have been laid-out for the race by the yard who won the corresponding race last year courtesy of 9/2 favourite Dancing Star.
The selection is 20/1 at BetVictor and can reward each way support (five places). Three-year-olds have won the last two renewals and David Elsworth’s Sir Dancealot would have been the selection on faster ground. A bigger threat might be the only other 3-y-old in the field Brian The Snail (22/1 at BetVictor) who is blinkered for the first time and will enjoy the underfoot conditions.
Crystal Ocean (3.00) is by Sea The Stars whose progeny generally need fast ground to be seen at their best, but there is every chance on the distaff side of the breeding to suggest Sir Michael Stoute’s lightly-raced colt will improve for the switch to soft ground and he gets the vote in the Gp 3 Gordon Stakes.
The selection is 6/4 at BetVictor and can reverse Royal Ascot form with John Gosden’s admirable Khalidi although the latter looks more exposed than the Stoute runner. Both colts are currently priced at 14/1 with BetVictor for the final classic of the season at Doncaster next month. It is worth noting that Stoute has saddled the winner of this corresponding race no less than nine times previously – Crystal Ocean is a confident selection for the yard to reach double figures.
In the mile-and-three-quarters handicap, I expect to see Blakeney Point go close for Roger Charlton in a wide-open contest. The 4-y-old didn’t have the best of runs when fourth in a valuable race at Haydock last time and today’s additional quarter of a mile will suit. Marginal preference, however, is for Irish raider Felix Mendelssohn (2.25) who ran a cracker on his first start for Joseph O’Brien and should also appreciate today’s conditions. At 14/1 with BetVictor he can reward each way support.
The 7f Maiden is invariably won by an above average juvenile and I can pass on a good word for both Mark Johnston newcomers although the vote goes to Dee Ex Bee (4.10) who holds an entry for the Middleham handler in the Gp 2 Champagne Stakes at Doncaster next month.
At Newmarket Singapore Sling (4.55) steps up in trip to 12f for the first time but threatens to be suited by the additional quarter of a mile having been a fast-finishing second over 10f at Lingfield last time.
At Chester tomorrow I hope to see Red Force One (2.05) improve stepped up to 7f for the first time for local trainer Tom Dascombe. The juvenile runs in the colours of Sir Alex Ferguson. Do note stable jockey Richard Kingscote rides Zoffalee but that colt finished last of six on debut although he was well supported – a market move would be worth noting.
The feature race is the listed Queensferry Stakes and I hope to see Cotai Glory (4.15) win over six furlongs for the first time for Charlie Hills and Richard Kingscote. The selection has a cracking draw in stall two and ran a cracking race when third in a listed event at York last time.
At Market Rasen Strumble Head (3.340) can defy a 7lbs rise for an excellent Newton Abbot success when he made all under talented 10lbs conditional James Bowen despite jumping out to his right. A return to a right-handed track should suit and the selection has won from a higher mark in the past.
Sky Of Stars (5.10) was given a great ride by Graham Watters to win at Stratford three weeks ago and he can follow up under the champion jockey from a 5lbs higher mark for Olly Murphy. The market looks sure to be headed by Dan Skelton’s Get Ready Freddy who won over fences earlier in the week and can race from a 3lbs lower mark this afternoon.
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