Pinatubo produced the best juvenile performance of the season so far when running away with the Group 2 Vintage Stakes at Goodwood on Tuesday and Charlie Appleby’s colt is 3/1 (from 8s) with BetVictor for the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket in May.
Today’s feature race at Glorious Goodwood is the Group 1 Nassau Stakes for fillies and mares over 10f. It could be a very good day for the O’Brien family and dual Guineas winner Hermosa (3.35) looked ready for a step up in trip when runner up in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot last time and I expect BetVictor’s 7/4 market leader to return to winning ways.
The danger looks fellow three-year-old Mehdaayih who didn’t have the best of runs in the Oaks on her penultimate start but returned to winning ways when scoring in Gp 2 at Saint-Cloud last time.
In the opening 10f handicap I hope to see Sinjaari (1.50) put behind a disappointing run at Royal Ascot when he was drawn out on the wing and was taken wide by James Doyle. That run suggested the return to 10f would suit and at 11/2 with BetVictor he can reward each way support.
In the Gordon Stakes Threat (2.25) has the worst of the draw, but he is held in the highest regard by Richard Hannon and he has been given plenty of time to get over his second in the Coventry Stakes at Royal Ascot in June. He holds a number of today’s rivals on that form and third home Guildsman disappointed in the July Stakes last time. Had he not been drawn in the centre of the course in stall one Threat would be a confident selection.
It doesn’t look a particularly strong renewal of the Gp 3 Gordon Stakes and Constantinople (3.00) is taken to go one better than when runner up at Royal Ascot in the 3-year-old handicap under top-weight last time. The Ballydoyle colt must give 3lbs to all bar one of today’s rivals but he is a horse we have not yet seen the best of and at 3/1 at BetVictor I would be disappointed if he didn’t go close. Jalmoud and the unexposed Dal Horrisgle look the best of the home challenge.
Galway Hurdle but on the level I am looking forward to seeing Joseph O’Brien’s Cava return to 7f having got going too late when a close fourth over 6f last time. The vote, however, goes to Surrounding (3.45) despite the fact that Mick Halford’s 6-y-old must carry a 5lbs penalty for winning at Fairyhouse last month. The mare has the scope to carry her big weight, is in the form of her life and continues to have the rub of the green with the draw.
Joseph O’Brien has a strong hand in the Galway Hurdle with Band Of Outlaws (5/1 favourite at BetVictor) and Gardens Of Babylon (10/1) but four-year-olds have a moderate record in the race and they are overlooked despite their excellent juvenile form.
I hope to see Willie Mullins gain a third win in the race in the last four years. The yard had a 1-2 last year and they have three realistic chances this year with Stratum, Riven Light and Shanning (4.55) and it is the latter who gets the each way vote at 7/1 – 5 places – with BetVictor.
The selection finished third at this corresponding meeting 12 months ago when failing to get home over 2m 7f and she will need an end-to-end gallop at this trip. That said she looks potentially well treated and Paul Townend takes over in the saddle.
At Nottingham Platform Nineteen (5.10) is taken to defy the 6lbs penalty he receives for scoring at Beverley last time for Michael Bell. That win was achieved on fast ground, but he had previously run well on soft ground and he has been raised 10lbs by the handicapper and is thus 4lbs “well in” under his penalty.
At Stratford this afternoon Grageelah Girl (2.05) is taken to go one better than when runner up at Ffos Las last time in a first-time tongue-tie. That run was over the minimum trip and todays additional quarter-mile should suit.
I was impressed with Simply Loveleh (3.50) over C&D last time when she beat a recent Bumper winner of Olly Murphy. The mare makes her handicap debut today and she gets the vote in a valuable Mares’ Handicap Hurdle.
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