The RSA Chase winner at Cheltenham in March Topofthegame was ruled out for the forthcoming season by Paul Nicholls on Monday afternoon having been just a 10/1 shot with BetVictor for the Gold Cup back at the Festival in March. Legendary Irish handler Willie Mullins gained a first Gold Cup courtesy of Al Boum Photo back in the spring and he has the two market leaders for the 2020 renewal with Kemboy 5/1 favourite at BetVictor and Al Boum Photo 8s.
The ground was described as soft at midday on Tuesday for today’s card at Goodwood where the feature race is the listed Foundation Stakes. Roger Charlton’s Qarasu will appreciate the forecast soft ground as will the veteran Air Pilot who has a history of going well fresh and is the highest rated horse in the race.
The selection, however, is Elwazir (3.30) even though the Frankel colt has yet to encounter soft ground. He was a bit keen when runner up at Doncaster on ground which looked lively enough last time and, if he copes with this deeper surface, he will be tough to beat.
A market move for newcomer Bondi Sands would be worth noting in the opening 10f Juvenile Maiden, but I think this rests between Khalifa Sat and Herman Hesse (2.00) with preference for the John Gosden-trained colt who looked a thorough stayer when third at Sandown last time over a mile when he was squeezed out at a vital stage.
In the valuable fillies’ handicap over 1m 6f Nette Rousse was reported to have been unsuited by soft ground when tailed off on her penultimate start although she coped well enough with good to soft ground when scoring at Leicester last time.
Monica Sherriff (4.10) has won her last three starts for William Haggas and is only 4lbs higher than when scoring at Newcastle last time and, after just four career starts, she is open to more improvement.
In the Newcastle opener Dante’s View (5.15) can break his maiden tag at the sixth attempt. The Galileo colt has not been out of the first three in his five previous starts, but this stiff track should suit, and he was only beaten in the final stride last time. Do watch out for a market move for Lopes Dancer who has a good course record and is making his first start for Brian Ellison.
Anastarsia (6.15) holds an entry in the Fillies’ Mile and is taken to leave behind her racecourse debut when she finished fourth at Ascot. Trainer John Gosden likes to run some of his better two-year-olds on this track and this daughter of Sea The Stars was backed into favouritism at Ascot.
Jean Baptiste finished runner up over this evening’s C&D at Kempton last time and looks sure to run well for his powerful connections, but I was taken with the Haydock debut of End Zone (6.00) and hope to see David Simcock’s Dark Angel colt go one better. Oisin Murphy keeps the ride.
The American bred colt Informed Front (6.30) has been off the track since finishing third at Yarmouth over a mile back in May. That was an eye-catching run, however, and he is taken to break his maiden tag at the second attempt although his wide draw in stall eight of nine is less than ideal.
Basilisk (7.00) has only had four starts but overcame a moderate draw to score at Ffos Las last time for Roger Charlton and Jason Watson and he is entitled to come on again from only a 3lbs higher mark. The gelding is bred for an artificial surface and he has a good draw in stall five.
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