Our racing expert has a tip for each of the four ITV races.
1:50 1m4f (1m3f218y) Bombay Sapphire Glorious Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (4yo+)
Red Verdon deserves a Pattern race success given his consistency having finished second – behind Defoe, Magic Circle and Crystal Ocean (last time) – on his last three starts. But he may again have to settle for minor honours behind Sir Michael Stoute’s MIRAGE DANCER, whose overall form looks a tad stronger and includes a victory over course and distance. Since that success back in May, he has finished a somewhat unlucky fifth at Royal Ascot, where he would have been closer but for meeting with trouble, and most recently went down fighting when runner-up in a Group 2 at Newmarket. He hasn’t always looked the most hardy of horses, so it was positive to see him knuckle down once headed on that occasion to go down by just half a length, and that run also confirmed that he is best over this trip nowadays. All of which leads me to believe he can complete a hat-trick for his in-form trainer and rider Ryan Moore, following Kings Fete in 2016 and Poet’s Word last year. Last year’s runner-up Second Step looks next best.
RESULT: MIRAGE DANCER WON @ 6/5
2:25 1m Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3) (Class 1) (3yo)
Threading ran too bad to be true in the Falmouth Stakes last time and it could be that she doesn’t like Newmarket as she has finished well beaten on all three of her outings at HQ. We know she acts around this idiosyncratic track as she was an impressive winner of a maiden on his debut here last season and her second (albeit six lengths adrift) behind Alpha Centauri in the Group 1 Coronation Stakes two starts back is the best form on offer.
But if there is a horse in the six-runner field that might improve past him, it is Sir Michael Stoute’s REGAL REALITY. He looked to have a bright future when overcoming greenness to win a Yarmouth maiden on his debut last September and was weak in the market when reappearing in a Listed contest at Sandown in May, finishing sixth behind the winner Without Parole. The winner aside, he was the horse to take out of the race as he was ridden at the back and briefly looked set to get involved when making a positive move forward, only to blow up late and get tired. That was a lovely effort to build on and he is open to any amount of improvement after just two starts, while the fact his trainer is pitching him in at this level suggests he has been showing up well at home. UPDATE – the selection is easy to back this morning – out to 5/1 from 7/2, while Treading is strong at 15/8 – so best to keep stakes small if not already on.
Aidan O’Brien’s Threeandfourpence had a penalty kick at Naas nine days ago but that will have served as a nice confidence booster and he looks the best of the rest.
RESULT: REGAL REALITY WON @ 10/1 (!!!)
3:00 1m Unibet Golden Mile Handicap (Class 2) (3yo+)
ESCOBAR and South Seas both caught the eye in the same handicap at Sandown last time, finishing second and sixth respectively, but the former horse has fared much better with today’s draw having been handed stall two, whereas South Seas will exit from 13. That’s not to say Andrew Balding’s charge can’t win from there but with the field completing a turn of more than 90 degrees during the journey, it’s best to be drawn near the inside running rail and past results back that up as eight of the last ten winners emerged from stall eight of lower (the first four home last year were drawn in stalls 3, 6, 2 and 7). So Escobar, who might have won with a more positive ride, should go close and especially as his trainer David O’Meara has been in such striking form of late.
He’s going to need some luck in running of course but you can say that about them all and given his liking for quick ground, the return of the hot weather is another thing in his favour. He’s not favourite, with that honour going to Seniority, who was perhaps turned out again too quickly under a penalty when a beaten favourite in the Royal Hunt Cup. He still ran respectably in eighth and Ryan Moore, who won on him at Chelmsford previously, is back on board and he can make the most of a good draw in stall three. But I just prefer the chance of Escobar and he’s a bigger price.
The selection’s stablemate Mythical Madness could go well at a price as he has the plum draw in stall one is best in big fields where they go a decent pace. He wasn’t beaten far into ninth in last year’s race from a high draw and could reward each-way backers at bet365’s 16/1. Last year’s winner Master The World is also worth a favourable mention as he was also a head second in the 2016 renewal off the same mark as today’s.
3:35 5f King George Qatar Stakes (Group 2) (Class 1) (3yo+)
BATTAASH has to carry a 3lb penalty but I doubt that will stop him as he’s got the best form in the race and is a long way clear of the rest on official ratings. Indeed, he has at least 10lb in hand and his trainer Charlie Hills is sounding (in his Weekender column) very positive about his chances, saying that he’s moving like a dream at home and it’s the best he’s had him all year, having come in his coat since his admirable second in the King’s Stand Stakes at Royal Ascot. We know what he’s capable of when at his best as he destroyed his rivals in this race 12 months ago and this track certainly seems to suit him much better than the likes of York and Ascot. I wouldn’t quite say he’s a banker – they are like hen’s teeth at this meeting – but he does look to have an outstanding chance and we get to back him at odds against. Havana Grey and Kachy can fight it out for the minor places.
RESULT: BATTAASH WON (IN STYLE!) @ 8/11
Goodwood 1.50, Mirage Dancer @ 9/4 bet365
Goodwood 2.25, Regal Reality @ 5/1 bet365
Goodwood 3.00, Escobar @ 13/2 Coral / Mythical Madness each-way @ 16/1 bet365 (1/4 odds, 220.127.116.11.5)
Goodwood 3.35, Battaash @ 11/10 bet365
All odds were correct at time of posting.