Friday’s card at Goodwood is lacking a Group 1 race but there’s still plenty group action to enjoy. The Group 3 Bonhams Thoroughbred Stakes for three-year-olds, looks like a gilt-edged opportunity for Mark Johnston’s Threading to add to her three previous victories. The Exceed And Excel filly was a distant runner-up to Alpha Centauri in the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot and this piece of form gives her leading claims.
Ostillo is the progressive horse in the race, following a swift rise through the handicap ranks culminating in smooth Britannia Stakes victory most recently. Simon Crisford’s charge has earned a crack at this Group 3 and may just prove the biggest threat to Threading.
Many punters will be rowing in behind Aidan O’Brien and Ryan Moore here as the partner up with Threeandfourpence, the three-year-old colt was fourth in the Irish 2000 Guineas and landed a mickey mouse event at Naas last week. I think he is plenty short enough in the betting but anything Aidan runs has a chance.
Seniority tops the market for the Golden Mile Handicap for that man again Ryan Moore. This time he teams up with William Haggas and The Queen. The son of Dubawi got in late to the Royal Hunt Cup and was subject of a mini gamble but had to settle for an eighth-place finish. That race came only seven days after a Chelmsford victory and may just have been too soon.
David O’Meara sends out Escobar in a bid to continue an already fruitful 2018, he was a staying on second in the Coral Challenge at Sandown on his last start. He’s starting to creep towards a career-high mark so a little slice of luck will be needed to win this.
Shady McCoy has been busy recently but of the outsiders, he’s the one I like. Ian Williams’s charge was runner-up to Burnt Sugar in the Bunbury Cup and again finished behind that rival in the International Stakes when drawn on the wrong side. If those recent excursions haven’t taken too much out of him he should be bang there.
Others to note include South Seas, Master The World and Fire Brigade.
Selection: Shady McCoy
The feature race on Friday at Goodwood is the Group 2 King George Stakes which looks like a one-horse race and that horse is Battaash. Charlie Hills’s son of Dark Angel has by far the best form in the race including a runaway victory in the Group 1 Prix de l’Abbaye at Chantilly at the end of last season.
Blue Point was the only horse that proved too good for Battaash in the King’s Stand Stakes at the Royal meeting and it looks like his rivals are only playing for minor honours. The only two realistic dangers are Sioux Nation and Havana Grey.
Sioux Nation has run in some top races down through his brief career and was a Group 1 winning two-year-old when beating Beckford in the Phoenix Stakes at the Curragh. The son of Scat Daddy ran very well behind stablemate US Navy Flag in the July Cup and could just pick up the pieces if Battaash flops.
Karl Burkes Havana Grey bounced back to form at the Curragh last time out when comprehensively beating some older rivals over the minimum. P J McDonald’s mount has around four lengths to find with Battaash on their running in the Temple Stakes in late May. Havana Grey needs to improve but he may just be on the upward curve.
Others with outside chances include Mr Lupton, Heartache and Muthmir.
The €100,000 Guinness Handicap is the highlight of Friday’s card at Galway and it has attracted some quality horses, some of which have already run at the festival. Chief among these is Limini who was only thwarted by stablemate Uradel in the Connacht Hotel Qualified Riders race on Monday when returning from a break. This drop down in trip won’t inconvenience Willie Mullins’s star mare.
Willie has a strong hand in this with top weight Gustavus Vassa, recent Ballinrobe winner Nessun Dorma, and Law Girl.
Tony Martin has a fantastic record at the Galway festival and his Tudor City races off a featherweight eight stone twelve pound, which brings him into the reckoning.
Selection: Tudor City