Glorious Goodwood, Tuesday July 28th
Maydanny, Mark Johnston has a cracking record in this handicap and this 4yo by Dubawi made mincemeat of his rivals. He looked tremendous in the paddock and off a mark of 90 his jockey made all the running. When he kicked for home he was never going to be caught. The key to his success is clearly down to the ground because he was not at his best on a soft surface last time out.
His stable companion Sky Defender looked fit and considering he was trying to concede a stone and had to contend with a wide draw I thought this was a commendable effort.
Bell Rock ran well in third and this lightly raced son of Kingman looked in tip top shape and kept on well towards the finish.
Derevo, this scopey son of Dansili looked in rude health, but he didn’t have the best of passages on the wide outside and in the end he didn’t have much to offer in the closing stages.
The unlucky horse in the race was Tinandali. This well-made 4yo looked the part in the paddock, but was shuffled back when the race got underway. As he came around the final bend you could see that he was short of room and it was not until he maneuvered to the outside that he ran on strongly.
The top weight Walkinthesand looked in good shape and ran a respectable race in sixth.
This race has been won by the likes of Troy, Dr Devious, Shamardal and Highland Reel and this year’s renewal looked up to scratch. I like the way Battleground came out on top. This colt who is out of the very good race mare Found looked head and shoulders above his opponents and was not helped by the way the race unfolded because he had to endure a wide passage.
Devious Company looked in A1 condition and for the second time in a row he has bumped in to an above average winner. I just hope that his luck will change and he will be able to win a Group race.
Youth Spirit looked fit and well and stepped up on his debut win to finish third here. He is not the biggest in terms of stature, but he should be able to find further improvement.
Space Blues looked in rude health and produced a dominant display. Held up at the back he came with a long steady run from three out and booted clear to win by two lengths. The trainer has nominated the Prix Maurice De Gheest as his next target.
Duke Of Hazzard who is unbeaten on this track looked in pristine shape, but was slightly unlucky by the way the race panned out because he was trapped against the rails and when the gap appeared he ran on. It made no difference to the result. I wonder if his trainer would consider coming back here next month for the Celebration Mile considering the horse’s good record around here.
Escobar came back to form to run a cracker in third. He has been a little off colour on his last two runs, but this was a step in the right direction.
Safe Voyage looked grand, but was slightly undone by the lack of room in the closing stages.
Stradivarius became the first horse to win this race for a fourth time in a row since the Goodwood Cup was established in 1808. He looked the best I have seen him and in a slowly run heat he showed his class when striking for home after excavating himself out of a gap with a furlong to go. This good looking chestnut has done all he can in the staying division and his owner is hoping he can make his mark in the Arc in October.
The consistent Nayef Road led the field at a steady pace and as he had most of his rivals in trouble he had his pocket picked by the winner. I suspect he will got to York for the Lonsdale Cup next month.
This year’s Irish Derby winner Santiago looked great, but in the end he was no match for the front two who had a change of pace in the closing stages.
Alkumait, this once-raced colt by Showcasing still looked as green as apples in the paddock. He was shouting and hollering and took a strong hold on the way to post. Once the stalls opened he did plenty wrong and over raced for the first two furlongs, but once switched to the wide outside he travelled up comfortably and kept on strongly all the way to the line. It looks as if his trainer has a decent juvenile on his hands, but he is still a work in progress.
Tawleed was the nicest colt in the paddock. This son of Exceed And Excel walked around without a care in the world. He travelled strongly behind the leaders, but once he was switched to the rails it took him a stride or two to understand what was needed. On this evidence he will not be a maiden for too long.
The Princes Poet, I thought this stocky colt did well to finish third considering he blew the start. I am sure mentally he would have learnt a great deal from this.
Riffaa Wonder looked ready to go, but was too keen on the way to post and on the way back.
Wednesday, July 29th
A Star Above, I thought this gelding by Sea The Stars was very unlucky not to complete his hat-trick. Placed in mid field he travelled strongly off the final bend, but that’s when his trouble started. He had to be taken off heels and he was unable to switch out because he was short of room. In the end that cost him victory.
Mambo Nights, I thought this 3yo looked fabulous pre-race and he travelled comfortably in mid field. With three furlongs to go he started to move in to contention and just held A Star Above for a stride or two which was the difference between winning and losing. His trainer has thoughts of him running in the final classic of the season.
The medium-sized Sound Of Cannons turned up here looking in good shape and I think if he had of handled the track better he would have been a force in the closing stages. Encipher looked in terrific shape and travelled strongly in to contention, but it looked as if he failed to see out the trip.
Other horses that looked well were Win O’clock who didn’t handle the track and Glenties who had to be re saddled and did not look a happy soul once down at the start. He was possibly not at his best this afternoon.
I do not think this was a strong renewal of this Group 3, but take nothing away from the winner Steel Bull who was turned out quickly after winning seven days ago. He looked a ball of muscle in the paddock and travelled strongly behind the leaders. Once he got a clear run with a furlong to go he quickened clear and did enough towards the line.
The once-raced Ben Macdui looked in tip top shape and he stepped forward from his debut win to run a cracker in second. He is sure to improve for this experience. Internationaldream looked fine beforehand and ran well, but is crying out for an extra furlong.
Chief Little Hawk was the pick of the field, but he looks like a horse that has reached its limitations.
This is probably the best race of the season and we eventually saw a classy winner in Mohaather. This colt by Showcasing looked trained to the minute and was glowing with health. Dropped out the back he travelled strongly until receiving a slight bump from Wichita which caused him to go towards the rails. His main rival Siskin got first run of him, but once Jim Crowley pulled his mount wide he showed a devastating turn of foot which brought him through to victory. Without doubt he is the best miler around and it will take a good horse to lower his colours this season.
The tough and consistent Circus Maximus turned up here looking fit and well and under a positive ride from the front almost pinched this Group 1. To his credit when he was passed he found extra to finish in the runner up spot. One thing we know about this fella is that he always brings his A game to the table.
Siskin has developed in to a good looking colt and his trainer had him spot on for this assignment. Moving well he showed a decent turn of foot, but he was unable to maintain it to the winning line. Even though he lost his unbeaten record he is still the best 3yo miler around.
Kameko looked bright and well and travelled strongly against the rails. He was short of room at a crucial stage, but I do not think with a clear run he would have beaten the winner.
Thursday. July 30th
Zabeel Champion, this colt has come out of his Newmarket win in terrific order, but he didn’t look happy coming around the bend and he was on the wrong leg. It took him a while to gather himself and you could see he was having difficulty balancing, but once he got to the furlong marker he picked up to stay on strongly.
Al Salt who came here on the back of two maiden wins in Auction races looked fit, but was leggy. He travelled well coming down the hill and looked a big player, but was slightly short of room and his effort petered out.
The sizeable Luigi Vampa looked in tip top shape and he collided with the rails coming around the final bend. He shot to the front and was trying to gallop strongly to the line, but he became a little leg weary in the closing stages. I wonder if going back to a mile would be to his advantage.
Supremacy made it back to back wins for Clive Cox and this son of Mehmas looked fine/well. He led the field at a good pace and once he changed up a gear he showed his rivals a clean pair of heels. He is clearly very talented and on this evidence he should make his presence felt in a Group 1 race.
The favourite Yazaman looked well, but was never happy from the moment the stalls opened and he clearly found this track too sharp. Lauded is a leggy type who looked fine and stepped up to run a solid race in third.
Admiral Nelson has plenty of size and I am not sure this track played to his strengths.
Qaader looked the part, but is not progressing with his racing.
Subjectivist, this colt by Teofilo looked fine beforehand and was given a brilliant ride from the front by Joe Fanning. He led the field at a good pace, increased the tempo coming down the hill and had most of his rivals in trouble, but his stride began to shorten at the 2f marker. I like the way he found extra when challenged and he was only headed near the post.
Mogul is a round barreled type and for the first time this season he looked fit. He travelled sweetly in mid field, but he had to dig in to his reserves to come out on top. This colt by Galileo looks the type that will probably keep on improving from now on.
Highland Chief ran a respectable race in second. He looked to be going nowhere coming around the final bend, but he found for pressure which brought him through to second place. The most unfurnished horse in the race was English King. He looked well, but is far from mature at this stage of his career. In the end he just ran ok.
Al Aasy, this colt by Sea The Stars looked terrific beforehand and looked comfortable for most of the race. As he came to challenge he drifted to his right and was a spent force. I just wonder if it was a combination of the ground being too quick and the race coming too soon after his impressive victory at Newmarket.
Fancy Blue became Donnacha O’Brian’s second Group 1 winner of the season. This medium sized daughter of Deep Impact looked well and travelled behind the leaders. As she made her way to the front she shifted off of a straight line and found for pressure. The trainer has some lofty targets for this filly like the Matron Stakes, The Irish Champion and even the Arc.
One Voice who was a 20-1 outsider gave the favourite a fright. Travelling well against the rails the gap didn’t appear when her jockey wanted it and he had to sit and suffer for a stride or two, but to her credit she found plenty all the way to the line.
Nazeef looked to have blossomed since her last victory, but I am not sure she was at her best on this occasion in her search for her sixth victory of her career. She is definitely worth another chance.
Queen Power looked as if she is coming back to her best because this was her best run of the season.
Friday, July 31st
One Master, this 6yo by Fastnet Rock was drawn in stall 1 which probably was not ideal for her. She travelled strongly and lost a place or two coming around the bend, but you could see her jockey had plenty of horse underneath him. As he moved up a couple of places Tom Marquand tried to manoeuvre to his left, but there was no gap available. Once he saw an opening she showed a Group 1 turn of foot to win by a short head. I suspect she will be aimed at the Foret which she won last year on Arc day.
Valeria Messalina, this lightly raced 3yo stepped up on her previous form to run a personal best in second. Her jockey struck for home at the right moment, but she was headed right on the line. She showed today she can definitely mix it in Group Company.
The grey filly Althiqa looked one of the picks of the field and was a little headstrong to begin with. A touch outpaced with over a furlong to go she came through to run on to the line. An extra furlong would not go amiss.
Tilsit, on only the third run of his life this well-bred 3yo lifted this Group race. Held off the pace he made good headway and quickened to make his challenge. As Ryan Moore gave him a tap on his left side he quickly hung badly to his right hampering the second placed horse. It looked as if his mount may have caught the jockey by surprise. He clearly has plenty of potential and we are just scratching the surface with him.
The sizeable My Oberon looked tremendous paddock side and when he led at the 2f marker he had most of his opponents in trouble. The winner hampering him did not help his cause, but I think with a clear run he still would have finished second.
Khaloosy turned up here looking in A1 shape, but I think his first run on fast ground was not to his liking because he changed his legs on a number of occasions. Given the impression he created last time he is still worth persevering with.
Battaash has made this race his own and recorded his fourth win in this race. Quickly out of the stalls he took control of the race after the first furlong and even though he looked in trouble for a stride or two he showed his class to win going away. Next stop will be York and he has some unfinished business in France.
Glass Slippers looked grand and ran a respectable race to fill the runner up spot. Looking at her form she comes in to her own in the autumn.
Ornate ran really well and when you consider the first three all broke the course record showed what sort of pace they were going from the start.
Saturday, August 1st
Enbihaar became only the second filly since Wild Coco to win this race back to back. She dwarfed her opponents and you could see your reflection in her coat the way she looked so well. This powerful galloper made sure they went an honest gallop and pressurized the leader before she took a narrow advantage 2f out to gallop strongly to the line. I suspect it will be the same route as last year with a crack at the Park Hill Stakes followed by the Prix De Royallieu where she finished third last year on very soft ground.
Cabaletta, this grey filly got a touch warm and ran her heart out in second. I am sure she can find further improvement over this trip.
Snow looked well, but was outclassed by her two rivals.
A competitive field assembled for this race which saw a surprise winner in Titan Rock. This colt by Belardo looked fit having run 14 days ago. It looked as if he appreciated the fast ground because he showed a lot of determination in the closing stages to hold off the pursuers.
Raging Rascal, this compact colt ran better than his paddock appearance suggested and should improve for this.
The sizeable Longlai looked well and pressed the leaders from a fair way out. He hit the front, but was unable to sustain the gallop all the way to the line.
Star performance of the meeting:
MOHAATHER, this afternoon this colt showed that he is the best miler around when beating two Guineas winners and a Royal Ascot winner in Circus Maximus. His qualities are that he has a high cruising speed and he can show a devastating turn of foot in the closing stages.
Horses to follow:
STARCAT, this chestnut by Lope De Vega was very unlucky not to get involved in the big 10f handicap for 3yos on Thursday. He travelled in to the contest, but his jockey didn’t know whether to stick or twist and all the decisions he made happened to be the wrong ones on this occasion.
FIRST LOTT, this daughter of Harbour Watch looked head and shoulders above her opponents in the maiden won on Friday by Ventura Diamond. I am not sure this track was ideal for her, but she will be a different prospect on her next outing.