There are five days of superb action at Glorious Goodwood and despite 18mm of rain on Sunday, as well as the odd shower on Monday morning, the ground remains good and will dry out as we go through the week.
Day one looks an absolute cracker and the Lennox Stakes (15:00) was the race that interested me the most. Last year’s hero Breton Park won’t have the deep ground he seemingly relished last year, but he is still respected at a big price again especially if his rivals over race in front of him as they did last year.
However, I make this between the three-year-old Tip Two Win and Here Comes When, the 2017 Sussex Stakes hero. The selection was not given the wholesale credit he deserved when second in the 2,000 Guineas and his subsequent run in the St James’s Palace Stakes can be upgraded as he didn’t get the run of the race and I don’t think the short home stretch suited him at the Berkshire track.
They normally wind up the race from some way out at Goodwood and that will suit his closing style. I expect that David Probert will have him a lot closer to the pace here over what could turn out to be his optimum trip dropping down to seven furlongs. Here Comes When relished the mud last year, but has some cracking form on faster ground and may be well worth a saver even though his two runs this season have been rather underwhelming.
The Group Two Vintage Stakes at 14:25 looks to have plenty more strength-in-depth than last year’s renewal which saw Expert Eye hose up for Sir Michael Stoute. I fancy that Cosmic View will step up on his rather disappointing Royal Ascot run – he is miles better than that and a fast-run seven furlongs will be right up his street.
But he will need to be in tip top form if he is to beat both Dark Vision and Confiding. The former has impressed me with the way he has travelled through his two contests to date, winning at Yarmouth and then absolutely bolting up at York last time out. In that latter race he came off a red hot pace and yet he brushed his rivals aside with ease with what looked a top class turn of foot.
Of course this requires a wee bit more and in Confiding he could have a top-class colt in the making in opposition. This son of Iffraaj has a giant stride on him and once Callum Shepherd got him organised at Newbury first time up he fairly flew home. The draw in stall 10 is a slight question mark, but if Callum can get some cover I think his raking stride can mow this lot down and then the Deehurst Stakes would beckon.
The Goodwood Cup at 15:30 is worth a shot in the dark. On his top form last year’s winner Stradavarius would be a near-certainty and while I recognise that (and the fact he has had two months to get over that run) I thought that both he and Torcedor in third had exceptionally hard races and last year’s third and ninth at Ascot, Desert Skyline can get an awful lot closer here.
He was found to be wrong that day when they got the son of Tamayuz home and I know that connections expect a much better run here from their charge and he gets the each-way vote.
The opening all-aged mile and a quarter handicap at 13:50 looks a tight one to call, but the step up from a mile to this extended trip looks perfect for Silver Line, who has just looked a wee bit short of pace over the shorter trip even over a stiff track like Sandown Park; I know he is thought to be well up to his current handicap mark of 98 and has a nice box sit here in stall five.
Finally, have a second look at Outrage in the five furlong blitz handicap due off at 16:45. Daniel Kubler’s charge signalled a return to form behind Waheem Faris at Sandown Park last time out and the handicapper has certainly given him a major chance off a rating of 82 under the in form Luke Morris.