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SPACE BLUES was disappointing when last seen at Meydan in March, but he has been given a good break and returns with the Charlie Appleby stable firing on all cylinders. Space Blues had won five in-a-row prior to that Meydan flop, including this race last year.
He was impressive here 12 months ago, showing an excellent turn of foot to leave the likes of Duke of Hazzard, Escobar and Safe Voyage trailing in his wake. He followed that up with a Group 1 success in the Prix Maurice de Gheest and that form is the strongest on offer. He is at least 3lbs clear of his rivals on Timeform’s weight-adjusted ratings and will take plenty of beating under ideal conditions.
FEARBY has shown marked run-by-run improvement and he was a hugely impressive winner of the listed Dragon Stakes at Sandown earlier this month. That 5-length success earned him a Timeform rating of 107p, a figure which only four juveniles have surpassed this season.
Fearby is 5lbs clear of his Molecomb Stakes rivals on ratings, while the ‘p’ attached that figure indicates that he remains open to further improvement after only three starts. It will take a big effort to beat him if he runs to a similar level as at Sandown.
AUDARYA made a big impact at the highest level towards the end of last season, winning the Prix Jean Romanet and Breeders’ Cup Filly And Mare Turf either side of finishing a close-up third in a strong renewal of the Prix de l’Opera. Audarya took a few starts to hit top gear last season, but she hit the ground running this time around – going down by just three-quarters of a length to Love in the Prince of Wales’ Stakes.
That was an extremely encouraging return, and she ran to a Timeform rating only 1lb lower than her peak figure from last season. If she runs to a similar level at Goodwood, her rivals will need to improve to beat her.
BATTAASH wasn’t at his brilliant best when only fourth on his return in the King’s Stand Stakes at Ascot last month, but he had a couple of legitimate excuses. Firstly, Battaash was making his comeback against race-fit rivals in the King’s Stand Stakes after connections ran out of time to fit in a prep run following surgery over the winter.
Secondly, he raced prominently in a race run at a blistering gallop that suited those ridden with more patience. Battaash may have won the King’s Stand the previous season, but he’s been at his very best away from Ascot and is well suited by Goodwood’s speed-favouring course. He can notch a fifth straight success in the King George Stakes.
The Stewards’ Cup is always an ultra-competitive affair in which plenty can be given a chance, but HURRICANE IVOR looks to hold leading claims on the back of an eye-catching effort at Ascot last time. Hurricane Ivor had dead-heated at Sandown on his previous start, and he confirmed the impression that he is a sprinter going places by slamming the rivals in his group at Ascot.
He had to settle for second at Ascot as he was just edged out by one who raced away from him, but the way he shot clear of those in the far-side group suggests he’s a well-handicapped sprinter capable of bagging a big prize.
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