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It’s not surprising that the Mark Johnston team have a very good record at the Glorious Goodwood meeting. They are also looking to go back-to-back in this contest and have been successful in this plenty of times in the past.
DREAM WITH ME looked to be going through the gears very nicely when winning two races in-a-row at Ayr, but then has been very disappointing on his two runs down south at Epsom and Sandown. However, they were both on rain-softened conditions and, provided the ground is good or better, we mightn’t have seen the best of him yet.
LUSAIL was an absolute powerhouse of a juvenile and brings in a near perfect record having won three of his four lifetime starts. He put up a career-best performance last time and stepping up to 7 furlongsis going to be absolutely perfect for this beautiful, long-striding horse.
He obviously has the Coventry Stakes winner to beat in Berkshire Shadow, who is trying to protect a 100 per cent record. However, he may just have to play second fiddle to our selection as Berkshire Shadow goes into unknown territory as far as the trip is concerned. He may have also been favoured by a stand-side rail run at Royal Ascot.
Charlie Appleby has an incredibly strong hand in this line-up as he fields CREATIVE FORCE and last year‘s winner Space Blues. However, he is returning of a 122 day absence, whereas Creative Force was an excellent second in the July Cup behind Starman earlier this month.
He was short of room at a vital stage but hit the line strongly that day, suggesting that this test will be more to his liking. Added to that, he has a perfect inside stall position and should get a rail-skimming run on the way around. Space Blues is posted out deep in the car park in stall 12.
Remarkably STRADIVARIUS is coming back and bidding to win this contest for the fifth consecutive year. He was unlucky last time in the Gold Cup at the Royal meeting as he was short of room when the winner Subjectivist was making his way for home up the short straight. He won’t mind if this turns into a bit of a tactical battle as he still retains the most speed in the line-up. The unknown quantity is Sir Ron Priestley, who stepping up in distance for the first time but has to prove his stamina.
This sprint is loaded with front-running speedsters and that will suit Lord Riddiford, who seemed to benefit after being slowly away in the ‘Dash’ Handicap at Epsom and then running through horses and finishing off to great effect.
He’s rated 103 on the all-weather but only 88 on the turf but has not looked like taking advantage of being much better handicapped on the green stuff, until recently. Hollie Doyle gets the ride and may well be able to edge left-handed towards the stand side from a middle position and finish strongly through those who have gone too hard in the early stages.
The next race is a maiden over 6f and the expensively bought Mark Johnston runner HARB is related to three triple- digit performers. If he is going to justify that sort of rating in the future he could well be up to winning this contest to get his racing career off to a flyer.
The ground could be the key factor in this 1m Fillies’ handicap where a lot of the field haven’t met or haven’t handled the likely softer ground conditions. Richard Hannon’s ANGHAAM has been very consistent all season and has yet to finish outside the first three. If she handles the easier going, she may take her form to a new level.
CAROLINE DALE posted a much better effort at Windsor last time when just getting chinned by A Sure Welcome on soft ground over 5f. She was a little buzzed up in the proceeding that day so up-and-coming trainer David Loughnane has reached for the hood to try to get her to settle a bit better. If it helps her to conserve all her energy for the track, it might just help her get her head in front.
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