I've started to get very interested in Strong Challenge for the Vintage on Tuesday. He absolutely toyed with Gutaifan over 6f at Goodwood last time and that one one the Prix Robert Papin today. I know Gutaifan has improved, but even so it's hard to shake the memory of how easily Strong Challenge won. And I don't think the Superlative Stakes form is that hot.
Can't give you Galway I'm afraid as I just don't know enough about it.
I'm very keen on Unsinkable in the Topaz Mile at Galway on Tuesday night. Ger Lyons landed won it with Brendan Brackan in 2013 and he could repeat the dose this year. He was agonisingly denied in the final few strides of the Nasrullah Handicap at Navan last time, the pace he showed to go clear there suggests that dropping down to 1m is exactly what the doctor ordered. Soft ground won't pose a problem either as he made a winning debut for the stable on easy ground at Leopardstown last October. He has crept up the handicap to a mark of 94 but Brendan Brackan won the race off 104 and Unsinkable could be a pattern race performer in the making.
As for Goodwood, I think Mount Logan should be really suited to Goodwood in the opening handicap on Tuesday. Think he's better than he showed at York and he should get the fast pace he needs.
I find it hard to see Spacious Sky finishing out of the first four in the Connacht Handicap tomorrow night. He'll love the ground and has the same mark as when fourth to Quick Jack in the race last year.
It's looks a cracker of a race and a real test for Gleneagles, who did not have much to beat at Ascot. I'd just favour him over Solow, but not with much in it. However, I don't play at those sort off odds and I'll be having an each-way dabble on Belardo. I still the best is to come from him this season and 16- 1looks big enough to me.
I'm with Paul. Gleneagles for me, provided the ground isn't too soft. But Gleneagles won't run if it is!
Cheers for that. Steward's Cup is always a hard one to win, but I think we might get the first 3yo winner for a long while in Magical Memory assuming he gets in. He could not have been more impressive in winning the 3yo handicap at Newmarket by two lengths last time. Danetime won a July Festival handicap (might have been the same one, but wasn't worth much then) by two lengths from a subsequent July Cup winner in 1997 and then came on to win this. I think Magical Memory might do the samre
I have a feeling Huntsmans Close will land a big sprint handicap before the summer is out and it could be in the Stewards Cup. It's not easy to win coming down the middle of the track at Windsor but he managed to do so last time and a 4lb higher mark seems fair. He looks tailormade for it!
I'm pleased to say I kept the faith, Michael. I couldn't believe he was as big as 25-1 on Saturday morning with Golden Horn still in there so I had a few bob on each-way. Still don't know how he clung on but thankfully he did!
I'd say there must surely be a few better handicapped in there and he will surely wan't a dry few days before lining up. My early thought is that Sadler's Risk might go well at a price, but David will know better.
I hope Spring Heeled doesn't win the bloody thing because we won't be getting a quote afterwards if he does. It seems Jim has stopped chatting to us kind media folk. JP McManus won thePlate in 2013 with Carlingford Lough and he could do so again with Shanpallas who has long looked to have a big pot like this within his grasp. While at first glance he would look pretty high in the handicap at number eight on the list with a rating of 145, it is worth noting that he was off a mark 2lb higher when only beaten six lengths by Caid Du Berlais in the Paddy Power Chase at Cheltenham’s Open meeting.
Charles Byrnes has presumably had the Galway Plate in mind for Shanpallas since last November and he’s only been seen once to ensure that his handicap mark hasn’t crept up. He has the potential to develop into a graded horse this season and he’s only seven so there should be more improvement to come.
I think David Wachman was very clever to skip the Irish Oaks and wait for the Nassau Stakes with Legatissimo. That trip looks perfect for her and the track should be fine too. I'd imagine she'll be very hard to beat.
One thing I've never worried about is trouble in running at Goodwood and I think people get too hung up on it. You certainly get plenty of well backed winners there. They can go too fast, but they can do that anywhere - best to have a look at make-up of race. One thing you need to remember is that a low draw on the round course is far more important from Friday onwards on than it is for the first three days as that's when the widen the straight for big sprints.
I'd agree, you tend to get a lot of front-runners caught in the final few strides. It can be a long way home from the furlong pole. I always thought Hughsey rode it better than anyone and he always said that horses go off too quick in the sprints because the first few furlongs are downhill. If he's out the back on one when the horse you've backed is making the running this week, you know you're in bother!
If it's the Betfred Mile you're on about Mark then I fancy Munaaser. He looks a typical Sir Michael Stoute improver who could just make the breakthrough to Listed or Group company before the season draws to a close. He was given plenty to do at Sandown when second to a good horse in Basem and I'd imagine he'll be ridden much closer to the pace this time.
First of all, a low draw as they still persist, somewhat ridiculously, in having this very valuable handicap on the Friday when the draw bias is at its worst. I remain convinced that Your'e Fired has a big race in him and 33-1 looks a very big price to me. He is better than even his good third suggested at York last time.
I think you'll find a lot of gambles do get landed, but I'd stop short of telling you to jump on the bandwagon. Getting on at the worst price is a sure route to the poor house in the long run. I just don't get hung up worrying about the potential for trouble and if I fancy one I certainly wouldn't cut stakes because it's Goodwood.
He doesn't have tons to find and does seem to be going forwards, but if Lightning Spear had got a run last time he might have beaten him and then Arod would be even bigger. I'd prefer Belardo to him for an outsider.
I couldn't agree more, Jack. If ever there was a track made for a horse, it is Goodwood and Arod. If the rain hits Goodwood badly then Gleneagles won't run and Arod looks by far the biggest danger to Solow if that's the case. He's a very good horse, not a great one, but I find it hard to see him finishing out of the placings if Gleneagles doesn't show up. And, even if he does, he could snatch third.
Latest reports I'm seeing is that there isn't much rain forecast at all, so I don't see the ground being that bad.
He certainly can as long as the rain stays away. The ground and pace were all against him last time. Trainer is flying this month (37% strike-rate) and you'd have to think he'll come on plenty for the run. Ajman Bridge a big danger if staying
I'd prefer Ajman Bridge. He got no luck in running in the John Smiths Cup and is far better than the bare form of that.
Do you mean tomorrow or Tuesday? If Tuesday then Strong Challenge the nap and Zand the value play in the opener.
If tomorrow I think New Bidder will go off plenty shorter than 4-1 in the 2.30 at Ayr!
I like Spacious Sky e/w in the big one at Galway but over at Ayr, Chadic is improving nicely and could continue Mark Johnston's fantastic run in the 3.30.
All to do with pace. They either go after them too soon in the straight and then fold up or they get it right. I don't believe any track suits a particular style of runnings. It's just a case of whether the jockeys gets the fractions right.
This is what Richard Hughes recently told me about the sprint track at Goodwood: "The funny thing about the Stewards Cup is that they always, always go too fast. The final furlong of a Stewards Cup is probably slower than the end of a two-mile maiden hurdle. You are out on your feet after going so quick early."
It's funny, I'm starting to think Diakali could just be in a different league. The rain has come in time, his hurdling has got slicker and it looks as though everything is going to be in his favour. I have a feeling he could go off very short, maybe 4-1 or shorter so maybe back him now at 7s.