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GLORIOUS GOODWOOD DAY 3 TIPS – VISION CAN SHOW HIS TRUE COLOURS IN THE GOODWOOD CUP
The third day of Glorious Goodwood will struggle to conjure up the anticipation and then excitement of Wednesday’s Sussex Stakes in which Toronado produced a potent turn of foot to exact revenge on his Royal Ascot conqueror, Dawn Approach.
Conversely, there are some ultra-competitive and high quality races for punters to sink their teeth into, not least the Artemis Goodwood Cup, for which 14 have stood their ground, including last year’s winner Saddler’s Rock.
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If John Oxx’s charge returns to his best he will be a tough nut to crack, but he does have a fair bit to prove at present, having failed to fire in two runs in Dubai earlier this year and again disappointed when returning from a break in last month’s Ascot Gold Cup.
Mount Athos is arguably the one to beat. He didn’t quite measure up to expectations when fifth in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot, but 1½m on fast ground is probably plenty short enough for the six-year-old, and going up in trip on an easier surface here will be in his favour.
However, while the son of Montjeu has strong claims on paper, he is ultimately being prepared for another tilt at the Melbourne Cup in November, a race in which he was an unlucky fifth in 2012. Consequently, there has to be a doubt that he will be at his peak on Thursday.
In my opinion, this race will end up in Godolphin’s satchel. The boys in blue are launching a three-pronged attack on this valuable prize and I reckon COLOUR VISION will emerge on top, though his stable companions Ahzeemah and Cavalryman are strong contenders, too.
The Rainbow Quest gelding was never travelling on his reappearance at Sandown, but he was perked up by the first-time visor when a highly creditable fourth behind Estimate in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot subsequently.
Colour Vision wasn’t beaten at all far when third in last year’s renewal of this marathon and, with the rain-softened ground no inconvenience, he is taken to go two places better this time, perhaps at the chief expense of Cavalryman.
At least half of the 11 runners in the Group 2 Audi Richmond Stakes are punching above their weight at this level, but Figure of Speech and SAAYERR are potentially well up to scratch and the latter earns the vote.
Saayerr already looked ready for a step up to 6f when landing a novice event on his penultimate start at Windsor, so it wasn’t the greatest of surprises that he was taken off his feet somewhat in the Norfolk Stakes at Royal Ascot last time.
Though only eighth of 14 in that contest, the Acclamation colt was by no means disgraced and, in any case, he will be seen to better effect now upped in trip. The easier surface should suit, too, and William Haggas’ charge can prove too strong for Figure of Speech.
The best bet of the day, however, is in the opening race, the Gordon’s Stakes. Indeed, CODE OF HONOR will prove very hard to beat, with a 6lb rise for his decisive victory at Sandown last time far from prohibitive.
Given the promise that he showed as a juvenile, the son of Zafeen was disappointing in his first two starts of 2013. But he looked a different proposition upped to this trip at Sandown where he cut through the field in good style to beat the re-opposing Mushaakis, who went on to win easily at Ripon next time.
Code of Honor is, to my mind, a Pattern-class performer masquerading as a handicapper and I will quite frankly be shocked if he’s beaten, for all that the likes of Tha’ir, Red Avenger and his Sandown victim Mushaakis are all very credible opponents.
The Blackrock Fillies’ Stakes is Wild Coco’s race to lose. She won this race and the Park Hill in good style last year and remains with scope for improvement despite being a five-year-old, as she’s only had seven runs.
She was reappearing following a similar absence when landing the 2012 renewal of this Group 3 event, so lack of a recent run is no great concern, but I feel that she will struggle to concede 13lb to three-year-old ELIK on this occasion.
The Sir Michael Stoute-trained filly opened her account in a Listed race at this venue in May and left the impression that the step up to this trip will be right up her street when third in the Ribblesdale at Royal Ascot, form which looks rock-solid.
2.10 Code of Honor
3.15 Colour Vision