MAKE it MOHAATHER in the Group 1 Qatar Sussex Stakes (3.15) at Glorious Goodwood today.
With 2,000 Guineas heroes Kameko and Siskin in the seven-runner line-up – along with three-time Group 1 hero Circus Maximus – this afternoon’s feature is the race of 2020 so far.
Mohaather has yet to capture a top-tier prize – but it is only a matter of time.
Injury restricted Marcus Tregoning’s son of Showcasing to just two starts last year, and Jim Crowley’s mount had nowhere to go when seventh to Circus Maximus in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot.
But Tregoning has always believed his colt capable of mixing it with the very best, and Mohaather’s explosive three-and-three-quarter-length victory in the Group 2 Summer Mile at Ascot last time showed he must be feared back at the highest level.
3 LAKE LUCERNE
WALIYAK ran a sterling second at Royal Ascot and is taken to go one better.
Having followed two seconds at Newmarket with a win at Wolverhampton last November, Roger Varian’s daughter of Le Havre went off a well backed 4-1 shot for the Sandringham Handicap over a mile.
Racing keenly on her first outing for nearly seven months, David Egan’s mount made headway from the back running to the two furlong pole and ran on in the closing stages to cross the line a length and a quarter behind Onassis.
He finishing effort suggests Waliyak will thrive for the opportunity to tackle an additional two furlongs and there should be more to come on just the fifth start of her career.
Lake Lucerne, into handicaps for the first time after her fifth to Rose Of Kildare in the Musidora Stakes at York, has plenty more to offer, a comment that also applies to Sandown scorer Be More and the William Haggas pair Nkosikazi and Ghaziyah.
3 BLUE LAUREATE
OLEG has returned from a wind operation to land both his starts on the Flat in 2020 and can come through this stamina test with flying colours.
The extended two-and-a-half-mile distanced usually plays to the strengths of a horse who has prospered in the jumping sphere, and 11-time champion National Hunt trainer Paul Nicholls saddled the grey to score over hurdles and fences in 20019.
Having his first start on the level in Britain, the French native and Nicholls’ daughter Megan scored by five lengths on Southwell’s International Women’s Day card in March before overcoming a 12lb rise, with a neck margin at Pontefract on their comeback from the coronavirus lockdown.
There is an additional 3lb to deal with here, but Oleg, now partnered by Hollie Doyle, is on a roll and the hat-trick beckons.
Dangers lurk at every turn, with Ascot Stakes hero Coeur De Lion, last year’s runner-up Seinesational and, at bigger odds, Blue Laureate all capable of having a say in proceedings.
2 WIN O’CLOCK
3 KING’S CAPER
COZONE is a going-places three-year-old for local trainer Amanda Perrett – and features at the right end of the weights.
The son of 2011 Derby hero Pour Moi qualified for a handicap rating of 72 after his first three attempts yielded an 11th at Kempton Park and a fifth at Newbury and a second back on the Sunbury Polytrack over today’s mile-and-a-half distance.
Punters thought that a lenient assessment and Cozone was backed into 100-30 favourite for his debut in the sphere over 10 furlongs at Sandown Park 13 days ago.
My selection appeared to have compromised his chance with a sluggish exit from the stalls, but, making his ground in the straight, Cozone hit the front inside the final furlong to beat By My Side by a length and a quarter.
Back up in trip, David Egan’s partner has the scope to defy a 5lb rise.
Win O’Clock is progressing and feared, while Carlos Felix and top weight King’s Caper are others to throw into the melting pot.
1 SARDINIA SUNSET
3 WINGS OF A DOVE
SARDINIA SUNSET brings the best form to the table – with the promise of more to come.
A promising length-and-three-quarter second to Sacred at Newmarket on her racecourse debut, the daughter of Gutaifan represented trainer Roger Varian in the Group 2 Queen Mary Stakes at Royal Ascot last month.
Sardinia Sunset went off at 20-1 in a field of 18, but ran above those odds with a fourth to the Wesley Ward-trained Campanelle.
She was a good bit shorter – at 10-11 – for York’s Listed Marygate Stakes 19 days later, and justified her market leader status in style.
Never far away under Jason Watson, who makes way for Rossa Ryan this afternoon, Sardinia Sunset took over at the furlong pole to hold Furlong Factor by one length, and she is fancied to beat her male rivals.
Significantly has gone under by narrow margins in each of her three starts and Karl Burke’s youngster should again run well, while Steel Bull and Wings Of A Dove have podium claims.
3 CIRCUS MAXIMUS
MOHAATHER is primed to reward his trainer Marcus Tregoning’s skill and patience with a Group 1 victory.
The son of Showcasing, winner of the Horris Hill Stakes as a two-year-old, looked to take high rank among last season’s three-year-old milers when landing another Newbury Group 3, the Greenham Stakes, in April 2019.
Sadly, injury intervened and Mohaather, fifth in the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes at Ascot last October, again found the fates against him on his comeback in the Group 1 Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot, being consistently denied a run under Jim Crowley in finishing seventh to Circus Maximus, a three-time Group 1 winner who finished third in this race 12 months ago.
Dropped to Group 2 level for Ascot’s Summer Mile 18 days ago, Mohaather enjoyed clear sailing to humble opposition led home by San Donato by three and three-quarter lengths and more and earn another crack at a top-level prize.
Siskin was both brilliant and brave when defending his unbeaten record in the Irish 2,000 Guineas from Vatican City and will not be easy to beat.
Kameko held Wichita in the 2,000 Guineas at Newmarket and is another worthy contender in what amounts to the race not just of Glorious Goodwood week but the season so far.
2 COUNTRY CARNIVAL
3 MISS JINGLES
SPRIGHT is a smart juvenile who looks destined to mark her mark in Group company.
The market ignored the Charm Spirit youngster at 50-1 at Doncaster on her debut at the end of last month, but Clifford Lee’s mount ran a stormer to finish a half-length second to She Do.
Sent off the 9-4 favourite to go one better at York next time, Spright duly did so – and in style – leading from the stalls and searing five and a half lengths clear of Positive Mentality.
That was a useful effort from a likeable two-year-old – and there is plenty more where that came from.
Sandown Park winner Miss Jingles and York’s Marygate Stakes second and third, Furlong Factor and Country Carnival, should fight it out for the minor medals
1 TORO STRIKE
2 MOUNTAIN BRAVE
3 MISTER SNOWDON
TORO STRIKE was no match for Khaloosy in the Britannia Handicap at Royal Ascot last month – but who was?
Richard Fahey’s three-year-old ran above his 66-1 odds in finishing fifth to the Roger Varian-trained winner, who did handsprings in scoring by four and a half lengths.
It’s reasonable to anticipate improvement from that seasonal debut and the son of Toronado, who showed his aptitude for the South Downs when second in nursery company over course and distance at last year’s fixture, shouldn’t be troubled by coming back from a mile.
Verboten beat just two home in the Britannia but must be better than that and warrants a second look, along with Society Lion, Mountain Brave and Mister Snowdon.
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