Alex Peperell has a nice priced runner pencilled in for the Cup
Alex Peperell on his ones to watch
After what was a close call with Natural Scenery from last month’s column in the Northumberland Plate, I’m hoping to go one better on at least one occasion this time around. Glorious Goodwood isn’t far away and once again it’s another week full of top class racing.
GOODWOOD CUP - DAL HARRAILD (10/1)
Big Orange put up a gallant display to emerge victorious in the Gold Cup at Royal Ascot and is rightly the short-priced favourite for the Goodwood Cup. Order Of St George has been ruled out of the race and on paper this looks like it could potentially be a penalty kick for Michael Bell’s charge. But as we all know, races aren’t run on paper and after what was such a huge performance from Big Orange in Berkshire, that race may have taken plenty out of him and there is a chance he could still be feeling the effects of those excursions here. Therefore at such prohibitive odds there is value to be had looking elsewhere.
William Haggas has been having a good time of things and he looks likely to saddle the talented four-year-old Dal Harraild. A multiple winner over 1m4f, he stepped up to 1m6f atYork on his penultimate start and that showed him to really good effect. The last furlong and a half were probably his best in that race, he stayed on really strongly to beat some experienced and very proven stayers, Nakeeta and Seymour, by a cosy three- and-a-half lengths.
He made a bold bid from the front in the Hardwicke Stakes at Royal Ascot but he got overhauled in the straight. In saying that, he continued to stay on very well and was only beaten four lengths while being that same distance ahead of his next pursuer.
He does have it all to do being stepped up to Group 1 company, but he seems to still be improving and this further hike in distance could be the making of him. If the favourite was to misfire then Dal Harraild looks like the one to be on.
STEWARDS’ CUP - EKHTIYAAR (20/1)
The Stewards’ Cup has been lucrative for three-year-olds in recent years and I don’t see why this time will be any different. Magical Memory and Dancing Star won this in 2015 and 2016 respectively having previously won the 6f Handicap at Newmarket during the July Festival, which is exactly what Ekhtiyaar did on July 13.
Roger Varian’s inmate is a winner of three of his six career starts and is still very much on an upward curve. He’s won twice at Newmarket this season while encountering trouble on both occasions, showing real determination and a willing attitude to win. Travelling like the best horse in the race atYork in June, he didn’t quite pick up as expected and it may have been that the ground was a little on the quick side for him so he’s not going to want it too rapid at Goodwood.
He looks a surefire Pattern-class performer in the making,being a half-brother to Group 3 winner New Providence and being by the speedy Bated Breath only enhances his credentials. A concern would be that he’s not sure to get in the
race, even under a penalty. He’d need quite a few to come out,but if he does get in, he won’t be a 20/1 chance.
GREAT VOLTIGEUR - CRYSTAL OCEAN (20/1)
A bit of a talking horse back in May, Sir Michael Stoute’s Crystal Ocean was subject to a gamble for the Derby, but didn’t even end up running in the Epsom Classic.
He was cut to as short as 12/1 for the showpiece event.The fact that he was fancied for that and went off the 2/1 favourite for the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot after running a very respectable third in the Dante leads me to believe he must be held in high regard. The 20/1 on offer for the Great Voltigeur with race sponsors Betway could be an absolute gift.
Having had just four runs, he’s open to any amount of improvement.His run in the Dante was a good one, despite drifting markedly in the betting on the day. He shaped that day as if the step up to 1m4f would suit him down to the ground, but over that trip at Royal Ascot nothing went his way.Not able to get in early on,he subsequently got shuffled a bit further down the pack than I’m sure jockey Andrea Atzeni would have liked in order to get a position.He then made a very eyecatching move leading into the straight but he took the bend so wide that he covered way more ground than his rivals which I believe may have played a big part in the final outcome. His inexperience might have cost him there and knowing more this time around can see him come out on top.
Being a half-brother to high class Group performers Crystal Capella and Hillstar,he certainly has the pedigree to make his mark at this level. Back on the long straight on the Knavesmire he’ll likely have some tough opponents, including the Derby third Cracksman, but I don’t think we’ve scratched the surface of this Sea The Stars colt just yet.
BLAKENEY POINT AND SAIGON CITY HAVE RACES IN THEM
Starting off with Blakeney Point, he was a huge eyecatcher for me in the Old Newton Cup at Haydock. He travelled very well into the race over a trip which may have been slightly short of his optimum.When about to mount his challenge, he got absolutely no run whatsoever and by the time he eventually got racing room the race had gone. He finished full of running in fourth under what was considerate handling by Kieran Shoemark after he knew his chance of winning was over.
On his first start of the season he beat subsequent Northumberland Plate winner Higher Power at Kempton and was then fancied for the Chester Cup and ran no sort of race,but I’m more than willing to forgive that.Off a mark of 95 he’s got one of these handicaps in him.
Declan Carroll’s seven-year-old Saigon City seems to be getting better with age and has looked better than ever in two starts this season. He put in a huge run on reappearance when second behind subsequent Hardwicke Stakes third Chemical Charge and had Muntahaa and Frontiersman in behind. Next time out he beat Queen Alexandra winner Oriental Fox on soft ground at Newmarket.
Versatile regarding trip and ground,he was also fifth in last year’s Northumberland Plate.He’s rated 98 and would be one that I’d be interested in for the Ebor,but off that mark I would say he’s probably unlikely to get in.
Stick Blakeney Point and Saigon City in your trackers, they’re a couple to keep onside!
Saigon City, right