Friday 2 August 2019

Friday 2nd & Saturday 3rd August 2019: Gosden’s Girls to the Fore

A brilliant racing week ends with Glorious Goowood’s finale, including the Stewards’ Cup of course, and the end of the Galway festival with punters also reminiscing about another brilliant week for racing’s biggest personality, Frankie Dettori.

It’s the return of another top jock though in the shape of William Buick that’s the best news and he may be welcomed back into the fold with a winner or two for Godolphin, something we can piggyback on here.

Friday 2nd August 2019

1.50 Goodwood (Oak Tree Stakes – Group 3) – JUBILOSO

Sir Michael Stoute is more renowned for getting improvement out of his four and 5-year-olds, but even at three they can take steps forward and it’s thought that’ll be the case with this impressive daughter of Shamardal.

Jubiloso made a fine debut then destroyed an ordinary field at Newbury but proved she can sit at the top table when running a fine third over a mile at Royal Ascot in the Coronation Stakes, this step back to seven furlongs looking right up her street making her the standout in the field.

The admirable Angel’s Hideaway looks a big price to get in on the act and must be a very solid each-way bet, while Frankie rides Royal Intervention instead of the Gosden filly and again has place chances in a decent-looking race.

2.25 Goodwood (Thoroughbred Stakes – Group 3) – ART DU VAL

In rating this race I found it very close, something reflected in the early odds which showed 11/2 the field and no bigger than 9/1 down to the eighth horse in the market, but within that there could be some value so while there are many solid types in the line-up, the one who could prove in time to be a little bit better than Group 3 level is Art Du Val.

Charlie Appleby’s colt has won over almost a mile-and-a-quarter but seemed to improve plenty for going down to a mile in a four-runner, slowish race in France.  This faster mile again could really play to his strengths and he could just burst clear with a race-winning turn of foot.

The rock-solid Turgenev may miss out yet again but can go close, while Duke Of Hazzard can go well once more for Paul Cole.

6.25 Newmarket (Novice Stakes) – LAZULI

Will Buick makes his return after a worrying bout of post head-injury syndrome and it’s not thought Charlie Appleby would give him a terribly hard time if possible.

Lazuli’s three main rivals are likely to run to marks somewhere in the high 70’s to early 80’s, whereas a typically well-prepared horse from this yard with breeding as good as this one could be a good deal better than that.

Saturday 3rd August 2019 

2.05 Newmarket (Chalice Stakes – Listed Race) – SHAMBOLIC

This is another competitive and open race on paper but reading between the form lines somewhat reveals one who may be just a shade better than the others over this sort of track.

The likes of Spirit Of Appin and Love So Deep will no doubt be popular in the market, rightly so too after their recent performances while Bella Vita comes into this on a five-timer.

John Gosden though is very well regarded as a trainer who improves fillies no end and does not enter them in these races unless they have a proper winning chance.  His Shambolic has put in two outstanding performances versus the rest of her runs, both over on the Rowley Mile at Newmarket, but seemed to not like conditions elsewhere.

Should she not only come back to form after her second at Goodwood and 8th at Ascot but also show natural improvement for a filly at her age and stage, she can prove to be a cut above here under Rab Havlin and seems a fair price.

3.15 Newmarket (Fillies’ Novice Stakes) – AMBER ISLAND

Buick’s return continues on Saturday, and he has a similar chance on this Amber Island to that he has on Lazuli in as much as some of her rivals look bred to be gradual improvers, their trainers perhaps happy for just a reasonable performance on debut.

This Amber Island though is by Exceed And Excel, will have been readied for a big run first up and so looks much better equipped to do the business over this trip right now than the others, something that may prove crucial on the day regardless of where they all end up in the future.

3.00 Goodwood (Lillie Langtry Stakes – Group 2) – ENBIHAAR

This fillies’ Group 2 is pretty deep, with various form lines coming from all sorts of angles.  Aidan O’Brien’s South Sea Pearl is a big price but won her race in Ireland very easily and could also improve, while the Oaks form is represented by Manuela De Vega, her fellow three-year-old.

Given her overall profile it may be that Ralph Beckett’s filly was slightly flattered by her rating of 108 after that Epsom run, but if that was because she wanted an outright test of stamina then this move up to a mile and six furlongs could prove to be a masterstroke by her handler and so she is far from ruled out.

The battle many are expecting is between two older fillies, old rivals Enbihaar and Dramatic Queen.  The latter named won their first battle of the season at York, but she was race-fit that day and was put in her place somewhat when the pair went down to a mile-and-a-half at Haydock.

True, they’re back up in trip now and Enbihaar carries a 3lb penalty, but this track seems far more likely to suit the Gosden filly and she should show the sort of progress required to confirm her superiority here before perhaps even being allowed a crack at a Group 1 event.

Should our fillies win and Angel’s Hideaway also scores, we would be in the very strange situation of seeing three top John Gosden horses win and each without Frankie Dettori on their back.

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