NTF Shortlist – FIORENTE – HUNTERS LIGHT – HIGHLAND CASTLE
It really is difficult to get away from FIORENTE (M Stoute). There is every chance he would have got a lot closer to Nathaniel at Ascot LTO had Moore not gone under the trees for the first few furlongs (a tactic that did not really pay dividends that day in my opinion). That race has taken a number of significant boosts form wise and easily looks the strongest on show in this race. The Moor/Stoute record at Goodwood is also hard to ignore. Overall figures of 19/84 | 23% S/R | +£55.16 LSP (W&P 40/84 | 48% S/R) are strong enough but can be improved –
Moore/Stoute – 12f at Goodwood – 5/11 | 45% S/R | +£23.46 LSP
Moore/Stoute – G3’s at Goodwood – 5/14 | 36% S/R | +£8.00 LSP
Moore/Stoute – Favs at Goodwood – 10/31 | 32% S/R | +£3.69 LSP
Impressive figures (and I could go on!) for one combo and this 3yo son of Monsun can take this on his way to bigger and better things.
HUNTERS LIGHT (S Bin Suroor) is a horse that has impressed me on a couple of occasions and the only time he has mis-fired was when conditions probably went against him in the Tercentenary Stakes at Royal Ascot (softening Good to Soft). His smooth victory at Hamilton in the listed Glasgow Stakes and his Maiden victory at Newmarket are both solid bits of form and suggest he can be there at the business end in this one. His sire Dubawi has an excellent record with his runners over 12/13f – 13/48 | 27% S/R | +£55.86 LSP – which can be improved upon slightly if we look at his 3yo’s only at 12/13f – 9/31 | 29% S/R | +£44.41 LSP (W&P 15/31 | 48% S/R). He makes for a good Each-Way alternative in this contest.
NTF Shortlist – STRONG SUIT – RED JAZZ – DELEGATOR
The wind-operation that STRONG SUIT (R Hannon) underwent looks to have worked wonders and he comes here in top form and ready to continue his 3yo progression. He has a number of win and place results at Graded level and almost made it 3 from 3 last time out on the ground, only going down by 1/4L in 3rd in a French G1. Hannon’s 7f horses have a solid record at Goodwood – 10/53 | 19% S/R | +£70.95 LSP – as do his runners in Grade 2 events – 5/20 | 25% S/R | +£7.66. The Rahy colt is upwards of 4lbs well-in at the weights here and with stablemate LIBRANNO likely to set a good pace he can sit in-behind and strike late in typical Richard Hughes fashion.
RED JAZZ (Hills) has been plying his trade over a mile on his last 3 starts (at G1 and G2 level) but this drop back to 7f looks much more his cup of tea. He disappointed in this last year but that was on good to firm ground and this slightly slower surface is again more to his liking.
NTF Shortlist – MY ARCH – ROYAL DIAMOND – COSMI DE MEDICI
MY ARCH (O Pears) relishes these types of stamina tests. He finished a solid 8th in last season’s Cesarwitch off the same mark (beaten 6 ½ lengths) and despite not yet winning a class 2 event his overall record in such contest does read well (has come close on a couple of occasions). The Queally/Pears partnership don’t team up that often but when they do it is worth taking note; their recent record reads – 5/18 | 28% S/R | +£9.07 LSP – Win & Place 12/18 | 67% S/R. Queally also rode the horse on his last victory (only his 2nd time on the horse) and at only 1lbs higher in the weights a big run looks on the cards.
ROYAL DIAMOND (J J O’Neill) looks to be working his way back to form and his last piece of form (4l 3rd behind the progressive Keys) looks solid. His mark of 82 looks feasible – he has won off 80 on turf and 85 on the A/W – and the ground should be ideal, 3 of his 4 career wins have come on good with the other coming on the A/W.
Both of these horse offer up decent each-way value in a race where we are getting paid out on the first 4 home.
NTF Shortlist – FRANKEL – CANFORD CLIFFS
Wow! Didn’t expect those 2 to top the figures!?! Despite us getting Frankel V Canford Cliffs we are left with a poor overall turnout. I simply do not know where the pace is coming from in this race and with skinny odds on show I’m not willing to dive in with my money.
Will FRANKEL take the bull by the horns and blast off out front again? If he does will CANFORD be able to sit in-behind and cruise past in the home straight? Have the last 2 exceptional runs left a mark on FRANKEL or is he a monster of unseen greatness? Will a stop-start crawl play to anyone’s strengths?
FRANKEL riding plans have been quite a talking point this season and if I was sure of how he was going to run tomorrow I could make a better judgement. The only thing that would tempt me into a bet would be a significant drift on Canford Cliffs due to money piling in on Frankel. At the moment the prices are almost correct but were CANFORD CLIFFS to get any bigger I may be tempted.
If you must have a bet in this then the figures are all there for you to see, however, from my angle it’s looking like a race to saviour
NTF Shortlist – OPINION POLL – MANIGHAR – TASTAHIL
OPINION POLL (M Al Zarooni) – Top of the trends, Dosage Green, clear 2nd in the Ascot Gold Cup behind the impressive Fame And Glory, won a Group 2 on the ground at the distance (2010 Yorkshire Cup) , it’s hard not to fancy the chances of this one! Frankie Dettori back in the saddle is also a bonus as the Italian has ridden him on 5 occasions resulting in form figures of 3-7-1-1-1. If he turns up anywhere near his Ascot Gold Cup form he will be hard to beat.
MANIGHAR (L Cumani) is a horse I have liked for some time now and this 2 mile trip looks more his liking than the 2m4f of the Ascot Gold Cup on his last start (not convinced he completely relished that good to soft extended trip). His form is littered with solid performances in top class races and this good ground should be no problem for him (almost 3 from 3 on it except for a short-neck defeat in a Grade 2 in France). I expect the 5yo to be in the shake-up here.
NTF Shortlist – REDWOOD – DRUNKEN SAILOR – CAMPANOLOGIST
Difficult race to assess on the trends front due to change of conditions through the seasons so I’m going to rely solely on Dosage as the tool to ‘narrow the field’ here.
REDWOOD (B Hills) is an ultra-consistent type that will love the ground and the track (won this race last season) and comes here with some strong Group 1 and 2 form to his name. The ground went against him on his last start (rain softened ground) so this good to firm surface should see an improved run. He should be able to pick the pacesetters off in the home straight in a race that should play to his strengths.
DRUNKEN SAILOR (L Cumani) – This is a race Cumani likes to target and this 6yo son of Tendulkar looks to have a live chance in this here. His course form reads well as do his last 2 starts (arguably career bests) and this looks a good opportunity to land the first graded race of his career.
NTF Shortlist – HIGHLAND KNIGHT – SOORAH – CAI SHEN
HIGHLAND KNIGHT (A Balding) – This 4yo gelded son of Night Shift comes here on an upward curve and there still appears to be more improvement to come judged on his smooth victory last time out. The good to firm ground should be OK as the Night Shift progeny generally excel on a sounder surface and Andrew Balding’s charge can land his 2nd valuable handicap on the bounce with victory here.
SOORAH (W Haggas) – With claimer John Fahy taking off 3lbs the 4yo essentially gets in here off the same mark as her victory at Ascot 7 days ago, which also means she is officially 7lbs ahead of the handicapper. Her last 4 runs have all been top quality even her 13th place in the Royal Hunt Cup where she was drawn on the ‘wrong’ side but easily beat her opponents on her side of the track. She has another chance to run well here off her mark of 92 before being reassessed as we know she copes with Good to Firm ground she is certainly worth a go at double figure odds.
CAI SHEN (R Hannon) – The weight for age concession could be very handy for the Brittania Stakes runner-up who came very close under a big weight that day at Royal Ascot. The lightly raced son of Iffraaj looks a talented animal and this one has a solid chance of running into the 4 at decent odds.
NTF Shortlist – MISTY FOR ME – MIDDAY
MISTY FOR ME would have been the selection but as I was writing the guide she became a non-runner.
The door looks well and truly open for MIDDAY (H Cecil) to complete her hat-trick in this race. Under these conditions I think she is a class above the others and with Misty For Me out of the way I would expect her to stamp her authority in a race she clearly excels in.
NTF Shortlist – HOOF IT – KANAF – COLONEL MAK – CROWN CHOICE
HOOF IT (M Easterby) is clearly a horse that is on the crest of a wave and he looks like a horse that could easily make an impact at a higher level. His form on the ground could hardly be better and he looks to have an ideal draw here. Fallon knows this horse well (form figures of 7-1-1-7-1) and they can notch up their 4th victory together before stepping up to bigger and better assignments later on in the season.
There are plenty at bigger prices that catch the eye for each-way punters –
COLONEL MAK (D Barron) comes in here on the back of a good run in the Scottish Stewards Cup at Hamilton and looks to be coming back to the similar type of form that saw him land the Ayr Gold Cup. He is now only 1lbs higher than when landing that valuable prize at Ayr last time and it’s interesting to note that Jamie Spencer is back on board. He has only ridden the horse once before and that resulted in victory over 6f at Leicester last season and Spencer himself has a decent record in this having landed the pot twice from only 4 rides.
KANAF (E Dunlop) is another that looks to have a plum draw and this lightly raced 4yo also looks to have some improvement still to give. His last start was particularly eye-catching and if he can build on that the he has a squeak here.