2.10 Bath – AWESOME
The selection, trained by Clive Cox, is a nicely-bred daughter of Bahamian Bounty who made her debut outing in a 5f fillies’ maiden at Ascot a fortnight ago (7/1 chance), soon racing close to the action and going with zest, shaken up two furlongs out and fading markedly inside the final furlong, eventually coming home ninth of 11 behind Mrs Gallagher (beaten 8¾ lengths). This filly perhaps paid for trying to race up with a strong pace early on, a spent force by the furlong pole and not given a hard time once her chance had gone, a lack of fitness seemingly the issue. Her market position that day in what is often an above-average event suggests she is well regarded, and her stable has a particularly good record at this track with its juveniles (7-19 in recent times); no surprise to see this daughter of Bahamian Bounty last a lot longer second time around.
2.35 Goodwood – PASTORAL PLAYER
The selection, trained by Hughie Morrison, is now a ten-year-old who was once a very smart performer, not achieving what he ought to have done given his ability due his run style/quirks but still bagging at Group 3 at Haydock in June 2012. He had to wait three years for his next victory, which came over this course and distance when produced late to deny Mutawathea by a head, but he again rather went into the wilderness subsequently. However, he cashed in on a much-reduced mark when landing an apprentices handicap back over this course and distance last June from the same mark he races off here, once again played as late as possible and finessed home to score by a head from Easy Tiger. He hasn’t won since and is undoubtedly not one to place maximum faith in at the best of times, but he shaped well on his return at Lingfield from this mark a couple of weeks ago; not getting younger, but clearly goes well at this track and Charlie Bennett is back aboard (has been for his previous two wins), so everything looks set for a big run.
2.55 Haydock – MUTAKATIF
The selection is a son of Acclamation who is a full brother to high-class triple 6f 2yo winner (including at Group 2 level) Harbour Watch and a half brother to South African 8/10f Group 1 winner Europa Point, useful triple 6f winner Ghalib and useful UAE triple 7f winner Cross Grain, out of a maiden half sister to Group 1-placed 7-10f winner (including at Group 2/3 level) Kabool, excellent family of Dubai Millennium, Timber County, Hamas etc. This colt is trained by Charlie Hills and fetched €600,000 as a yearling, making obvious appeal on paper as a full brother to the very talented/unbeaten two-year-old Harbour Watch, as well as being a half brother to a dual Group 1 winner in South Africa and two other useful sorts. It is interesting he debuts in this particular contest, with Barry Hills sending out future Group 1 winner Spinning Queen in 2005 and Mezmaar in 2011 to make winning debuts in this race, whilst his son has saddled the runner-up (in these silks) twice in recent times; absolutely no surprise to see this son of Acclamation put in a bold first showing here in what should prove to be a most informative event.
3.20 Bath – CRIBBS CAUSEWAY
The selection, trained by Roger Charlton, is a nicely-bred daughter of Rip Van Winkle whose sole outing at two came in a 1m maiden at Nottingham last autumn, sent off at 25/1 and looking in desperate need of the experience, clueless from the outset and failing to beat a single rival home. She has shown a bit more in two further maiden runs over the same course and distance this season, catching the eye by the finish when fifth to the promising Valcartier on her return prior to an eighth place finish when slowly away and never competitive. She has been handed what appeals as a reasonable opening mark of 64, if nothing else, bred to be a lot better than that as the daughter of a half sister to Coronet and Midas Touch. Her pedigree also points to the step up to ten furlongs unlocking further improvement, and, all things considered, it would be rather disappointing if this filly wasn’t a whole lot more competitive now handicapping.
3.45 Goodwood – THE GRAND VISIR (nb)
The selection, trained by William Haggas, is a well-bred son of Frankel who made a winning start to his career in an 11.5f maiden at Yarmouth earlier this month (3/1 chance), close up but off the bridle with fully three furlongs left to run, gradually getting the idea and responding well for pressure throughout the final furlong, finishing off strongly to collar Fibonnaci close home and score by a neck (pair 9 lengths clear of remainder). It was more a case of style over substance that day, likely beating a middling to fair bunch of future staying handicappers, but the manner in which this colt overcame obvious greenness to gather in a more-experienced rival that had gained first run suggested he’ll leave that form behind. He also has a cracking pedigree to call on, hailing from the family of Sagamix and Secret Gesture, and that his handler is willing to forfeit a handicap mark of 86 says plenty; what he lacks in experience and proven form he makes up for in raw potential, and no surprise to see this son of Frankel take this step up into Listed company in his stride.
4.55 Goodwood – MAZZINI (nap)
The selection, trained by James Fanshawe, is a son of Exceed And Excel who has perhaps promised more than he has delivered so far, coming good at the sixth time of asking in a 6f handicap at Newcastle last August and far from disgraced the next twice before signing off with victory in a 6f handicap at Kempton, waited with off a strong pace and pouncing late to score. He proved somewhat disappointing on his return in a 6f handicap at Ascot a couple of weeks ago (easy-to-back 7/2 chance), fractious in the preliminaries (reared over in the paddock) and then keen in the race itself, still on the bridle over a furlong out but folding rather tamely to finish sixth of seven behind Normandy Barriere. His behaviour beforehand coupled with a small field/lack of any real pace possibly contributed to his downfall, though it’s also becoming clear he isn’t necessarily the most straightforward of individuals. That said, the ability is very much there and he also boasts a good sprinting pedigree, one that suggests he’ll excel with age; a bigger field here should hopefully ensure a good pace for him to aim at and, with the talented George Wood taking off 5lbs, it is hoped this gelding can now put it all together and get back on the scoresheet.