It is hard to be sentimental when the money is down, but as Persian Punch turned for home with a clear lead in the Gold Cup at Ascot in June, there were plenty of punters who consoled themselves that it would be worth the price of their bet to see the grand old galloper win.
As it turned out, of course, Royal Rebel was a head too good for him after a magnificent battle, but the memory of that race should add several thousand to the attendance at Goodwood today, as the pair of them square up once again in the Goodwood Cup.
Six weeks on from the Royal meeting, the weights appear to favour Persian Punch, since Royal Rebel must shoulder a 5lb penalty for that Group One success. The Ascot form also gives David Elsworth's eight-year-old the beating of San Sebastian, Mbele and Rainbow High, but a major concern is whether Persian Punch, who is one of the grandest physical specimens in training, will produce his best on this twisting track. He has run in the race three times before, and has yet to make the frame.
Solo Mio, who has rediscovered his best form after a switch to Amanda Perrett, is an obvious alternative, but he too has done most of his winning on much flatter tracks.
The each-way value, then, could well be Pairumani Star (next best 3.20), who beat Royal Rebel by a head at Leopardstown last year, and is now 1lb better off. Coral's offer of 16-1 this morning looks worth taking.
A typical Goodwood type, he has form over course and distance, and likes to set the pace. A high draw is usually essential in the William Hill Mile, and Persiano, in stall 18 when winning the prize last year, is not quite so fortunate in 13 this time around.
Atavus too may struggle from 11, and LITTLE AMIN (nap 3.50), who remains fairly weighted, is the value having drawn 16. Pieter Brueghel (2.45) and Palace Affair (2.15) look good for the supporting events.Reuse content