Having tired of male company for the time being, Ouija Board may well feel as though she has gone straight from frying pan to fire at Goodwood this afternoon. For Alexander Goldrun is as tough and durable as any colt, and can by no means be considered a pushover even for this exceptional mare.
Certainly their collision in the Vodafone Nassau Stakes guarantees a brutish examination for their juniors, among whom only Chelsea Rose has run over this distance before - and she was beaten by Alexander Goldrun at the Curragh last month. It was that performance that confirmed the winner to be returning to peak form for her defence of this Group One prize, which she won with such bravura last year.
Not that her proven aptitude for this singular track necessarily gives Alexander Goldrun an advantage over Ouija Board, who has handled the undulations of Epsom so well. Nor is there much danger that she might be embarrassed by the emphasis on speed today, as she produced perhaps the best form of her career when cutting down Electrocutionist over this trip at Royal Ascot. She persevered over 10 furlongs at Sandown last month, only to run into a series of blind alleys in the straight.
The only reservation about Ouija Board is that she could easily be excused if running below form, as she has been kept on the boil for five Group One races in three continents since March. ALEXANDER GOLDRUN (2.30) herself has cut the mustard with the colts - notably when rubbing shoulders with Oratoria and Motivator last September - and she does look fair value at the relative prices.
Ouija Board's trainer, Ed Dunlop, saddles an interesting candidate for the Vodafone Stewards' Cup in MUNADDAM (3.05). Lightly raced, he has repeatedly hinted that he might be worth dropping to this distance, travelling powerfully for a long way in big fields over seven furlongs. This sharp track should certainly play to his strengths, and odds of 40-1 make due allowance for ferocious competition.
There is also televised racing at Windsor, where the progressive KIBARA (2.50) looks on a very reasonable mark for her handicap debut, and Newmarket, where BELENUS (2.35) is a fascinating runner dropped in trip. He managed to show smart form over 10 furlongs last year despite racing freely, and still has very few miles on the clock.
Nap: Kibara (Windsor 2.50)
NB: Belenus (Newmarket 2.35)Reuse content