Garswood primed for glory at Goodwood
Frankel himself struggled to preserve the dignity of Glorious Goodwood last year, when obliged to compete with the London Olympics. Today the fixture’s claims as the most charming ritual of the British Turf are threatened with dilution only by the weather forecast, which has rather too equivocal a look for the liking of either punters or aesthetes. The latter most cherish the swaying backdrop of cornfields and woodland when bathed in sunlight; while the former have more practical distaste for rain clouds.
Conditions overnight were just about perfect, a drought having been relieved over recent days to yield an official going report of good, good to firm in places. But connections of Aljamaaheer, favourite for the big race on the opening day, warn that he might be withdrawn if the rain anticipated today causes the terrain to deteriorate.
The colt looks the class act in the Bet365 Lennox Stakes, having managed a podium finish in consecutive Group One races before dropping to this tier to score readily at Ascot this month. As one who always travels with gusto, he should relish the reversion to seven furlongs round this sharp track, but easing conditions would be an issue, not least under his penalty.
The Hannon stable is always a formidable force at this meeting and Producer looks the most obvious of its three candidates, as a course winner and the choice of Richard Hughes. Then there is Fencing, who retains an air of unfinished business, but the value is Garswood (3.05). Impressive winner of the Free Handicap on his reappearance, the Yorkshire raider may not have absorbed that effort when a little flat in the 2,000 Guineas and is better judged on a rock-solid fourth in a 21-runner stampede for the Jersey Stakes last month. The going was probably firmer than ideal at Ascot and, receiving weight from his seniors, this powerful colt has relatively few miles on the clock and so remains entitled to progress.
Richard Fahey also has prospects in the other Group race on the opening day, through Supplicant, but the downhill five furlongs in the Molecomb Stakes could prove sharp enough for a colt who should stay a mile in time. Brown Sugar (2.30) was too free over a sixth furlong last time and could offer a bit of value, with Hughes having favoured Anticipated.
Channel 4 also broadcasts the first two of the week’s many bewildering handicaps, in all of which the draw and luck in running may prove vital. Strictly Silver and Nabucco seem to have had sound chances wrecked by stalls 18 and 17 in the opener. Reset City is thriving and could outrun her odds, but Blue Surf (1.55) is on home turf and shaped well before failing to stay a longer trip at Ascot.
Despite strong opposition from Beckhampton, through Silver Lime and Clowance Estate, Mark Johnston can resume his annual depredations by the South Coast through Oriental Fox (3.40). Arguably committed too soon when just collared in the Northumberland Plate, he had gone with conspicuous zest through the race.
CHRIS McGRATH’S NAP: Democretes (4.50 Goodwood)
NEXT BEST: Robert The Painter (4.00 Beverley)
Latest in Sport
Arsenal have no plans to stock Petr Cech inspired caps in their club shops - yet
Morgan Schneiderlin to Manchester United: Saints yet to receive 'serious offer' but midfielder could complete move by end of this week
Radamel Falcao to Chelsea: Former Manchester United striker 'signs contract' to join Blues and is told to meet up with squad on pre-season tour
Venezuelan TV host gets completely naked while reporting on Copa America win over Colombia
Manchester United transfer news: Javier Hernandez nears exit as Liverpool eye move for striker despite revealing Real Madrid video
- 1 Kim Jong-un shows off airport designed by architect he likely had executed
- 2 Tunisia hotel attack: Locals form 'human shield' to protect hotel from gunman Seifeddine Rezgui
- 3 German ethics council calls for incest between siblings to be legalised by Government
- 4 Fifty Shades of Grey author E.L James's Twitter Q&A didn't go exactly as planned
- 5 Facebook rainbow profile pictures likely being tracked by social network
The moment a Queen's Guard soldier lost it and drew his gun at annoying tourist
Greece crisis: The wider lesson is that it’s time to abandon this failed experiment in currencies
'I wish the BBC would stop calling it Islamic State' – David Cameron unleashes frustration at broadcaster
Pentagon accuses Russia of 'playing with fire' over nuclear threats towards Nato
They are neither a 'state' nor 'Islamic': Why we shouldn't call them Isis, Isil or IS
Tunisia beach attack: How can British Muslims respond to the latest outrages?
£18000 - £24000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An exciting opportunity has ari...
£15000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An On-line Sales & Customer Ser...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the largest hospitality companies...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As a result of significant cont...