There are few more leisurely environments for spectators than Goodwood, but it is hard work out on the track.
For that reason it may prove judicious to oppose the favourite for the big race on the final day of the meeting, the Blue Square Nassau Stakes. Midday has admittedly flourished this season, beaten only in a photo for the Oaks itself, but she has only had 20 days to get over a gruelling experience in the Irish version.
One of the first under pressure in very exacting conditions that day, she did slog her way into second early in the straight but was never going to get to the front. She then had the indignity of being passed in a canter by Sariska, the filly she had pushed so close at Epsom.
Few trainers in history have had a sensitivity with fillies to match Henry Cecil, and he evidently feels that she has absorbed that race well enough to come here. In principle, certainly, she should have no problem with the drop in trip, but instead one last chance is given to Rainbow View (3.05).
Last season this filly looked one of the best juveniles of her sex in many a year, so her serial failures this year must be counted very disappointing. But she has accumulated an extensive list of excuses in the meantime, notably in her two starts back over a mile since the Oaks. She had no luck in running at Royal Ascot, and then was caught out by a sprint finish at the Newmarket July Festival. She only found her full stride late on that day, looking ready for this extra distance, but was still beaten barely a length behind the top-class French filly, Goldikova.
Heaven Sent, sandwiched between the pair that day, ran well here last year but has generally looked competent only for a supporting role at this level. Moneycantbuymelove is respected as a course and distance winner, but this better ground can prompt Rainbow View back to her very best.
As usual the Blue Square Stewards' Cup looks a daunting stampede, but the consolation race yesterday for those that missed the cut encouraged the hope that Global City (3.40) could be well drawn in stall 25.
Younger and less exposed than many of his rivals, he looked poised for the big time when impressive at Haydock in June but was plainly not himself when very disappointing at Newmarket last time.
No less obviously, his trainer must consider that a negligible blip, to turn him out again here, and certainly the bookmakers have made it tempting to do the same. Sonny Red and Jimmy Styles are recommended alternatives.
Godolphin also have prospects with Donativum (2.30). Transferred from John Gosden after his success in the Turf Juvenile at the Breeders' Cup, he has steadily retrieved his form for his new stable and may have too much experience for a fascinating rival in Zacinto, rated a Classic prospect until a setback in the spring.
Channel 4 also has cameras at Newmarket where Invincible Isle (2.45) looks very tempting off the same mark as when second over course and distance last time. She went best for much of the race that day, and may simply have idled after leading a good way out.
The Nassau is not the only Group One for the distaffs this weekend. Tomorrow the first big prize of the Deauville summer, the Prix Rothschild, will be defended by the mighty Goldikova. Her rivals include Reggane and Elusive Wave, second and fourth respectively in the Coronation Stakes, while Godolphin have supplemented their German recruit, Lady Marian.
Turf Account: Chris McGrath
Mount Hadley (5.25 Goodwood) Beaten a long way here earlier in the week, but had been getting involved smoothly when badly hampered and was eased thereafter. He may repay that kindness here, a 6lb rise for his Carlisle win having looked pretty fair given that he dragged the runner-up nearly four lengths clear.
Bluie (4.50 Goodwood) Only won a seller at Haydock last time but did so easily and in a good time. As such he looks to have been underestimated by the handicapper, not least as the speed he showed from the front that day should prove ideal over this sharp track.
*One to watch
Lovelace (M Johnston) had a big weight and wide draw in the Totesport Mile at Goodwood yesterday but confirmed that he is back to his best when flying home late into fifth, having been repeatedly hampered on the inside.
*Where the money's going
Sonny Red is 11-1 from 16-1 with William Hill for the Blue Square Stewards' Cup today