NOTHING is standing out like the Eiffel Tower for Sunday’s Qatar Prix De L’Arc De Triomphe, but GALIKOVA (3.15) could well enhance the compelling record of three-year-olds in Europe’s richest race. The Classic generation will be bidding to make it eight wins from the last 10 runnings and Galikova duly won her prep race, the Prix Vermeille, with little fuss. The daughter of supreme stallion Galileo had earlier looked as if she was crying out for 12 furlongs after running on late into second spot in the French Oaks. Olivier Peslier set her plenty to do that day but France’s senior jockey rides Longchamp as well as anybody, having won three consecutive Arcs in the 90s on Helissio, Pientre Celebre and Sagamix. Fillies receive a generous weight allowance and Galikova may be able to take full advantage.
Closer to home on Saturday, Jim Goldie has high hopes of landing the Totescoop6 Challenge Cup at Ascot with HAWKEYETHENOO (3.50). The Scottish trainer sent him south to win the Totesport Victoria Cup over course and distance, scoring with plenty in hand under a confident and accomplished ride from stable apprentice Gary Bartley. Kieren Fallon gets the leg up this time.
Redcar stages its big meeting of the season and Mark Johnston’s BANNOCK (4.00) sets a high standard in the £117,000 Totepool Two-Year-Old Trophy, having run second to Richard Hannon’s Harbour Watch in the Richmond Stakes at Glorious Goodwood. Bannock’s earlier third to Frederick Engels in the July Stakes at Newmarket also reads very well and he won at Redcar earlier in the season.
FA’IZ (2.15) can carry the Godolphin silks to victory in the maiden on the strength of a close second (sent off odds-on) at Wolverhampton. Richard Hannon’s winner, Three Am Tour, went on to run fourth in the valuable Tattersalls Sales race at Fairyhouse.
On an excellent card, CHARLIE COOL (2.50) should go well in the final of the John Smith’s Straight-Mile Championship Handicap. My selection has a career record of 1232 at Redcar and fairly trotted up by four lengths in a qualifier five weeks ago. It seems prudent to put a line through his seemingly disappointing effort at Musselburgh last time, but he was almost bowled over in the gale-force wind that forced an abandonment. With 16 runners declared, Charlie Cool will be hard to keep out of the first four places.