Alan Thomson, the former Racing Editor at the Daily Record, puts up five tips at Goodwood, The Curragh and Thirsk on Saturday. View selections below.
DARTMOUTH (2.35) is the best bet on the card as the curtain falls on another superb Glorious Goodwood. The Queen’s colt has been raised 6lb for thumping Space Age at Ascot three weeks ago when Sir Michael Stoute’s three-year-old really found his feet inside the final furlong to stretch clear. Dartmouth has been progressive all season, finishing fourth to Jack Hobbs in April and returning to Sandown the following month to pick up his maiden. Stall two is an ideal perch and Dartmouth should have too much zip for hat-trick seeking Barreesh.
The Qatar Stewards’ Cup is its usual minefield but most punters find it irresistible. Tropics, agonisingly pipped in the July Cup at Newmarket, heads the weights and should make a good fist of defying 9st 13lb. DISCUSSIONTOFOLLOW (3.45) has been mixing it with some of the speediest handicappers around, chasing home Foxy Forever at the Curragh in June and running on too late into fifth behind in-form Double Up. The trip that day was five furlongs and Discussiontofollow, sixth in this event last year, will appreciate this extra yardage. My selection is drawn 18 of 28, well away from probable favourite Magical Memory in box 1. Charlie Hills’ colt, the only three-year-old in the field, is penalised 6lb for scooting home at Newmarket 22 days ago on fast ground and looks sure to be involved in the shake-up under Frankie Dettori. Windsor scorer Huntsmans Close is always to be feared in these cavalry charges but is now 15lb higher than his winning mark in last year’s Ayr Silver Cup. Jim Goldie landed this coveted prize with Hawkeyethenoo and stablemate Jack Dexter could well outrun his big odds.
LEGATISSIMO (3.10) failed by a short head to reel in Aidan O’Brien’s free-running Diamondsandrubies in the Pretty Polly Stakes at the Curragh but can take his revenge in the Group 1 Qatar Nassau Stakes. David Wachman’s Qipco 1000 Guineas heroine almost notched a magnificent Classic double in the Investec Oaks at Epsom, kicking clear over a furlong out but agonisingly caught on the line by another O’Brien filly, Qualify. Legatissimo faces stern opposition from John Gosden’s French Oaks winner Star of Seville and Luca Cumani’s Lady of Dubai, but her class should shine through.
Gosden should be among the winners at Newmarket, with GRETCHEN (2.15) top of my list. She takes a drop in grade following sound efforts behind Covert Love in the Irish Oaks and Curvy in the Ribblesdale Stakes at Royal Ascot. Those two runs came on the back of an impressive winning debut in a course and distance maiden in May and Gretchen boasts outstanding claims.
Hugo Palmer has despatched TWITCH (5.20) north to Thirsk for a 1m 4f handicap and his three-year-old filly is a knocking wager after easily landing the odds at Pontefract a fortnight ago. Noel Garbutt takes off 5lb and Twitch’s earlier third to Barreesh at Nottingham has been well franked.
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