2.35 Goodwood: Gordon Stakes (Group 3)
I feel depressed to say it, but I have to oppose Highland Reel firmly. He was the most exciting horse to look forward before the start of the season but he didn’t fulfil the promise he showed as a juvenile. I tend to agree, though, that his Derby performance was too poor to be true and he might be seen in a better light today. Yet he could be vulnerable to some progressive sorts and is not certain to stay thus far anyway.
Medrano is a fair alternative and should run his race, however the drying ground might not be quite what he wants. Disegno would have to take a big step forward to feature, I feel, and he doesn’t look all that likely to do what is required to win.
The two individuals most likely to improve are Scottish and Space Age. Both have improved in recent weeks and deserve a shoot in this company. I struggle to favour one over the other, though. I fancy both and feel they are overpriced. So I go with both.
Scottish is a full-brother to Group 3 winner Royal Empire. He was beaten on his seasonal reappearance by smart Mr Singh but got off the mark subsequently in fine style. Stepped up in trip at Royal Ascot, he was an excellent runner-up behind Space Age but had to delay his run until 2f out at which point Space Age was long gone. He looks clearly on the up.
Space Age’s win at Royal Ascot was freak-like. Overcoming the widest draw, setting a hot pace but held on gamely in the closing stages. He was beaten in 2nd off his revised mark in his next start by a well handicapped individual, but most importantly had to give loads of weight away that day while deploying an aggressive racing style once again.
Both look well up to pattern class in my mind and should run big races with conditions to suit.
Space Age @ 9/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win
Scottish @ 8/1 Paddy Power – 5pts Win