The Qatar Sussex Stakes is the showstopper on day two of the Goodwood Festival – and presents Poetic Flare with his opportunity to keep this year’s Classic generation front and centre.
Just as impressive Derby winner Adayar emphatically put his stamp on proceedings in Ascot’s King George on Saturday, so too Jim Bolger’s 2000 Guineas hero has his chance on Wednesday to prove a point for the three-year-olds. Only the already rich will get significantly richer backing him to do so at current forecast odds, however.
So while there does not seem to be much mileage in opposing Poetic Flare to take his Group 1 tally to three this season by out-speeding the fillies Snow Lantern and Alcohol Free, and the older brigade, it may pay to look elsewhere on the card.
If there was automatic gold reward for consistency – and there is not, of course – then Bounce The Blues would already be past the post in the Whispering Angel Oak Tree Stakes. It may be off-putting for some that Andrew Balding’s filly is winless in five starts since joining him last summer.
But she has run admirably every time, not beaten more than 3.25 lengths by a succession of opponents worthy of this Group 3 billing at least.
Her heaviest defeat, in fact, came in Listed open company at Windsor last time – at the hands of a Sussex Stakes hopeful, and just behind a good Group 3 winner.
She is back against the fillies and mares here – several of whom have plausible but not compelling credentials – and, over what appears to be her best trip, this could just be Bounce The Blues’ finest hour.
Later on, the British Stallion Studs Alice Keppel EBF Fillies’ Conditions Stakes may fall to hat-trick seeker Canonized. William Haggas’ Cheveley Park filly takes this minor rise in class after just getting the better of a fellow previous dual winner at Windsor last month.
Canonized had to be brave as well as speedy on that occasion, overcoming a slow start and minor trouble in running before holding on tenaciously.
In those circumstances, she was almost certainly not flattered by her narrow margin of superiority, and has the right attributes to be bang in the frame again.
Haggas and jockey Tom Marquand should both have a say too in the opening Unibet ’15 To Go’ Handicap.
Their representative Kolisi brings potential rather than outright substantial form into the equation against his fellow three-year-olds.
Almost all his rivals, in a very competitive 14-strong field, are more battle-hardened – and several have already tried but come up slightly short at a higher level.
The majority must give weight to the Salisbury maiden winner, and Haggas can be relied upon to have made a proper assessment of Kolisi’s ability and readiness before setting him a test of this nature.
Goodwood shares the spotlight with another famous Festival, over in Ireland at Galway.
It is day three already there, and the focus will be on the race which is the highlight of the whole meeting – and indeed, the summer jumping calendar in Ireland.
The Galway Plate is always a fiendish puzzle, and this year looks tougher than ever with top yards mob-handed and plenty of other likely lads lurking down the weights.
Dual Cheltenham Festival winner Samcro is an intriguing class element – but his burden of 74.5kg, notwithstanding rising star Jordan Gainford’s very handy claim in the saddle, gives him plenty to do.
Other names which jump off the page include Emmet Mullins’ prolific and high-profile winner The Shunter – still on a feasible rating, despite his remarkable rise through the ranks.
But Mullins’ uncle Willie could yet have the answer again.
His powerhouse yard has six contenders for a race he has won just once, 10 years ago.
Of them, the one who could just pop up is joint bottom-weight Koshari – surprise conqueror of The Shunter over hurdles last time.
The lightly raced nine-year-old ran very poorly when well-touted for the Plate three years ago, his most recent attempt over fences.
Most of his subsequent efforts over timber have proved he is far better than that though, if in the mood.
He is deployed in first-time blinkers, arrives after a break – which has often proved to his advantage in the past – and could easily still be in advance of his unexposed chase rating. – Press Association
TAB is betting on 5 UK race meetings today. Here are the tips:
REDCAR: Race 1: 14.00 Grifter, Race 2: 14.35 Iyaa, Race 3: 15.10 We Still Believe, Race 4: 15.45 Sweet Believer, Race 5: 16.20 Oh So Hot, Race 6: 16.55 Quercus, Race 7: 17.27 Transition.
PERTH: Race 1: 14.25 Hooroo, Race 2: 15.00 Frau Georgia, Race 3: 15.35 Stonific, Race 4: 16.10 Cenotice, Race 5: 16.45 The Longest Day, Race 6: 17.20 Follow Your Fire, Race 7: 17.55 Lily Du Berlais.
GOODWOOD: Race 1: 14.50 Kolisi, Race 2: 15.25 BOUNCE THE BLUES (NAP), Race 3: 16.00 Fearby, Race 4: 16.35 Poetic Flare, Race 5: 17.10 Canonized, Race 6: 17.45 Achelois, Race 7: 18.20 La Maquina.
LEICESTER: Race 1: 18.35 Shoutout, Race 2: 19.05 Decora, Race 3: 19.35 Invincible Soldier, Race 4: 20.05 Lowndes Square, Race 5: 20.35 Waleyfa, Race 6: 21.05 Aliento.
SANDOWN: Race 1: 18.55 Graystone, Race 2: 19.25 Romantic Time, Race 3: 19.55 Croupier, Race 4: 20.25 Winterwatch, Race 5: 20.55 Bashosh, Race 6: 21.25 Deep Sigh.
ALL TO COME: Bounce The Blues and Canonized (Goodwood, Races 2 and 5).
For fields, betting and more information go to www.tabonline.co.za