The Group 1 Sussex Stakes is the highlight of the Glorious Goodwood meeting, and gives the classic generation their first chance at taking on their elders over a mile. Ballydoyle have a terrific record in the race, winning 12 months ago with 3yo colt The Gurkha, and have another classic winning miler ready to take on his elders. Churchill was disappointing in the St James’s Palace Stakes but had previously won the English and Irish Guineas convincingly under Ryan Moore and, trained by a genius, should be able to bounce back.
Aidan O’Brien’s well-bred son of Galileo is respected getting 8llb from the older horses however, Ribchester (3.35) is unopposable under regular partner William Buick. Richard Fahey’s stable star broke the track record in the Queen Anne Stakes at Royal Ascot and, after earlier success in the Lockinge Stakes at Newbury, can complete a G1 hat-trick for Musley bank. I’d be disappointed if he were unable to give 8lb and a beating to the Ballydoyle raider.
Happy Like a Fool (3.00) was another banker at Royal Ascot however, after finishing second behind the smart filly Heartache, she can go one better under Mike Smith in the Gp 3 Molecomb Stakes. Wesley Ward’s speedster receives 3lb from the colts and from the plumb draw in stall three, can make all for her American jockey and trainer.
I expect Hawkerland (1.50) to go close in the opener under a featherweight 8’0 in the two and a half miles handicap under the excellent George Wood. Wood, 5lb apprentice to trainer James Fanshawe, is well worth his claim and could be the key to the gelded son of Seat the Stars completing the hat-trick. After winning on his handicap debut over a mile and a half at Yarmouth, he followed-up from a 2lb higher mark last time out over two miles at Chepstow. A 7lb rise seems fair and, with the form of that race franked already, he can reward each-way support at 6/1 with BetVictor.
Wood can double-up on Fanshawe’s recent Doncaster scorer Indulged (4.45) in the Fillies’ Handicap over a mile and a quarter. Runners from the yard invariably improve for their initial reappearance, and the daughter of Teofilo belied her pedigree when winning on ground much softer than ideal last month at Doncaster. The runner-up from that Town Moor handicap has won subsequently, and she can reward each-way support from just a 7lb rise at the weights.
Jim Crowley partners Mushahadaat (4.10) who failed to land a gamble on debut, finishing second under Sheikh Hamdan’s retained jockey at Newbury, and is fancied to go one better in the 6f Fillies’ Maiden. Brian Meehan’s well-bred filly was two and a half lengths behind Richard Hannon’s impressive Mayyasah and should improve for her debut outing.
Tom George has a terrific record up at Perth, and should continue the yard’s excellent record with Air Squadron (2.15) in the opening 3m Novice Hurdle. The 7yo is sure to relish the underfoot good-to-soft conditions and, with form figures of 232 in his first three efforts over timber, looks well-placed to make it fourth time lucky under Paddy Brennan.
Jockey Brian Hughes is another with an excellent record at the Scottish track and must go close aboard Martiloo (2.50) for local trainer Pauline Robson in the 2m Handicap Chase. The selection was second behind Welcome Ben over course and distance last time out but, on 4lb better terms, is well-treated to reverse the form.
Galway continues across the Irish Sea and BetVictor are paying Five Places to all each-way punters on the feature Galway Plate. Gigginstown saddle six in their attempt to land the €147,500 first prize, with deposed stable jockey Brian Cooper on A Toi Phil for trainer Gordon Elliott. I much prefer the chances of another Gigginstown runner, with Balko Des Flos (5.35) expected to go close for Henry de Bromhead and Davy Russell. He ran in the highest grade last season as a novice and remains unexposed as a chaser; on just his 7th start over fences he looks well-treated to make the frame.