It may not have been the Arc, but Deirdre’s Group One victory in the Nassau Stakes is still a momentous occasion. Too often, top level British races become purely domestic affairs and so we may hope that this triumph leads to far more international competition on our shores.
Friday is the first day without a Group One as punters build towards the carnage that is the Stewards Cup on Saturday. To fill the pockets for that particular heat, here are few selections for tomorrow.
2:25 – BIOMETRIC
He may have been in receipt of 10lb when reeling in Turgenev late on in the Britannia handicap at Royal Ascot, but Biometric only recognised the nature of his task at a very late stage that day. If he shrugs off greenness and continues his progression, he looks in decent shape to add another prize. He has the best form among a number of unexposed types and those with more headline starts, such as Turgenev, Duke Of Hazzard and Momkin, are opposable with less likely to come from them.
3:00 – DARK VISION
There are obvious reasons for backing Mojito, who won so cosily after a lay-off and has only gone up 3lb, but bouncing is always a possibility. Goodwood is very much a course for certain horses. Among those that have thrived in the past are Seniority and Dark Vision, who won a Group Two here as a juvenile 12 months ago. I followed him when he finished an eye-catching fourth on the July course and I’ll continue to do so here. He has not won since, but has put in some admirable performances in defeat recently while drifting gradually down the weights. His 7lb three-year-old allowance is generous for this stage in the season and he’s a built to make a mockery of such generous weight donations at this stage.
3:35 – Obviously Battaash, but he’s an absurd price.
4:40 – MIRAGE DANCER
Having just insulted the price of one odds-on shot, I’ll willingly take the 8/13 on offer for Mirage Dancer. His two main market rivals were easily behind him at Newmarket and he has good course form, including when hacking up in this last year. If he’s anywhere near his best he will win even more comfortably than his odds suggest.
5:15 – COUNTRY
The mark of William Haggas’ charge can only be lower than John Gosden’s Harrovian because the handicapper is running scared. Country was talented enough to win over a mile at two and won first time out this season when getting every yard of a four-runner race at Ripon. That was a poor contest, but he was a class above them and looks capable of progressing within this sort of company. Fox Vardy is the most appealing of the rest.