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S.A.S » THE VAULT » Timeform Round up of Goodwood and Ascot

Timeform Round up of Goodwood and Ascot

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1 Timeform Round up of Goodwood and Ascot on Tue Aug 22, 2017 8:51 pm


Part of the Furniture
Part of the Furniture
3.35 Qatar King George Stakes (Group 2) (1) 5f

A red-hot renewal of the King George Stakes, a Group 1 in all but name, won with a top-class performance from the fast-improving 3-y-o Battaash, the best from a winner of this race for many years, Group 1 winners Profitable and Marsha filling the places and last year’s 1-2 Take Cover and Washington DC chasing up the principals, the form about as solid as it could be and the time excellent, too; the field gravitated across to the far rail and perhaps the highest draws that stayed most central were at a disadvantage. Battaash is all the more physically and mentally mature than he was when beaten 4 times as a 2-y-o and has very quickly developed into one of the best 5f horses of the recent times, blitzing a high-class field and breaking through the 130 barrier in terms of his Timeform rating, which so many champion 5f sprinters in recent years have failed to do, and to do it on soft ground at a downhill track, having won his previous 2 starts at Sandown on good to firm, highlights a versatility that many don’t have as well; he tracked the pace towards the far side and travelled powerfully throughout, produced to lead over 1f out and soon storming clear, untouchable on the day; he’s another very special talent on the sprinting scene right now and a clash with Lady Aurelia in the Nunthorpe is something to savour. Profitable deserves the utmost credit for how often he brings his best form to the table in the toughest races and, just like when up against Lady Aurelia in the King’s Stand, he ran a cracker in defeat, handling the track well on this first visit here; mid-division, travelled smoothly, headway when short of room under 2f out, switched, took second inside final 1f, kept on but was no match for the winner; he’s been kept fresh this season, only 3 races up to now, and that should help him to hold his form through the coming months. 

Marsha was some way below her best but by no means disgraced in what was a very strong race, similar to the Kings Stand in that she was just behind Profitable and ahead of Take Cover, and this was her first run on soft ground, too (possibly ideally suited by firmer); held up, headway after halfway, switched inside final 1f, kept on. Take Cover found himself in a hotter renewal than when successful in 2014 and 2016 and ran with credit in defeat, beaten only by a very talented trio and showing all his usual speed and enthusiasm to lead until Battaash cruised by over 1f out, one paced once headed but giving his all. Washington DC was up against it with all of the principals firing but, after a blip last time, shaped as if back in form with blinkers fitted; held up, effort after halfway, plugged on, never dangerous. Kyllang Rock had the cheekpieces quickly discarded and got back on track after disappointing last time, this just a stiff task; in rear, headway over 1f out, one paced, never dangerous. 

Final Venture is better judged on previous efforts, probably still in form, kept central from a high draw and possibly disadvantaged, dropping away in the final 1f having raced prominently. Glass Office isn’t fast enough for 5f, certainly in a race of this calibre, and was soon badly outpaced. Priceless can have this run excused, facing a stiff task to start with and not well placed, either, whilst she’s unproven on soft ground as well; raced centre, pressed leader, driven under 2f out, edged right, weakened. Kachy was possibly unsuited by conditions and also not ideally placed kept towards the centre, pressing the leader but finding little once shaken up 2f out. Ardad was out of depth; outpaced halfway, never on terms.


Part of the Furniture
Part of the Furniture
3.00 Qatar Gordon Stakes (Group 3) (1) 1m3f218y

5 ran Race Time 2m 42.94 Closing Sectional (4f): 47.9s (113.5%) Winning Owner: Sir Evelyn De Rothschild

A race with quite an impresive roll of honour, often seen as a stepping stone to the St Leger, and it looks to have thrown up another prime contender, Crystal Ocean producing a borderline very smart performance to take out this Group 3 readily, not that much depth in behind though the form is given substance by the runner-up; the pace was on the modest side, matters only beginning in earnest around 3f out. 

Crystal Ocean hadn’t been seen to best effect at Royal Ascot and wasted no time getting back on the up, confirming all of the promise shown in the Dante, a most progressive colt; in touch, travelled well, close up early in straight, led over 1f out, stormed clear; he’s open to further improvement and looks a leading player in the St Leger, unlikely to fail for stamina judged on pedigree or the way he saw this out. Khalidi ran at least as well as last time, though Crystal Ocean reversed that form with him comprehensively; raced off the pace, went with enthusiasm, close up early in straight, every chance 2f out, kept on, no match for winner but not unduly punished; he will stay 1¾m, the St Leger probably on his agenda, but he’s likely to find a few too good, not least the winner here and his stablemate Stradivarius. 

Mount Moriah had earnt a crack at this higher level after 2 impressive handicap successes this year and he acquited himself really well, producing his best effort to date in fact, losing little in defeat to the first 2; led, kicked on 3f out, headed over 1f out, faded inside final 1f; this puts a cap on his potential somewhat but he has the option of going back up in trip (saw 1¾m out strongly at Ascot) whilst his new BHA mark of 102 doesn’t look prohibitive. Jake’s Hill upped in trip, confirmed previous form but neither effort is solid, a chance that the bare form flatters him a little; close up, pushed along 3f out, lost place over 1f out, plugged on. Across Dubai faced a stiff task up significantly in grade but he ran well, actually shaping quite a bit better than the distance beaten would suggest, threatening to get involved before his stamina seemed to run dry, some hope for him staying this far on pedigree but he was probably stretched in the conditions; in rear, travelled better than most, chased leaders over 2f out, ridden over 1f out, weakened final 1f; he’s still one to be positive about, and remains with potential.


Part of the Furniture
Part of the Furniture
3.35 King George VI And Queen Elizabeth Stakes (Sponsored By QIPCO) (Group 1) (1) 1m3f211y

10 ran Race Time 2m 36.22 Closing Sectional (3f): 39.5s (99.2%) Winning Owner: Mr K. Abdullah

Enable completed a unique hat-trick, adding the all-aged summer championship to 2 classic successes against her own age and sex, scoring in thrilling fashion and exceeding the level achieved by her stable’s previous King Georgewinning filly Taghrooda; led main group, went with enthusiasm, led straight, ridden over 2f out, in command soon after, stayed on strongly, impressive; will continue to be hard to beat, whatever the company, with the Arc an obvious autumn target. 

Ulysses back up in trip and back on softer ground, shaped really well against a top-class younger filly, impressing with the speed he showed to pick up the leaders 3f out and momentarily looking a threat early in the straight but nowhere near so strong a stayer as the winner, effective at the trip but likely to be better over it under conditions that place less emphasis on stamina, and likely to be at least as effective back over shorter, the International perhaps coming too soon, the Arc tempting for connections perhaps, though the Champion Stakes might be the better option; held up, tanked along, rapid headway 3f out, second early in straight, ridden under 2f out, kept on, no impression on winner. Idaho who sweated up beforehand, ran right up to his best, well served by the emphasis the ground placed on stamina, doing his best work at the finish; in touch, took keen hold, outpaced entering straight, kept on well final 1f, closing on second near line; he looks the ideal type for the Irish St Leger. 

Highland Reel back on softer ground, after 5 weeks off, produced a rare below-par effort, having beaten the placed horses previously this summer, the ground the obvious excuse, even if it’s hard to think even at his best he would have troubled the winner on these terms; raced wide, prominent, ridden straight, not quicken, hung right final 1f, plugged on; he’s very much the sort to bounce back to his best next time.

 Benbatl representing the 3-y-o colts division, was below form, never looking competitive back up in grade and trip, perhaps softer ground than previously a factor; waited with, effort straight, not quicken, kept on final 1f. Desert Encounter was again ridden to pick up the pieces, but failed to confirm the form shown at Sandown, this well below even his previous level; in rear, effort straight, not quicken final 1f, never on terms.

 My Dream Boat wasn’t in the same form as last time, the cheekpieces not so effective a second time perhaps, though he’s not really up to competing in the very best Group 1s; held up, shaken up straight, not quicken, plugged on inside final 1f. Maverick Wave over 2f longer trip, was a pacemaker in theory if not in practice, ignored by the rest; raced clear, headed over 3f out, weakened 2f out.

 Jack Hobbs was well backed until close to the off, in the expectation that the return to softer ground would help, but that proved a red herring (not altogether surprisingly, given his best form had come on good to firm) and he produced a finishing effort even more abject than he had in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes, looking a horse with a major problem and best left alone until showing his well being; prominent, not settle fully, led over 3f out, headed straight, folded tamely 2f out. 

Sixties Song a smart performer in South America, successful in a Grade 1 in Chile in March, was a quixotic challenger and cut little ice against top European opposition; always behind


Part of the Furniture
Part of the Furniture
Some key points in that about certain types i highlighted the two main ones in red

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