Speed is the order of the day on the penultimate afternoon at Glorious Goodwood as the blistering Battaash bids to land a fourth successive win in the King George Stakes.
The Charlie Hills-trained sprinter will go off as the odds-on favourite for the Group 2 renewal following a 2¼l success in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot, and he could leave the rest of the field playing for places.
Elsewhere on Day 4 there are three further Group contests, including the Oak Tree Stakes, while the competitive Golden Mile at 14:25 offers an intriguing Handicap for punters to unpick.
RACE OF THE DAY – KING GEORGE STAKES – GOODWOOD, 15:15
Goodwood may be located on the lush green Sussex Downs, but it looks a strong possibility that Battaash will leave his rivals chewing dust in the King George.
The six-year-old loves it around here and is bidding to win this race for a fourth successive season off the back of a totally dominant performance in the King’s Stand at Royal Ascot.
He’s 11lb better off than his nearest challenger on the official ratings, and it’s reasonable to suggest that only a remarkable turn of events will see him beaten over the 5f trip.
Last season’s Prix de l’Abbaye winner Glass Slippers and Liberty Beach, who was third behind Battaash at the Royal Meeting, are the two most likely to fight it out for second.
NEXT BEST – GLORIOUS STAKES – GOODWOOD, 15:45
There’s something about Goodwood which makes it a popular track for course specialists, and with that in mind Desert Encounter could make it two-in-a-row in the Glorious Stakes.
David Simcock’s inmate returned to form with a decent third behind Dame Malliot and Communique in a hot Group 2 three weeks ago which will have sharpened him up for a follow-up effort here.
He’ll need to reverse placings with Communique, who is the one to beat on the ratings, but Mark Johnston’s charge hasn’t won away from Newmarket since September 2018.
That make us doubt the credentials of the favourite in a race where Alounak and Pablo Escobarr will also sense an opportunity to get involved.
ONE TO WATCH – GOLDEN MILE – GOODWOOD, 14:45
A low draw has been crucial to winning the Golden Mile in recent years with seven of the last eight who were first past the post emerging from stall eight or lower.
The likeable Sir Busker has been drawn in seven and is in the form of his life after landing the Silver Royal Hunt Cup at Royal Ascot and finishing runner-up in the Bunbury Cup.
He’s won once and finished runner-up once around Goodwood, and combining all of those factors together, has to make considerable appeal here.
The only drawback is an official rating of 108, which is 3lb above the highest-rated winner of the race since 2000.
Others to consider are Prompting, who is seeking a hat-trick from a fantastic draw and Coral Challenge winner Montatham. Vale Of Kent is also capable of another strong showing.
FRIDAY 31ST JULY, DAY 4 GOODWOOD GUIDE
13:10 Goodwood – TDN Australia Handicap
13:45 Goodwood – Oak Tree Stakes (Group 2)
14:15 Goodwood – Bonham Thoroughbred Stakes (Group 3)
14:45 Goodwood – Golden Mile Handicap
15:15 Goodwood – King George Stakes (Group 2)
15:45 Goodwood – Queen’s Plate Glorious Stakes (Group 3)
16:20 Goodwood – Nursery Handicap
16:55 Goodwood – British European Breeders Fund EBF Maiden Fillies’ Stakes
All odds and markets correct as of date of publication