Racing UK

Angus McNae

Sword Fighter can cut a dash in Goodwood Cup

28 July 2016

A winner yesterday in the shape of The Gurkha has got us up and running at this year’s Glorious Goodwood. Hopefully it will be onwards and upwards from here.

The Qatar Goodwood Cup is the feature event today and there is no doubt that Big Orange has a big shot at repeating his win of last year.

His win over a mile and a half at Newmarket  last time was achieved under a superb front-running ride from James McDonald.

Now back over two miles he will be tough to beat again but I prefer the chance of the really progressive Sword Fighter, who can be backed at 13/2 with BetVictor.

This three-year-old has improved considerably since being stepped up in trip.

He was very tough when winning at Royal Ascot and then showed his class when winning the Group two Curragh Cup.

I think he is open to more progression at staying trips and he could prove hard to pass.

He is also still learning his craft. At Ascot, he looked to be something of a grinder, but having clearly learnt from that experience he travelled better at the Curragh and showed more pace than it looked like he possessed at Ascot.

This is clearly a tough ask today, but he is the one horse in the race that is open to considerable improvement and he will do for me.

Despite a wide draw in stall 16 I think Stargazer could prove himself to be a Group horse by winning the opening Matchbook Betting Exchange Stakes.

He was an easy winner under hands and heels at Sandown last time where he beat the useful pair of Lovell and Harrison.

That was only the fourth start of his career and the step up to ten furlongs clearly brought about some improvement.

There is surely more to come from this horse, but in backing him we are somewhat in the hands of Ryan Moore, who will have to negotiate a decent trip from his poor draw.

I am sure that over this trip he will be able to do that and that Stargazer will prove himself to be a Group horse in a handicap. He is trading at 9/2, which seems very fair.

The Tatler Stakes is an interesting sprint and I will be backing Exceed The Limit each-way at 12/1. This horse is having his second start for Robert Cowell after shaping well on his first run for that yard in a conditions stakes at Newmarket.

My main reason for backing him, though, is not just this drop in class but rather the fact that he is a son of Exceed and Excel who has never had the chance to race on fast ground.

In France he always raced on soft ground and in his first start here he ran on good ground, but he was out of his depth. Now in fast ground in a handicap he can show us what he is made of.

Angus McNae's tips for day three at Goodwood

2.00 Goodwood - Stargazer

3.10 Goodwood - Sword Fighter

5.30 Goodwood - Exceed The Limit (each-way)

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