Three Flat meetings in Britain makes for a busy day by Sunday standards and the quality on display is good too – this is what Sunday racing should be like.
The Group Three Supreme Stakes over 7f is the highlight of the action at Goodwood (4.10) and it looks a warm renewal of the race. Last year’s third home Viscount Barfield is in action again, but he’s strutting his stuff a fair way from Goodwood as he takes his chance in the Group 3 Polar Cup at Ovrevoll in Norway (2pm).
That’s not the kind of information I’d usually be aware of, but I am today as I’ll be at Ovrevoll to see Hakam take on Andrew Balding’s former inmate who now resides in the care or Niels Petersen, the leading trainer in Scandinavia.
He’ll be ridden by a familiar name in Kevin Stott who is a regular in these parts while Hakam is the mount of Luke Morris who will be having his first taste of this track.
In truth, not a massive amount is expected from Hakam today as his main purpose was to come as a travelling companion to Big Country who lines up in the Group 3 Marit Sveaas Minnelop (2.50pm).
Big Country has been a flagbearer for our syndicate, The Horse Watchers, and I’m confident that if he runs his race then he’ll take all the beating as he has some really good form in the book.
The lack of track knowledge against some course regulars and the fact he’s had a long journey to get here are factors that may mean he doesn’t quite produce his best and we have plenty of respect for the home team including 2016 Norwegian Derby winner Our Last Summer and last year’s winner Trouble Of Course, the mount of Kevin Stott.
Hurricane Red is a horse I’ve seen previously in Sweden and is the one I’d fear most but hopefully Big Country can make our trip a worthwhile one.
Back to focussing on the domestic action and last year’s first two in the Supreme Stakes, Dutch Connection and Salateen, are back for another go while Breton Rock, the Lennox Stakes winner here last season and third in that race last month is another with solid form claims.
He may find conditions a bit faster than ideal, while Dream Of Dreams, who was ahead of Breton Rock at Newbury last time, may also prefer more give in the ground but is up to winning at this level and arrives in good form.
Dancing Star looked unlucky here in the Group Three Oak Tree Stakes at the start of the month and likes this track so is another to throw into the mix in what looks a competitive and wide-open race.
Indeed, that race looks too tough to me but I do have four fancies for the afternoon ahead and could do with a winner as it’s about £12 a pint in these parts!
This looks a decent handicap but Hamlul won in the manner of a well treated horse when scoring on his handicap debut at Beverley last time and a 7lb rise may not be enough to stop him.
That race was less competitive than this one but the way he comfortably picked up his rivals and cleared away to win with ease was impressive and he had much more to give if it had been required.
His pedigree and connections are an ongoing recommendation and I’d be surprised if he doesn’t end up rated a good bit higher than his current mark of 85.
Things haven’t quite gone right for Kannapolis since landing a gamble over 10f here in June but he looks likely to be hard to beat given a fair crack this afternoon.
The form of that win here three starts ago worked out well and Mick Easterby’s charge has had valid excuses on two subsequent starts.
Beaten by a pair of well handicapped horses who both went on to win again when sent to Haydock in July, Kannapolis was up against it there as he challenged wide on what appeared to be slower ground and then set an overly strong gallop at York last time.
On both occasions he’s looked like and in-form horse and I’m sure he’s on a good mark so he looks the best bet of the day.
Dr Doro did little in her first season with Ian Williams last year having shown good form in Ireland a couple of years previously but as a result started this year on a potentially attractive mark.
She made no mistake when sent to Ayr for her seasonal return in June when getting the better of another well-treated horse Fumbo Jumbo in a tight finish to a race that was run in a decent time.
Dr Doro again competed in a race that looks solid form for the grade when third behind the in-form and well-handicapped Quick Recovery at Lingfield, form that has been boosted since by the next time out win of runner-up Secret Agent.
That run suggests Dr Doro is still on a good mark and if in the same form as her last two outings she should take the beating.
Having made a quiet start to this season, Dandilion looked back in top form at Leicester two weeks ago and appeals as being ready to strike.
A winner over course and distance in a race where everything went wrong in July of last year, Alex Hales charge is well treated off the same mark as for that victory and if turning up in that form would have a great chance.
Her latest form at Leicester has held up well with the winner Perfect Symphony finishing third off a 6lb higher mark in a better race next time and the winner David’s Beauty getting her head in front since.
Chris Dixon's top tips for Sunday: