The best ride I have on Saturday at Goodwood is undoubtedly Mount Moriah, but the Qatar Gordon Stakes looks a white-hot race for him to be in.
The three-year-olds look really good this year, you’ve only got to look at what Enable, Stradivarius and Winter have done to elder rivals in the past seven days, and Mount Moriah put his rivals to the sword last time.
At Ascot, he shrugged off a 12lb rise in the weights and won really well. We beat Getback In Paris by four lengths and the performance showed he is ready for a test like this.
He is dropping back from 1m6f to 1m3f218y, which I don’t see being a problem at all. The son of Mount Nelson won over 11 furlongs on soft ground at Newbury in May, so the going will suit too. He is very consistent, having run seven times and won four.
Crystal Ocean and Khalidi head the betting, having chased home Permian in the King Edward VII Stakes at Royal Ascot last time. Permian has obviously run well again when edged out of the Grand Prix de Paris so that has got to be strong form.
Khalidi beat Crystal Ocean fair and square at Royal Ascot but Crystal Ocean has only raced four times so there surely won’t be too much between them.
Probably my best memory of the Qatar Stewards Cup was riding Dinkum Diamond in to fourth two years ago. We finished on the heels of Magical Memory, Toofi and Rivellino, and subsequent July Cup runner-up Tropics just a head behind.
I’m drawn in the big race on the far side of the track, which makes my mind up for me. We come out of stall six and big sprint handicaps are all about where the best horses are drawn and which of those operate on soft ground. I’ll keep an open mind and just try to keep Solar Flair where he is happy.
I’m drawn well aboard Hugo Palmer’s Aventinus in the Qatar Handicap. We’re in stall five in the seven-furlong contest. As I said before about Khalidi and course form, he won well last time over course and distance. This is a better race, however, with Battered and Medahim setting the standard
Carntop is owned by the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall and it will be the second time I have ridden for them this season, having partnered Pacify who is their other horse in training with Ralph Becket. It would be great to see them come to the final day of Glorious Goodwood to see him run, but I’m not sure whether they will be there or not.
The four-year-old takes his chance in the Qatar Summer Handicap, having never run over the 1m6f trip.
He ran well in to third behind Soldier In Action and Eddystone Rock in a decent handicap at Epsom in June over 12 furlongs and has a 7lb turnaround with the winner for a defeat by three and a half lengths on Friday.
He was then tenth in the Old Newton Cup, but I didn’t see much of him that day because I won the race on 16-1 chance Dylan Mouth! It was a very strong gallop at Haydock and he was never really in it. It looks a competitive race too, so we will see how we go.
Limato and Red Roman:
It was great to get a winner on the board at Goodwood on Friday. Red Roman handed trainer Charlie Hills a double after Battaash's win in the King George Stakes.
It was a good run as it was really nice and smooth. Red Roman got an easy lead out in front but he slightly idled in the final furlong. I pulled my stick through and he straightened up and put the race to bed well.
Some might say that I got to the front a little too soon on Limato in the Lennox Stakes on Tuesday but I got there later than in last season’s July Cup and Prix de La Foret. Both times he was able to put distance between him and his rivals but this time he could finish only fourth.
My feeling is that the going was softer than ideal for him and it might have come a little too soon after Ascot. He has finished ahead of Home Of The Brave and Suedois before, but this time they were ahead so it clearly was not his best form so we will just have to wait and see.
I was more impressed than some with the performance of Winter in the Nassau Stakes on Thursday. She was up in trip, on tacky ground, it was a messy race with no pace and she still managed to win. There was talk about possibly stepping her up in trip again for something like the Yorkshire Oaks or the Arc but she was quite keen early on. Ryan Moore settled her well and a strong pace will help her settle further.