An intriguing mile race for two-year-olds worth over £4,500 to the winner and restricted to horses who cost less than £30,000 at the sales. Read on for our full race preview and selection for the 2.10pm at Goodwood on Sunday.
IN SUMMARY: In what looks to be a two horse race on paper, the improving MACAQUE looks the value call despite only winning a two horse race last time out. He sauntered clear that day in a reasonable time considering and may be able to give the weight away to obvious danger Ibn Al Emerat this afternoon.
1 MACAQUE – Standard Andrew Balding improver who was as green as grass first time out at Salisbury but has done nothing but improve in two races since. After finishing a neck second to Finsbury Park at Sandown over seven furlongs he was sent to Brighton for a two-horse race that saw him saunter clear by twenty-four lengths at the line though the time was nothing special. After that run, jockey David Probert said “Macaque was arguably unlucky not to win last time. The other horse has gone a reasonable gallop in front and stopped pretty quickly and it turned into pretty much a piece of work and he took a while to pull up”, but what that form is worth is open to question, with top weight to anchor him here.
2 IBN AL EMARAT – Still a maiden after the three starts but the son of Excelebration has finished second in his last two starts, one each at Newcastle and Chelmsford, and both when less than a length behind Aussie Wind. This afternoon will see him make his turf debut, and the truth is there is no evidence yet whether he will or won’t handle it, but on breeding he may even improve for the grass today and in receipt of nine pounds from Macaque he has to go close to a win this afternoon.
3 MASTERS APPRENTICE – A ten and a half-length last of ten at Salisbury is the only racecourse form we have to work on with Sylvester Kirk’s son of Mastercraftsman who will obviously need to improve considerably to take a hand. He was slowly away that day before weakening close home over the seven furlongs, and although the stable are ticking over nicely enough with 11% winners in the last two weeks, the formbook suggests he has little chance.
4 ROCKWELL LLOYD – Trainer Mick Channon adds a first-time visor to his Fast Company colt but they will need to bring some serious improvement before he can be considered as an option. Three runs so far have seen him finish a twenty-three length tenth of eleven at Newbury on his debut in July, followed by an eight and three-quarter length seventh at Lingfield, and more recently a thirteen and a half-length fifth of six in a seller at Newmarket. Hard to fancy here in this line-up barring a stone or more of improvement.
5 AFFLUENCE – Just the one run so far for Martin Smith’s colt who caught the eye on his debut after a slow start over seven furlongs before a strong finish saw him beaten three lengths in to fifth at the line. Open to any amount of improvement for his debut he could be the dark horse here if anything is to upset the market leaders, and with Noel Garbutt good value for his three-pound claim he won’t be far away with any improvement.
6 ZAPPA – Probably the Mick Channon first string with Charlie Bishop in the saddle, but hard to gauge as an unraced son of Sixties Icon out of an Imperial Dancer mare. He is a full-brother to both Sixties Habana and Cooperess and a half-brother to Honest Bob’S, and all three were better over short, so it is hard to guess how he will get on over a mile first time out.
7 FREE TALKIN – Michael Attwater’s once raced colt didn’t show a great deal on his only race to date when last of eleven at Lingfield over seven and a half furlongs, fourteen lengths off the winner when sitting in the last pairing from the start, and never progressing. Open to plenty of improvement but needs to build on that considerably to have any chance, though the stable have had two winners in the last fortnight.
8 LUCIFUGOUS – More experience than some after three career starts highlighted by a third to Alifax at Chester over seven furlongs when only beaten a length at the line. Last time out he was well beaten (over ten lengths) over seven again at Newmarket when his blocked run wasn’t much of an excuse. Interestingly, Silvestre de Sousa has been booked to ride today which is a positive, and he is bred to do a lot better on quicker ground, and with bottom weight he may well go considerably closer than his price implies.