Race Time: 3.45pm Meeting: Goodwood Day: Wednesday 23rd September Distance: 1m 1f 192yds
Full Race Name: Front Events Foundation Stakes (Listed Race) Class One
An intriguing mid week Listed race for us to get our teeth in to with very little separating the top contenders on official ratings, so maybe we will be better off starting with past histories to see if they give us any decent and worthwhile clues? The eleven year history does show an interesting set of trainer trends with the sadly no longer with us Sir Henry Cecil taking it twice, Saeed Bin Suroor five times, and Jeremy Noseda the last two renewals with Grandeur, and one a piece for Roger Charlton and Mark Johnston. Age wise, the last eleven has seen two three year old winners, three five year olds, and six four year olds so how about we start with what looks like a decent combination – a four year old in training in Newmarket with Saeed Bin Suroor and the only entry from the stable long term – but is that a hint we wonder? Basem (11/8) is the beast in question, a son of Pivotal out of a Lando mare suggesting a bit of juice in the ground will never be a hindrance), and who has already won two mile handicaps at Sandown in Class Two events off ratings in the 90s. His next race was at Goodwood where he never got a run until the race was over (so common sense suggests we ignore that today), after which he was third to Mondialiste in a Group Three at York. That was over nine furlongs where he ran on strongly to be beaten less than two lengths at the line, which is promising as he steps up again today, and the form has been well and truly franked by the winner who has since taken the Grade One Woodbine Mile in Canada. He is one of the best horses in the race we feel, but the trip is always a bit of a concern until they win over it, and we will continue to look for his serious challengers. The William Haggas trained Battalion (7/2) is probably his most serious danger off a rating of 108, but the five year old is yet to win this season after three attempts and has a bit to prove. Way back in March he was sixth of eleven to Tryster who is in the same ownership as Basem, while last time out he was third to their Racing History, so they must surely have a very good idea of exactly where they stand with their contender, though the Haggas beast is a distance winner which is very much in his favour. We think he will need to come on again for his last run if he wants to take a hand, but then again that is perfectly possible and a big run is certainly expected. James Fanshawe always comes over as a bit too likeable but give him the right tools and he will win you races leaving Hors De Combat (5/1) as a solid each way alternative to the expected high flyers. The four year old has placed on numerous occasions in half decent races this season with the highlight perhaps his second to Markaz in the Group Three Criterion Stakes over seven furlongs back in June that if repeated would at least see him place. Sadly, he hasn’t won in his last nine races, a run stretching back to May last year, and such cannot be our selection here regardless.
Even higher on the list of bitter disappointments so far this season we have John Gosden’s Wannabe Yours (15/2), the winner of three races last season bids to win his first of 2015, despite four frankly below par efforts where he has been beaten by five lengths or more every time. At his best he would have every chance and if anyone can get him back there John Gosden can, but with no evidence to that effect he looks to be another playing for the places at best. Lastly, the darkest horse of all just has to be Roger Charlton’s David Livingston (12/1) who is having his first run since January 2014, an absence of 622 days. Once with Aiden O’Brien, and then Mike De Kock, Roger will now try and work his magic on the six year old, who has somehow been put up a pound since his last run when 25 lengths last of twelve in Dubai! At his best, he did beat Telescope by a length at Haydock, which is good enough form to see him get involved here, but magic as his trainer is, it is surely asking too much to recapture that sort of form after such a long absence.